Pedialyte VS. Gatorade???

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Rae - posted on 04/05/2011

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A great, all-natural substitute is coconut water (not coconut milk). It has all of the electrolytes you're looking for, but none of the added sugar, dyes, etc. It's easily digested and doesn't need to be diluted. It's becoming much easier to find in supermarkets -- sometimes with the (unrefrigerated) bottled juices, but if you can't find it, just ask. I use it at sporting events (baseball, soccer, swimming) and during/after exercise instead of the chemical "sports drinks". Hope this helps someone.

Jessica - posted on 12/05/2009

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My son refused to drink pedialyte and I gave him Powerade which is the same thing as Gatorade. His doctor wasn't happy at the time b/c Powerade and Gatorade do have sugar in them but also have the electrolytes they need when they're sick. And my thing is doctor's say the most important thing when kids are sick is to drink fluids and I will give my son almost anything to keep him hydrated and if he'll drink powerade/gatorade I'm gonna let him drink it b/c I don't want him in the hospital due to dehydration again all b/c a doctor says not to give it to him b/c of the sugar and dyes. His pediatrician now told me when he had hand, foot, mouth disease to give him what ever he'll take fluid wise.

Collin - posted on 04/08/2014

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Refined sugar is no different to the body than pure, "raw," or partially refined sugar. The difference between the forms is their glycemic index ratings - that is, how much energy they give the body. However they are all broken down into identical glucose molecules, and your body doesn't know or care where they came from. Although it's anti-trendy to admit it, corn syrup isn't any worse for you than biting into an organically grown shoot of sugar cane; it's just sweeter, aka has a higher percentage of sucrose, aka has a higher rating on the glycemic index.

As with anything, an excess of sugar is unhealthy, and yes one of the results is dehydration. This occurs when the body is taking in more sugar than it can convert, so the kidneys eliminate the extra via urination, which of course uses up fluid.
But Gatorade is not excessive in sugars. I actually have a bottle next to me (Glacier Cherry, for those curious) and it lists the sugar content per serving as 21g, or 7% DV (for adults obviously), with 2.5 servings (meaning approx. 52g / 18%) per 32 oz bottle. As long as you're not living off the stuff or eating slabs of cake on a daily basis, this is inconsequential, _especially_ for short-term illness rehydration. Worry about the sugar content of your Starbucks drink, not in this electrolyte-laden elixir.

Neat fact: all sugars (fructose, sucrose, glucose, etc) are converted to glucose in the body before being metabolized. Glucose is the chemical C6-H12-O6. This metabolizes by reacting with six oxygen molecules (chemically, six O2 molecules), yielding six CO2 (carbon dioxide, which you exhale) and six H2O (water, which is added to the body's water supply, on top of the water already present when you drank the Gatorade).

Sugar is healthy. Salt rehydrates you. Unintuitive, perhaps, especially when we're all bombarded with health fads and pop diets. Most of us aren't dieticians, so we tend to use flawed inductive reason (going from specific information to general, i.e. knowing that drinking saltwater dehydrates you must mean drinking water with salt dehydrates you) for figuring nutrition facts. The right ratios of fats, salts, sugars, metals, etc., are the difference between healthy and excessive.
Gatorade and Pedialyte are formulated by very very smart dietary chemists to take advantage of these ratios and the synergy between the ingredients. Unless you're a Luddite, have some trust in them. : )

Brandy - posted on 12/05/2009

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Isn't there alot of unnecessary sugar and dye in Gatorade?...

Collin - posted on 03/21/2014

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I work in a retail pharmacy, and recommend Gatorade to everyone who comes in asking about the two. Not only can you easily get five bottles of Gatorade for the price of one Pedialyte, Gatorade is essentially a stronger version of Pedialyte - meaning that you're getting more electrolytes per volume, and more volume per dollar. Gatorade has more levels of electrolytes than a small child's system needs (as it is formulated for dehydrated/sweating adults), so yes, do water it down. On that same note, for sick adults, Pedialyte is flat-out inadequate.
Remember that salts, including sodium ARE ELECTROLYTES, and important to the rehydration process. Sugar is important both for the drink not tasting like salt water, and for quickly delivering carbohydrates, of which someone sick with diarrhea, flu, or vomiting is very likely not getting enough.
Unless your child has tested positive - as in, a doctor has run a test and explicitly told you - for allergy/sensitivity to dyes, or he has ADD/ADHD, then don't worry about that factor at all.
Gatorade's G2 series of drinks is more focused on rehydrating the imbiber than providing carbs, which you may wish to consider, but again, the sugars and carbs are not bad things. For example, when someone has the flu for a week and visibly loses a lot of weight, that is due to a net loss of water, calories, and carbohydrates. Gatorade will mitigate that better than Pedialyte.

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Chet - posted on 09/05/2014

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The vast majority of people and kids drinking pedialyte and gatorade don't need them.

