Pedialyte: Hangover Cure?

Pedialyte may be a hangover cure. The electrolyte drink is usually recommended for infants and children who are suffering from stomach ailments. However, it is now being recommended for hangovers.

Pedialyte is available as a drink or freezer pops. It contains chloride, potassium, sodium, and zinc. As reported by, the drink replenishes nutrients lost with vomiting and diarrhea.

The electrolyte drink also prevents dehydration.

Hangovers are caused by consumption of alcohol. The symptoms can vary, but usually include headache, nausea, and mood disturbances.

As reported by the Mayo Clinic, alcohol can cause several reactions that contribute to hangovers. However, hangover symptoms are usually caused by dehydration.

Earlier this year, musician Jason Isbell stated that Pedialyte is a hangover cure. He specifically stated that “it’s like 10 Gatorades in one bottle.”

His interview with the New York Times prompted a journalist to experiment with the electrolyte drink.

Nell McShane Wulfhart explains that Gatorade is a commonly used hangover cure. However, it contains more sugar and less sodium than Pedialyte.

With the increased sodium, Pedialyte reportedly helps the body absorb and replenish fluids much faster than Gatorade.

As reported by Slate, Wulfhart specifically recommends the frozen pops, pointing out that “you don’t even have to sit up to eat them.”

Wulfhart discussed his findings with three different doctors.

Stanley Goldfarb, with the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine, dismissed Pedialyte as a hangover cure.

Goldfrab, who specializes in bodily fluids, pointed out that alcohol’s byproducts cause a lot of hangover symptoms. He says that Pedialyte cannot rid the body of byproducts.

Dr. Michael Oshinsky, of Thomas Jefferson University, agrees with Goldfrab. Oshinsky says that when the body breaks down alcohol, it produces chemicals. He explains that the chemicals cause the adverse reaction.

Wulfhart did find one doctor who agreed with his findings. However, the doctor asked to remain anonymous.

The doctor said that replenishing fluids is an important part of curing a hangover. He admits using saline IVs for that specific purpose. This may explain why he refused to provide his name.

Pedialyte may be a hangover cure. However, like many other suggestions it might work for some and not others. Unfortunately, curing hangovers is far from an exact science.

[Image via Flickr]