- In December 2018, Pedialyte, known for its rehydration drinks for children, announced its new product, Sparkling Rush powder packs.
- The company markets these packs, which can be added to water to create a fizzy flavored beverage, as an easy way to prevent dehydration and replenish electrolytes.
- Most people don’t need to replenish their electrolytes with a special beverage. Water, fruits, and vegetables are enough to stay hydrated.
- If you exercise for more than 60 minutes per day, work in heat or humidity, or do another activity that involves sweating excessively for long periods of time, you should replace your electrolytes, registered dietitian Cynthia Sass told INSIDER.
Pedialyte products have long been used by people nursing hangovers. They contain both electrolytes and fluid, two key components that are lost during bouts of vomiting or diarrhoea.
The name “Pedialyte” suggests these products are best suited for children, but the company does in fact market flavored liquid and powder packs for adults and kids alike.
In December 2018, Pedialyte announced a new addition to its product line: Sparkling Rush powder packs. The company marketed these packs, which can be added to water to create a fizzy flavored beverage, as an easy way to prevent dehydration and replenish electrolytes.
But a special electrolyte-containing product isn’t necessary for staying hydrated.
“In healthy people on an everyday basis, plain water spread out throughout the day is adequate to prevent dehydration,” Cynthia Sass, RD, CSSD, a performance nutritionist, told INSIDER.
Water and a healthy diet are enough to replenish essential nutrients
Abbott, the company that manufactures Pedialyte, wrote in a press release that the new product “replenishes the body with twice the electrolytes and half the sugar of leading sports drinks.” In reality, most people don’t need to replenish their electrolytes with a special beverage – whether it’s a Pedialyte powder pack or a sugar-filled sports drink.
Humans lose fluids every day when breathing, sweating, and going to the bathroom, but the amount lost in these daily actions doesn’t typically cause dehydration.
“The idea is to replace fluid as you lose it to remain in balance,” Sass said, adding that drinking 16 ounces of water four times per day and eating fruits and vegetables is enough to stay hydrated for most people. The US Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) suggests women drink around 91 ounces of water daily and men drink 125 ounces, using their natural thirst as a guide.
Intense workouts, vomiting, and diarrhoea are the few instances when electrolyte drinks are needed
Electrolytes are minerals in the body that carry an electric charge and help with muscle, brain, and nerve function, according to the National Institutes of Health.
If someone works out for a long period of time, works outside in hot weather, or spends lots of time in a humid environment, replacing both electrolytes and fluids is important. Vomiting and diarrhoea from sickness or excessive drinking can also warrant electrolyte replenishment, Sass said.
“If you replace the fluid only, the amount of electrolytes in the blood can become very diluted, and that’s a dangerous, even potentially deadly situation,” she said.
A sports drink like Gatorade or electrolyte replacement like Pedialyte can help out with this. So can eating regular meals to replace lost salt, according to the The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
Pedialyte powder packs contain two artificial sweeteners, acesulfame potassium and sucralose, so an all-natural electrolyte replacement would be more ideal, according to Sass. That’s because artificial sweeteners are sweeter than natural sugars, and could increase the risk of diabetes, weight gain, and nutritional deficiencies.
In a statement to INSIDER, Jennifer Williams, MPH, a research scientist for Pedialyte’s parent company Abbott, said, “Pedialyte is designed to help prevent mild to moderate dehydration. Medical experts and physicians agree that water hydrates but is not enough alone to rehydrate and replace lost electrolytes. When your body has an electrolyte imbalance, it doesn’t absorb fluids like it should. For proper rehydration in those situations, we need fluids as well as glucose and electrolytes, like those found in Pedialyte.”
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