A few years ago, a friend of mine prepared to take off on a much-anticipated journey to Germany for Oktoberfest. As she finished packing her bags, she shared only one wistful regret with me. Alas! A 6-pack of Pedialyte, the unofficial hangover tonic (which is not TSA-compliant), would have to be left behind.
Now, in a statement titled “Get Bubbly This New Year With Abbott’s New Pedialyte Sparkling Rush Powder Packs,” the company seems to finally be owning its reputation as an adult favorite. The new product, manufactured by Abbott Laboratories, is a powdered drink mix that stashes easily in your coat pocket en route to any boozy occasion (Oktoberfest, New Year’s Eve, and beyond!).
In the press release, Abbott research scientist Jennifer Williams, MPH, never explicitly calls Pedialyte a “hangover cure,” but the suggestion is certainly there: “There’s a reason so many turn to Pedialyte when they need help hydrating—it works,” said Williams. “Pedialyte is so effective because the levels of electrolytes and carbohydrate are optimal for rehydration, and now our Pedialyte Sparkling Rush powder offers a new, on-the-go option for those who love some bubble in their beverages.” I see what you did there, Williams…
“With flu season in full effect, air travel to visit loved ones, and even those late nights out with friends, you’ve got a recipe for your body to lose more water than it takes in, causing dehydration,” the statement continues.
“The ingredients [in Pedialyte] address three factors that contribute to a hangover: dehydration, drop in blood sugar, and upset stomach.” —Cedrina Calder, MD
I asked a doctor if Pedialyte’s concoction is up to the task when it comes to treating hangovers. And guess what? It might just do the trick. “The amount of sodium, potassium, and sugar in Pedialyte Sparkling Rush makes it a helpful option to combat the symptoms of a hangover,” says Cedrina Calder, MD, a preventative medicine resident at Meharry Medical College. “The ingredients address three factors that contribute to a hangover: dehydration, drop in blood sugar, and upset stomach.” According to Dr. Calder, the combination of sodium and potassium replenishes electrolytes while dextrose—a fast-acting sugar—boosts your blood sugar levels.
Dr. Calder adds that while it’s possible that carbonation can help an upset stomach, the scientific verdict on whether the beverage’s fizziness plays a role in its efficacy is still out. She recommends coconut water as another means of rehydration, sans bubbles. “Coconut water contains a high amount of potassium and sodium, which makes it a good electrolyte replacement as well,” she says. Pair that with a banana and you’re well on your way to recovery.
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