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, 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 DucksChica­go 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[1]. It has even found use as an anti-hang­over treat­ment[2][3].

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.

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