Linda - posted on 08/30/2014

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I am amazed at how many moms are saying that their children need hydrating so often. From birth until my boys were 18 maybe twice at the most were they ever sick and they never needed to be specially hydrated. If my child was getting sick all the time I would want to get to the root of the problem and find out why he or she was getting sick.
But anyway gatorade was made for adults to drink after strenous excercise. Not little ones

B - posted on 08/23/2014

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Collin is accurate except for one thing, high fructose corn syrup [HFCS] is NOT the same as sugar. It metabolizes differently. HFCS is a simpler molecule and it is easier to metabolize that refined sugar which results in a higher flood of calories in a shorter amount of time. This is fine if you are about to run a marathon or play in a 60 minute football game. If you are drinking casually then refined sugar is actually far better in that it metabolizes slower (over time). There is nothing wrong with HFCS, it is just that if you are trying to control weight and not regularly athletic HFCS is not favorable.

Tammy - posted on 08/17/2014

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Thank you for this! In pedialyte the electrolytes are measures in mEq, in Gatorade it's in mg. Hubby has a nasty case of food poisoning & I was unsure of which one to get for him. Water IS the perfect drink for hydration, but vomiting & diarrhea deplete lytes.

Shalla - posted on 04/29/2014

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I was very concerned about the artificial sweeteners in Pedialyte and that, paired with the high cost, is the reason I won't buy it for my girls. And before anyone think I'm a crunchy crazy, my body won't tolerate artificial sweeteners, and when my daughters are in dire need of dehydration, I don't want to risk that they have the same issue; added vomiting and diarrhea is the last thing they need when they're already sick and thirsty. I will see about some coconut water, or some watered-down juice (the last one is just to get the girls to drink when they're making a stand about not wanting plain water).

Connie - posted on 04/15/2014

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when my son was in the er yesterday and the doctor saw he was drinking powerade low sugar he said it was invented by a coach for his team to rehydrate thier bodies after their hard workouts, then people started drinking it everyday, he read off the ingredients and explained why each was not good and he said they were almost all salt so they are bad for you in that respect...my son is 34 and he said even he should be drinking it half water and half gatorade or powerade...if you are really trying to hydrated your child you should be giving them water because they said on the news that water is the only liquid which hydrates your body, that is why in the summer so many get heat stroke and pass out, they are drinking everything but what will hydrate them...and your child should not be dehydrated unless something is wrong with them, and your not giving them enough liquid to drink..try water, need flavor kool aid, diluted juice, etc.....

Connie - posted on 04/15/2014

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we were at the hospital er yesterday, when my son was puking his guts out and losing his breath, he was drinking powerade low sugar, when the doctor saw it he said power ade and gatorade were not meant to be drank everyday, they were invented by a coach for his team who was having a vigorous work out in the sun etc and this was to put electrolytes back in their body, he said then people started drinking it all the time , he read off the ingredients to us and explained how they were not good for us, he said they are all salts and salt is not good for our bodies and we get enough of it in our foods, my son is 34 and he even said he should be drinking it diluted half and half and dont drink it all the time , once in awhile okay but not everyday....your child should not be dehydrated unless it is hot and your not giving them enough water, and if you want to hydrate them, they said on the radio water is the only way to hydrate a body and that is why so many people pass out from heat is they are drinking anything but water.....so if you care about the kid give him water and good stuff to drink not salt......

Chelsey - posted on 04/10/2014

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My doctor recommends gatorade due to the amount of electrolytes... my kids have an easier time drinking it as well. They personally do not like the taste of pedialyte. Anytime the babies are sick, it is my go to. :D

Karen - posted on 03/29/2014

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The problem with the high-sugar drinks is more than what you think. Sugar is a de-hydrator, so it is counter-productive to hydrating your child. Since refined sugar is a poison to the human body, their little body has to use up all it's natural fluid resources trying to flush it out, making the body work even harder to get healthy again. Water or coconut water is still their best friend when sick.

Kasey - posted on 12/18/2013

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When it's 2 am and there is no way to get pedialyte. Use powerade or Gatorade!
I know there has been lots of defense against powerade and Gatorade because of sugar but it's important to keep your child hydrated. Use what means you have until you can get the right stuff

Maureen - posted on 10/03/2013

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I would never give my son Gatorade...ever! Here's why it's got way to much sugar in it and because the sodium level is even higher. It's not going to hydrate if there is that much sodium. Just because Gatorade is cheap doesn't mean it's better. Most stores have there own store brand pedialyte which is cheaper than the name brand. Your Pediatricion can also write a prescription for pedialyte which makes it...FREE!! So please don't be cheap and give your kids Gatorade, spend the couple extra bucks for pedialyte. ( I am a single Mom with a small budget but when it comes to my sons health I think I can spare a few extra bucks to make sure he gets better faster. )

R - posted on 10/03/2013

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A better tasting alternative is PediaONE. It is a newer brand on the market - a natural electrolyte solution without the excess sugar of gatorade. I have used it for two of my kids. They drank it fine - thought it was juice.

Check out www.pediaone.com

Gwynne - posted on 04/05/2011

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Our pediatrician said to use watered down gatorade. You can get 2 large containers of gatorade for the cost of 1 bottle of pedialyte!

