FUELED Wellness + Nutrition | Pedialyte Cure-All: Fact or Fiction?

FUELED Wellness with Molly

Sports drink replacer, muscle cramping remedy, hangover cure. these are just a few of the ‘off-label’ reasons adults are turning to Pedialyte. So just how does this medical-grade blend that’s designed for kids with diarrhea or vomiting measure up to traditionally-marketed sports drinks?

The 411:

  • True: Ounce for ounce, Pedialyte does have more sodium than Powerade or Gatorade. 
  • However: Like Powerade or Gatorade, every variety of Pedialyte (with the exception of their ‘Organic’ version) also contains sugar, two types of artificial sweeteners, and multiple artificial food dyes.
  • Instead: Opt for low- and no-sugar alternatives that are free of artificial dyes and sweeteners, like Nuun, SOS and/or pickle juice.

Pedialyte | $5.49 [$1.83 per 12oz serving]

  • Per 12 ounces: 35 calories – 9 grams carb – 9 grams added sugar – 370 mg sodium – 280 mg potassium
  • Ingredients include dextrose (sugar), minerals, artificial sweeteners sucralose and acesulfame potassium, artificial food dyes including Red 40, Blue 1 and/or Yellow 6. 

Pedialyte Advanced Care | $5.49 [$1.83 per 12oz serving]

  • Per 12 ounces: 25 calories – 6 grams carb – 6 grams added sugar – 370 mg sodium – 280 mg potassium
  • Ingredients include dextrose (sugar), minerals, artificial sweeteners sucralose and acesulfame potassium, artificial food dyes including Red 40, Blue 1 and/or Yellow 6. 

Pedialyte Advanced Care with 33% more Electrolytes | $8.29 [$2.76 per 12oz serving]

  • Per 12 ounces: 25 calories – 6 grams carb – 6 grams added sugar – 490 mg sodium – 280 mg potassium
  • Ingredients include dextrose (sugar), minerals, artificial sweeteners sucralose and acesulfame potassium, artificial food dyes including Red 40, Blue 1 and/or Yellow 6. 

Pedialyte Sport | $5.49 [$1.83 per 12oz serving]

  • Per 12 ounces: 30 calories – 9 grams carb – 5 grams added sugar – 490 mg sodium – 470 mg potassium
  • Ingredients include dextrose (sugar), minerals, artificial sweeteners sucralose and acesulfame potassium, artificial food dyes including Red 40, Blue 1 and/or Yellow 6. 

Pedialyte Stick Packs | $10.99 [$1.37 each]

  • Per stick pack: 25 calories – 6 grams carb – 6 grams added sugar – 240 mg sodium – 180 mg potassium
  • Ingredients include dextrose (sugar), minerals, artificial sweeteners sucralose and acesulfame potassium, artificial food dyes including Red 40, Blue 1 and/or Yellow 6. 

Pedialyte Freezer Pops | $6.79 [$0.84 per serving]

  • Per two-pop serving: 15 calories – 3 grams carbs – 3 grams added sugar – 100 mg potassium
  • Ingredients include dextrose (sugar), minerals, artificial sweeteners sucralose and acesulfame potassium, artificial food dyes including Red 40, Blue 1 and/or Yellow 6. 

BETTER BETS | Molly’s Top Picks for Electrolytes

electrolyte-rich, plus all-natural, little or no added sugar, zero artificial sweeteners, zero artificial colors

Nuun Sport Electrolyte Tabs | $6.25 per 10 servings [$0.62 per serving]

  • Per tablet: 10 calories – 4 gram carb – 1 gram sugar – 300 mg sodium – 150 mg potassium
  • No artificial sweeteners or colors (sweetened with stevia; colored with vegetable juice extracts)

SOS Hydration | $15 per 20 servings [$0.75 per serving]

  • Per stick pack: 10 calories – – 3 grams carb – 3 grams sugar – 350 mg sodium – 190 mg potassium
  • Ingredients include sugar, salt + other minerals, sweetened additionally with stevia

Pickle Juice | price varies by brand [$0.15 to $0.67 per serving]

  • The acetic acid in pickle juice can help relieve a cramp within seconds
  • per 2.5 ounces: 0 calories – 0 carbs – 0 sugar – 470 mg sodium – 24 mg potassium

*

Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD is a registered dietitian + nutrition journalist in New Orleans, and founder of Ochsner Eat Fit nonprofit restaurant initiative. Tune in to her podcast, FUELED | Wellness + Nutrition and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @MollyKimballRD. See more of Molly’s articles + TV segments at www.mollykimball.com

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