Pedialyte Stops Pretending It's Just for Babies and Makes Fizzy Hangover Cure

Great for sick kids, even better for soul-draining hangovers.
December 21, 2018, 11:40pm
Hungover person with pedialyte
Composite image: MUNCHIES Staff

I went to a liberal arts college in the American South where the first few weeks of the fall semester always overlapped with the start of hurricane season. Our well-manicured campus was typically too far north and too far west for Jim Cantore to show up with Gore-Tex and a boom mic, but we had hurricane parties anyway for every hurricane that materialized anywhere in the Atlantic because, well, it was an excuse to drink.

After one hurricane-themed Thursday night that involved a hurricane-portion of Everclear and Hawaiian Punch, I went back to my apartment, curled into a ball on the floor, and yelled for my roommate. She saw me laying there, moaning about how my vertical hold was broken, and immediately gave me a bottle of Pedialyte and a handful of ibuprofen. Then she dragged me into my bed, pushed the trashcan close to my face, and left another bottle of Pedialyte on the nightstand.

She knew what was up. Everyone who can name the states where Everclear is legal also knows that Pedialyte is the best way to deal with a hangover—especially if you start downing it while you’re still drunk. And apparently, Abbott, the company that makes Pedialyte, knows it too. On Wednesday, they announced that it was releasing something called Pedialyte Sparkling Rush, a single-serve powdered version that turns into a lightly flavored fizzy water. (If you’re wondering how these are different than their current Pedialyte Power Packs: It’s in the fizz.)

“If you look at the U.S. retail landscape, you see this tremendous growth in sparkling water. We saw an opportunity to operate in that space," Chris Calamari, Abbott’s vice president of pediatric nutrition, told USA Today. "You get the electrolytes you need with that great tasting fizz. It's a really exciting product."

But will it keep you from begging for death when you pry your eyelids apart on New Year’s Day? FDA regulations prevent the company from saying “YES, WE CAN HELP YOUR HANGOVERS”—or otherwise marketing itself as a hangover helper—but a press release for Sparkling Rush noted how it had been released “just in time for the holidays,” and how it could help you rehydrate after “late nights out with friends.” (Its website does have a section on alcohol-related dehydration, complete with a header pic of a man whose face says “I HAVE REGRETS” pouring single-serve Pedialyte pack into a glass of water. It also clearly states “Pedialyte is not a hangover cure,” before adding “but it can help with the dehydration you may experience.”)

According to research from Nielsen, adult use of Pedialyte grew 57% between 2012 and 2015, and as of 2015, ⅓ of its sales were to adults. The new Pedialyte Sparkling Rush packets are available at Target, at Meijer supermarkets, and on Amazon.

Think of them as the perfect stocking stuffers for yourself, and anyone who has big plans to forget the final hours of 2018.