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Does Pedialyte Help With Hangovers?

January 23, 2024
12 min read
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A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
January 23, 2024
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
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Can Pedialyte Cure Hangovers?

  • Pedialyte is an electrolyte-enhanced beverage that can help with some hangover symptoms, including dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and low blood sugar.
  • The ultimate cure for hangovers is time, but to reduce dehydration-related issues, drinking Pedialyte before bed may help.
  • Use Reframe to learn more about alcohol use and gain support from experts and peers while trying to cut back or quit drinking.

You’re waking up from a night out, and you’re definitely not feeling your best. Your head is pounding, you feel nauseous, and, oh my gosh, you’re just so thirsty! Even though you feel terrible, you’ve got a big meeting to prepare for. You’ve just got to find something to help you feel better. Is there a magic hangover cure? 

Today we’re looking at hangovers and determining whether Pedialyte is really a magic cure. (Spoiler: not entirely.) What’s happening when we’re hungover? Why does Pedialyte help? What hangover symptoms does Pedialyte address?

Symptoms of Hangovers

Let’s talk about hangovers first — we need to be clear about what we’re trying to cure. There are many common symptoms of hangovers:

  • Fatigue, weakness, dehydration
  • Nausea, vomiting, vertigo 
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Anxiety, irritability 
  • Sweating, elevated blood pressure, low blood sugar

We experience hangovers for a whole host of reasons. Today we’re focusing on just a few: dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and low blood sugar. 

  • Dehydration is caused by a person not drinking enough fluids or by losing excessive amounts of fluids. Common ways people lose fluids are through vomiting, diarrhea, urination, and sweating. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it causes us to pass more fluid — one big cause of dehydration the morning after we drink.
  • Electrolyte imbalance. An electrolyte is an electrically charged molecule in the body. Electrolytes are important for everyday bodily maintenance and are key contributors to communication systems in the body and brain. Some of the most important electrolytes are sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, and phosphate.
  • Low blood sugar. To work properly, your body needs a certain level of sugar in the blood. This blood sugar is the main source of energy throughout the body and is essential for the brain to function. When blood sugar levels are low, you may start to become shaky, your heartbeat increases, and your brain feels a bit foggy. 

As alcohol increases urine production, the body loses electrolytes in the excess urine. Drinking excessively can also lead to loss of electrolytes through sweating. The electrolytes lost during drinking are sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Your blood sugar drops from drinking because your body loses sugar as it breaks down alcohol.

What Is Pedialyte? 

Pedialyte is a drink that formulated electrolytes into a liquid solution. It was created to rehydrate and replenish electrolytes in sick children after illnesses like stomach viruses. As it was originally marketed to children, it meets a Pediatric Academy standard for preventing dehydration in infants and children. In recent years, Pedialyte has become popular with athletes and with adults fighting off hangovers. But can it cure a hangover?  

The classic recipe for Pedialyte contains the following key ingredients to help combat dehydration: 

  • Water 
  • Dextrose, a form of glucose (sugar) 
  • Zinc 
  • Sodium, chloride, and potassium (electrolytes)

How Does Pedialyte Help With Hangovers? 

Although Pedialyte isn’t a cure-all for hangovers, it can ease symptoms caused by dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and low blood sugar. 

  • Dehydration. Drinking Pedialyte helps replenish fluids lost from drinking alcohol. 
  • Electrolyte imbalance. Pedialyte contains sodium, chloride, and potassium, so it helps restore the electrolytes lost from drinking.  
  • Low blood sugar. As Pedialyte contains a form of sugar — dextrose — it can help raise blood sugar levels. 

Untreated, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and low blood sugar lead to headaches, dizziness, fatigue, confusion, thirst, and stomach pain. Since Pedialyte addresses the causes of these symptoms, it can make us feel better while we’re suffering with a hangover.

How To Use Pedialyte To Help With Hangovers 

Pedialyte can help with some symptoms of hangovers. However, the research is unclear about  whether vitamin or mineral supplements such as Pedialyte are effective. Every hangover is different, which makes it difficult to replicate the true experience — and therefore, it’s hard to confirm the effectiveness of Pedialyte for hangovers.

If we want to use Pedialyte to alleviate hangover symptoms, when would the best time to take it be? The ideal time to drink Pedialyte is before you go to bed: it’s better as a preventative than as a cure.

Drinking Pedialyte before bed would help prevent waking up dehydrated and may lessen some hangover symptoms. The amount of Pedialyte you should drink is unclear, but consider slowly sipping anywhere from a cup to a pint.

Alternatives to Pedialyte 

Pedialyte is not the only thing that can help with hangover symptoms. There are many supplements and remedies that people claim cure hangovers, but most are not backed by science. Let’s look at some hangover cures that can make you feel better after drinking alcohol. 

  • Hydrate! One of the simplest ways to rehydrate after drinking is to drink water. Many of us tend to only drink water when we are thirsty, but this is usually a sign of dehydration. Drink or sip water throughout the day, especially if you’re planning to drink alcohol later. And when you do drink, alternate alcoholic beverages with water to stay hydrated as you go. 
  • Electrolyte beverages. With the rise in popularity of Pedialyte for adults, several other products have come out that are enhanced with electrolytes. Products such as Liquid IV, Gatorade, coconut water, and electrolyte - infused waters are marketed as hangover relief. Check the ingredients of each product to make an informed decision about which will be most beneficial. 
  • Eating. Eating can also help with hangover symptoms. Bananas are a good source of potassium and magnesium and can help replenish losses after drinking alcohol. Fruit smoothies can contain extra electrolytes, and as a bonus, the liquid helps with rehydration.

Pedialyte does help with hangover symptoms — but not too much more than drinking water and having a healthy snack. It’s important to note that science has not confirmed Pedialyte as a tool for curing hangovers. Most hangovers will subside on their own within 24 hours through the body’s natural processes. 

Summary FAQs 

1. What are common symptoms of hangovers? 

Hangover symptoms include fatigue, weakness, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, vertigo, sensitivity to light and sound, anxiety, irritability, sweating, elevated blood pressure, and low blood sugar.

2. Does Pedialyte cure hangovers? 

No, just helps with certain symptoms such as dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and low blood sugar. 

3. When should I drink Pedialyte to help with hangovers? 

It is best to sip on Pedialyte after you are done drinking before you go to bed. 

4. Can drinking Pedialyte before you start drinking prevent a hangover? 

No, it will not. As you drink, you will still continue to lose fluids and lose the benefit of the Pedialyte in the process. 

5. What else can I take aside from Pedialyte to help with a hangover? 

Drinking water, eating foods such as bananas, or taking other products enhanced with electrolytes such as Liquid IV or Gatorade.

Fight Hangovers and Have Better Mornings With Reframe!

Although it isn’t a treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), the Reframe app can help you cut back on drinking gradually, with science-backed knowledge to empower you 100% of the way. Our proven program has helped millions worldwide drink less and live more. And we want to help you get there, too!

The Reframe app equips you with the knowledge and skills to survive drinking less and thrive while navigating the journey. Our daily research-backed readings teach you the neuroscience of alcohol, and our in-app Toolkit provides the resources and activities you need to navigate each challenge.

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The Reframe app is free for seven days, so you have nothing to lose by trying it. Are you ready to feel empowered and discover life beyond alcohol? Then download our app through the App Store or Google Play today!

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