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Updated on February 2, 2023
6 min read

Pedialyte for Hangovers: Does It Work?

What is Pedialyte?

Pedialyte is the top doctor-recommended brand of rehydration drinks. It’s been around for over 50 years. 

Pedialyte contains key electrolytes that replenish your body. These include: Sodium, potassium, and chloride.10

In fact, pedialyte carries twice the electrolytes as other leading sports drinks. It also has two times less sugar. Sugar has been known to worsen dehydration symptoms.10

Pedialyte comes in liquid form, powder packets, and dissolvable tablets to put into your water. There are also frozen pedialyte popsicles.


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Does Pedialyte Help With Hangovers?

Yes, Pedialyte can help with hangovers. However, Pedialyte cannot completely cure your hangover. Most people with normally functioning kidneys do not need to supplement with extra electrolytes unless they have had significant electrolyte loss from vigorous exercise or dehydration. Healthy kidneys and a normal diet will filter out and retain all the necessary electrolytes.

Here are the truths about Pedialyte and hangovers:

  • Pedialyte is more hydrating than water. Plain water does not have significant amounts of electrolytes. So, people with electrolyte loss from strenuous exercise or dehydration might rehydrate more efficiently with pedialyte. This is why drinking fluids high in electrolytes, like pedialyte, can help you rehydrate faster.11
  • Pedialyte is for everyone. People of all ages can drink pedialyte, even babies and sick children. Pedialyte is not designed for everyday use or regular hydration needs, where water is available and adequate.
  • Pedialyte has many uses. Pedialyte can be used for hydration purposes. It may also be used to prevent and treat some metabolic problems that are caused by kidney disease.9

Here are some myths about Pedialyte and hangovers:

  • Pedialyte will always make you feel better. Pedialyte may make you feel better in some ways. But it also has potential side effects of its own. For example, pedialyte may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea..9
  • Drinking pedialyte is the ultimate hangover cure. Pedialyte can help replenish your body with electrolytes to treat dehydration symptoms and make you feel better faster. But it cannot cure hangovers. The only cure for a hangover is time.

What Causes Hangovers? What Nutrients Are Lacking?

There’s no beating around the bush: Hangovers can be miserable. 

They generally happen when alcohol metabolism is complete. And they can take a toll on both your physical and mental health, as well as on your performance and productivity at school or work.

Symptoms of hangovers include, but are not limited to:5

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Poor sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to sound
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle aches
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • A sense of the room spinning
  • Liver pain
  • Shakiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability 
  • Mood disturbances
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Memory problems
  • Decreased interest in usual activities
  • Lack of energy
  • Rapid heart rate

Hangover symptoms can happen if you drink too much alcohol. The main problem with a hangover is dehydration. Alcohol may make you sweat more, urinate more, and even vomit.11 All of these can lead to dehydration. 

When you are dehydrated, you may feel super thirsty and lightheaded.

When you sweat, urinate, or vomit, you rid your body of key electrolytes — bicarbonate, potassium, sodium, chloride, calcium, and phosphate.11 

These minerals are essential in moving water and fluids to where your body needs them and maintaining balance.

Moreover, alcohol triggers an immune system inflammatory response and causes your blood sugar to fall, which can make you feel weak. 

It can also irritate the lining of your stomach since it increases the production of stomach acid. 

Lastly, it can cause your blood vessels to expand, which can be the culprit behind hangover headaches. 

Because you get poor sleep while drunk, you may also feel groggy while hungover.5

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When to Drink Pedialyte for Maximum Benefits

You should drink pedialyte as soon as you are feeling dehydrated or right when you wake up after a night of drinking alcohol. 

You can also drink pedialyte before and while drinking to prevent a hangover. You should drink as much of it as your body needs to feel better. 

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What are the Side Effects of Pedialyte?

Pedialyte is a great hangover aid. But pedialyte does have some side effects of its own. 

