Can Pedialyte Cure A Hangover?

Although it was made for children, Pedialyte is becoming a popular hangover cure. A recent study, which was conducted by Nielsen marketing research firm, suggests adults often purchase the electrolyte drink for themselves -- not their children.

The trend is not lost on Pedialyte officials, who are now marketing the drink to adults.

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The question is: Does it work?

The symptoms commonly associated with a hangover are caused by several factors. Copious amounts of alcohol can cause dehydration, stomach irritation, low blood sugar, and a buildup of alcohol byproducts.

Combined, these issues contribute to the headache, stomach ache, and fatigue, which are often experienced after a night of drinking. Sports drinks are designed to replenish vital minerals and nutrients. However, calling Pedialyte a hangover cure may be quite a stretch.

Dr. Robert Swift, of Brown University's Alpert Medical School, admits sports drinks can prevent dehydration. However, dehydration is only one factor in the symptoms experienced during a hangover.

As reported by Slate, the worst hangover symptoms are actually caused by alcohol byproducts -- not dehydration. Thomas Jefferson University neuroscientist Dr. Michael Oshinsky explains.

"The work that we've done has demonstrated that it's not dehydration that causes the headache. It's the buildup of one of the metabolites—one of the chemicals that alcohol is broken down into."

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"There's nothing you can do to remove the alcohol byproducts. They have to be metabolized by your liver, which takes time. There's no evidence that anything is better than waiting."

The clinic's website suggests, eating a meal before drinking, consuming alcohol in moderation, avoiding dark-colored drinks (which contain congeners), and sipping water between drinks. Above all else, everyone should know their own limits.

The Mayo Clinic staff agrees "time is the only sure cure for a hangover" However, they suggest drinking plenty of water, eating a light snack, taking a mild painkiller, and getting extra rest, to ease the symptoms.

Although many people believe Pedialyte is the perfect hangover cure, the actual benefits remain unclear.

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