Allie - posted on 02/03/2011

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I've tasted both, Pedialyte is too salty and Gatorade is too sweet. My son had the stomach bug a few weeks back and I talked to his pediatrician who suggested watering down gatorade is better for stomach bugs than pedialyte. But I would assume that smart water has similar attributes and is better tasting.. I like smart water so I'm sure my son will too lol....

I would definitely consult a doctor though.

Pediatlyte also makes freezer pops and you could attempt to make your own better tasting version....

Tiffany - posted on 12/08/2009

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I know this is on the opposite end of your problem but maybe some insite for the future..My little girl used to have constipation issues so we started giving her Gatorade daily, no more constipation.

Racheal - posted on 12/08/2009

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I use gatorade becasue one it def taste better then pedialyte plus they both do the same things..your goal is to get the elcetrolytes back into their bodies and gatorade does that..an emergency room doctor actually had me give it to my daughter when she was 13 months because she wouldnt drink the pedialyte and was dehrydrated...she got better now that is what i use when she is sick

Joanne - posted on 12/08/2009

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If you give Gatorade make sure it is watered down. Smart water is a good substitute.

[deleted account]

Quoting regina:

gatorade is high in sodium and suger...not so good for kids...i give mine bottled smart water...thats the only way theyll drink it and it has the electrolytes..try giving her a "special" cup just for sick days with the smart water in it.


Thanks Regina! I thought gatorage wasn't good for kids. I read every label on everything I put in or one my body, and you bet I am more strict with what I choose for Annabella. I couldn't understand why my inlaws where giving their child only gatorade and soy milk as a drink.  I offer Annabella a variety of juices and water, with occasional soymilk bottles on the two days a week I am away from her. She just recently can tolerate any dairy through breastfeeding (what I consume), and can eat cottage cheese, whole grain toddler pizza, mac and cheese, or a meal we make for the family that may contain dairy. Of course moderation is best, but with all the hype about whole milk and calcium I get worried. Anyway, thanks for the great tip about smart water! She is doing much better now with the diarrhea. Who knows if it was the teething, one year shots, or a virus she caught. All I know is her butt is happy! No rash, and regular bowl movements. Hope you have a great day!

Joley - posted on 12/07/2009

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Unless directed by your physician then your child shouldn't need either pedialyte or gatorade. They both have higher levels of electrolytes that a healthy child does not need.

Brittney - posted on 12/07/2009

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Pedialyte. Gatorade can give them internal problems if they drink to much. My little cousin has problems with her colon or splean or something from too much gatorade. Her doc said NOT to give it to children especially when they are sick!!!

Tracie - posted on 12/06/2009

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I would say to go with the G2 Gatorade, that's what Walgreens says to do not gatorade itself but the G2, you know what with the pedialyte add a little juice to it for favor, I always did for the kids and seemed to work maybe an oz. or so would make it taste better? Also with breastfed babies ask your doctor about jello water to harden the stool. About 15 years ago it did work with my oldest. I know there is a lot of sugar in it but seemed to help a lot with settling the stomache and we have milk alleriges in the
family. Good Luck

[deleted account]

The breastmilk is better than either one. ;)

Gatorade is too strong for a toddler's system... according to my doctor, but mixed 50/50 w/ water is ok. Only on occasion though. According to my dentist though... sports drinks are worse on teeth than even soda, so it is a RARE, RARE occasion when I give it to my kids. ;)

Lacey - posted on 12/06/2009

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Have you tried the pedialyte popsicles the offer? the kids LOVE em ( and to be honest they dont taste bad at all!)

Regina - posted on 12/06/2009

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gatorade is high in sodium and suger...not so good for kids...i give mine bottled smart water...thats the only way theyll drink it and it has the electrolytes..try giving her a "special" cup just for sick days with the smart water in it.

[deleted account]

Thanks Ladies! I have stuck to my guns with the pedialyte, and she is now drinking almost one ounce at at time. I have to keep offering her something to drink of course, and I will switch between sips of water from mommy's glass and her own sippy or bottle with the pedialyte. Thanks for your help!

Veronica - posted on 12/05/2009

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My Daughter drinks watered down Gatorade but not when she is sick. She doesn't like pedialyte so I get the pedialyte popsicles and dilute them with some h2o she loves it and it keeps her hydrated.

Dulcie - posted on 12/05/2009

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I gave my kids gatorade because their doctor recommended it. Dilute it with some water so its not to stronge.tastes better than pedialyte

[deleted account]

We have tried giving pedialyte several times to our now 12 MTH old daughter with little success. She just doesn't seem to like the taste. She isn't a big juice drinker, and will drink water only if offered from a regular glass. She has had diarrhea for about 11 days now on and off. She is still breast fed and has shown more interest in breast milk and less in food. Her cousin is 6 MTHS older then her and always has Gatorade in his bottle when they come to visit. His parents say it is the same as Pedialyte and that is what he gets when he is sick (seems to get it all the time though).Are they any tricks or flavors of Pedialyte that work best? Is Gatorade safe for a 1 YEAR old?

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