For example, drinking pedialyte may cause you to feel nauseous, vomit, or have diarrhea with an upset stomach..9 

Pedialyte vs. Gatorade vs. Coconut Water for Hangovers

Pedialyte, gatorade, and coconut water are all great ways to hydrate during a hangover. Like pedialyte, gatorade also contains key electrolytes that you lose when you sweat and urinate.3 But, Gatorade usually contains sugar, which is not typically desirable for your metabolism.

Coconut water is a natural option without all of the salt and high fructose corn syrup that may be in some sports drinks.8 

It’s low in sugar and calories, making it a very healthy option. You can drink natural coconut water or store-bought coconut water.

All coconut water contains electrolytes like potassium, sodium, manganese, and phosphorus, but some may vary by brand.2 In fact, coconut water has even more potassium than a banana and 15 times more than sports drinks.8

Time: The Only Way to Actually ‘Cure’ a Hangover

Ultimately, time is the only truly effective hangover remedy and real cure for a hangover. You need to give your body time to process the alcohol and get rid of it. 

Hangovers peak when your body’s blood alcohol concentration returns to about zero.6 Most hangovers will go away within 24 hours.4 If you have an especially bad hangover, it can take a little longer before you feel back to normal.

Fortunately, there are other ways to help treat hangovers. These include:4

  • Drink sports drinks like pedialyte or gatorade to correct your electrolyte imbalance. Fighting dehydration is the number one way to feel better faster.
  • Drink water during and after drinking alcohol to rehydrate.
  • Eat healthy food to make up for nutritional deficiencies. Drinking can lower your blood sugar, but carbohydrates like toast can get your level back up to normal.1
  • Relax! Anxiety levels can heighten during a hangover, so practice some self-care rituals to alleviate it.
  • Get some rest. Give your body a break to recuperate after drinking alcohol.
  • Take B vitamins and zinc, which are associated with less severe hangovers.1
  • Take some painkillers like Aspirin or ibuprofen. Other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also help hangover headaches. Just don't take acetaminophen (Tylenol), which may have toxic effects on your liver.1

There are always ways to prevent hangovers from being so bad in the first place. These include:

  • Limit your alcoholic beverage intake. Drinking in moderation is key. This means no more than one drink per day for women, and no more than two drinks per day for men. One standard drink refers to 12 fluid ounces of beer that has about 5% alcohol, five fluid ounces of wine with about 12% alcohol, or 1.5 fluid ounces of 80-proof liquor.4
  • Choose alcoholic drinks with half the sugar, which can contribute to hangovers.
  • Drink water between alcoholic drinks. Not only will this help to keep you hydrated, but it also means that you will probably drink less alcohol.
  • Be mindful of how quickly you consume your alcohol to give your body time to break it down at a steady pace.
  • Don’t drink alcohol on an empty stomach.

Again, while there is no magic hangover cure, there are steps you can take to better manage hangovers and prevent hangovers from happening. Drinking pedialyte is just one of them.

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Updated on February 2, 2023
11 sources cited
Updated on February 2, 2023
All Alcoholrehabhelp content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies.
  1. 7 Steps to Cure Your Hangover.” Harvard Health, 30 Aug. 2020.
  2. Author: Kacie Vavrek. “Is Coconut Water Healthy?Ohio State Medical Center, 27 Aug. 2019.
  4. Hangover Treatment: Medlineplus Medical Encyclopedia.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  5. Hangovers.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 16 Dec. 2017.
  6. Hangovers.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  7. Katherine Zeratsky, R.D. “Coconut Water: Is It Super Hydrating?Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 11 Aug. 2021.
  8. Nature's Gatorade: Effectiveness of Coconut Water on Electrolyte and Carbohydrate Replacement.” Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine & Human Performance.
  9. Pedialyte: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & Pill Images.” RxList, RxList, 26 Aug. 2021.
  10. Prevent Dehydration in Children & Adults: Pedialyte®.” Prevent Dehydration with Pedialyte® Rehydration Drink.
  11. What Is Dehydration? Lots of Things Can Lead to Dehydration, Making You Feel Even Worse.” Dehydration Signs, Symptoms & Causes | Pedialyte®.

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