So, I was in South Florida on business last week. I had to take clients out to dinner, and had the opportunity to see some friends. Admittedly, I knew I was going to be consuming amounts of alcohol over the course of the week that were higher than normal for me. In doing this I sometimes make sure that before I go to bed to have a multivitamin, a large glass of water, and a couple of Advil to be sure there is a minimal opportunity for a hangover. To give you a little background, my job requires me to entertain clients when I travel, and sometimes, they like to “light it up” as I like to say.
That said, it has come to my attention through some friends that Pedialyte (usually www.pedialyte.com, but their site is down for maintenance) is a good hangover remedy because it is designed specifically to help combat dehydration through diarrhea, fever, vomiting, etc… Hmmm.… The cogs in my brain started working… Not only did I give it a shot when I got home that night, and honestly, I am not sure if it worked or not, but it got me thinking. Would Pedialyte be a better solution for you in a survival situation than something like Gatorade. My assumption is yes. I say that because of the levels of potassium and other ingredients it contains to almost super saturate your body with the electrolytes it has lost or is losing in the situation you are in.
So, that said, what is Pedialyte? Here is the Wikipedia definition of Pedialyte:
Pedialyte is an oral electrolyte solution manufactured by Abbott Laboratories and invented by Gary Cohen, MD of Swampscott, Massachusetts that is designed to replace fluids andminerals that are lost when a child has diarrhea with or without vomiting. It is designed to promote quick fluid and electrolyte absorption while a child is sick and contains the quantity and ratio of the sugars, dextrose and fructose, and electrolytes recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP); this makes it very low in sugar compared to most sports drinks (100 calories/liter vs. Gatorade’s ~200) and higher in both sodium (1,035 mg/L vs. Gatorade’s 465) and potassium (780 mg/L vs. Gatorade’s 127). Sucrose is not used in Pedialyte because of the risk of making diarrhea worse by drawing water into the intestine and increasing the risk of dehydration. Pedialyte also uses the controversial synthetic sweetenerssucralose and acesulfame potassium.
Pedialyte has become a hydration alternative to sports drinks for some athletes including members of the Arizona Cardinals, the Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, and Tom Glavine, who pitched for the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets. Many competitors in combat sports use it to rehydrate after cutting weight for weigh-ins. It is also popular with migrant workers near the US-Mexico border to stave off dehydration which is the foremost cause of death in the desert. It has even found use as an anti-hangover treatment.
Pedialyte is similar to rehydration fluids used by the World Health Organization (WHO) such as “New Oral Rehydration Solution” (N‑ORS), that are used during the outbreak of illnesses such as cholera and rotavirus. Other similar products are Lytren, Gastrolyte, Ricelyte, and Resol.
Pedialyte comes in two forms. First, it comes in liquid form, and it come in my favorite, a powdered form that you pour into your water bottle or canteen. This is the easiest way to carry it in my opinion. You can mix it with water, or you can swallow the powder by itself, I would imagine, if you needed to.
Here are a couple of resources I found that might make sense for everyone to take a look at. Make your own Pedialyte like drink mix:
You could use any one of these recipes, mix the ingredients and put them in snack ziplock bags with the proper portion to fill a canteen or water bottle. I am going to give it a shot since I am going to be doing more hiking this fall myself.
Keeping hydrated with water alone is one of the five core criteria of survival. If you can supplement it with something else the body needs if you are lacking other resources it makes sense to do so.