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Is Pedialyte Doing More Harm than Good? Here's what the Experts Say


Dehydration is one of those things that even those with the cleanest bill of health experience from time to time. In our world, there are a handful of factors that can sneak up and dehydrate us seemingly, without warning. Immune systems weaken, causing sickness, and fatigue occurs from being rundown. Other times, we make choices (such as drinking alcohol), knowing that it will ultimately result in dehydration. For the longest time, we were convinced that water was sufficient enough in hydrating us, and that was that. Not all were that easily convinced, though, and being motivated to cure dehydration, created products, like Pedialyte, to help those unable to rehydrate by themselves. While the company's value is more than $160 million, there's more than meets the eye when it comes to its formula. The brand is seemingly effective, but at what cost?

The process of rehydrating the body is often mistaken as solely drinking enough water throughout the day. Part of being hydrated includes the maintenance of electrolytes to help regulate chemical reactions and the maintenance of appropriate fluid levels in the body. The main minerals found in electrolytes—sodium, potassium, and magnesium chloride—can be lost due to illness, hangovers, etc.


Pedialyte, an oral rehydration product, has been one of the most popular brands for the past few decades, having been used by all ages from infants to older adults. Initially, it was created to treat an electrolyte imbalance caused by dehydration from those who became ill. Over the years, it transformed from rehydrating sick children to becoming the go-to post-alcohol hangover cure (caused by dehydration).


There's a reason that Pedialyte has continued to be successful for the last few decades: they create products that hydrate, replenish lost electrolytes, and even claim to work quickly. Their formula is a better choice (than some of the other competitor companies) with lower sugar levels. While low sugar is a good thing, a small amount of sugar is best for maximum electrolyte replenishment. 


Although it's a go-to for many, Pedialyte has its share of flaws, too. One big red flag when looking at the ingredient list is that it contains sucralose and acesulfame potassium. These ingredients artificially sweeten many products, such as diet soda, to enhance the sweetness. Although artificial sweeteners are said not to cause certain cancers, they can do extreme damage to the brain, impacting one's memory, mood, and behavior. Dr. Janet Starr Hull, who studies the effects of artificial sweeteners, states sucralose is a toxic chemical called chlorocarbon. It's as if ingesting tiny amounts of chlorinated pesticides. Chlorocarbons are known for causing organ, genetic, and reproductive damage. 

Reactions after sucralose consumption:

  • Seizures and dizziness
  • Migraines
  • Blood sugar increase
  • Swelling and bloating (water retention)
  • Weight gain

If this isn't bad enough, the FD&C Dyes are found in the rehydration drink and can also be harmful to the body. Red no. 40, Blue no. 1, and Yellow no. 6 are just a few listed in some of the products. These dyes have been linked to causing cancers, mental health disorders such as anxiety, and the inability to concentrate. Nausea and headaches are also common effects.

Pedialyte may be the choice for many, but there are alternative products on the market without negative side effects and reactions after consumption. For instance, DrinkLyte is serious about its commitment to one’s health and wellness lifestyle. Whether partying a little too hard the night before or desperately needing that extra hydration kick, DrinkLyte efficiently rehydrates and replenishes any lost electrolytes. Its formula follows that of the World Health Organization (WHO), ensuring that rehydration starts immediately with all-natural ingredients, letting everyone do more tomorrow. 



Author :  Jennifer Dutton, Blog Writer, DrinkLyte Co. "Helping Grow CPG Brands Beyond Their Potential"