Content of the material
- Bottom Line Pedialyte vs Gatorade
- What Are The Signs Of Dehydration In the Elderly?
- Muscle Cramps
- Drop In Blood Pressure
- Dark-Colored Urine
- Sunken Eyes
- Dry Mouth
- Pedialyte vs. Gatorade: Similarities
- But hydration in general does count for *something* when I’m hungover, right?
- Which One Is Best?
- For Hangovers
- For Hydration
- For Illness
- The Best Option for Your Stomach
- For Sports
- Latest Posts
Bottom Line Pedialyte vs Gatorade
For adults with hangovers (and dehydrated children), Pedialyte is the best alternative, particularly if vomiting and related stomach problems have occurred.
For athletes, Gatorade is better due to the fact that Pedialyte does not contain enough carbohydrates to help feed working muscles.
While both appear to have benefits, they are simply full of too much artificial sugar substitutes or sugar, which over time, will make your body acidic and deplete you of the very electrolytes you are trying to replenish. In addition, consuming sugar with dietary fiber is never a good idea.
More importantly, if people practice physical exercise moderately and have a diet focused on fruits and vegetables, they have nothing to gain by consuming these types of drinks instead of water for rehydration, according to a report published by the Army’s Institute of Environmental Medicine in Natick, Mass.
For formula-fed babies, continue with the usual formula. Note – since a baby with diarrhea may develop a temporary lactose intolerance (the inability to break down lactose, a natural sugar found in dairy products), it is best to consider to switch to a lactose-free formula.
For breastfed babies, it is recommended to continue breastfeeding and feed more frequently.
Once your toddler feels hungry again, start with mild, easy to digest foods. The BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) diet can be your go-to when it comes to an uneasy stomach.
It is best to avoid:
- spices, especially curries, tomato-based dishes, and chili sauces;
- grease, especially bacon;
- foods high in dietary fiber;
- dairy products – these foods can aggravate diarrhea and gas.
The biggest danger from stomach flu is dehydration. For every bout of loose stools, it is recommended to add 60 to 100 milliliters of fluids, like – barley water, rice water, or rehydration solution, to replenish lost sodium and electrolytes.
It is specially formulated to help prevent dehydration by restoring nutrients lost during vomiting and diarrhea in babies, children, and adults. Pedialyte meets the requirements of the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) Committee on Nutrition to help prevent dehydration in toddlers.
It is a sports drink which is meant to combat dehydration better than water by packing in sodium and potassium.
The sports drink was developed in the summer of 1965 for the University of Florida’s football team and was tested on Gators’ football athletes.
Originally, Gatorade was produced by Stokely-Van Camp, but, in 1988, the brand was acquired by the Quaker Oats Company. In 2002, PepsiCo purchased Gatorade brand.
The first Gatorade flavors were fruit punch, orange (the most popular), and lemon-lime. In the present day, there are about nine different varieties of Gatorade including some with added minerals and vitamins, one organic, and a lower calorie version (this version substitutes sucralose and acesulfame for sugar).
What Are The Signs Of Dehydration In the Elderly?
As promised, let’s delve into the symptoms of dehydration in seniors. Some of these symptoms might not seem like your senior parent or loved one is dehydrated, which is why it’s even more important that you pay attention to their state.
This first sign of dehydration is one that’s easy to miss, especially if your senior parent already has dementia. The confusion that’s caused by dehydration can seem sudden and usually needs to be taken in conjunction with the other symptoms.
Does your senior parent seem to be having a hard time getting up? Are they swaying on their feet or struggling to stay upright? Without enough electrolytes, one’s blood volume decreases, which reduces blood pressure. It’s that change that causes wooziness.
Although electrolytes aren’t an energy source themselves, they do encourage the body to function and stay energized. Once electrolyte levels deplete, fatigue and even exhaustion can follow.
We mentioned earlier how electrolytes dictate when your muscles contract and relax. Without enough electrolytes to manage muscle behavior, the muscles can painfully contract, leading to cramping and muscle spasms.
Drop In Blood Pressure
This goes back to what we discussed in the paragraphs above. A senior’s reduced blood volume due to electrolyte depletion causes their blood pressure to go down. The drop in blood pressure can be moderate to severe.
Accompany your senior to the bathroom to check the color of their urine. Is the pigment darker yellow or even brownish? The color of urine is more concentrated in someone with dehydration.
Hydration keeps the skin supple, even in older individuals (although to a lesser degree). Without that water in the skin, all plumpness disappears, leaving the thin eye skin looking even thinner, darker, and sunken.
The body needs hydration to produce saliva, or a dry mouth can result.
Pedialyte vs. Gatorade: Similarities
As both Gatorade and Pedialyte are rehydration drinks, the primary function of both these drinks is to treat dehydration. Due to the presence of a high electrolyte, both these products are more successful in curing dehydration than water. It might sound surprising, but it is true. Electrolytes are nothing but necessary minerals that are required by the human body to perform several actions.
When someone gets dehydrated, the body loses electrolytes along with water. Gatorade and Pedialyte have a certain amount of sugar, water, and essential minerals such as potassium, sodium, and a few others.
Though both the products have similar functions, there are dissimilarities between the rehydration drinks; Pedialyte is nothing but an Oral Rehydration Solution in short ORS. This product is known to reabsorb the necessary fluids more from the excretory fluids to treat dehydration.
On the other hand, Gatorade is often advertised as a sports drink. Sports personnel often consume Gatorade to gain the lost body fluid during physical activities. Anyone can consume Gatorade, and it is entirely safe as it will replenish the water and minerals in the body to combat dehydration. Both these brands make several products to fulfill the hydration needs of people.
When it comes to losing weight and building muscle, drinking or eating foods that contain high levels of protein after physical exercise will do a better job than drinking a sports drink.
Pedialyte has always been marketed as a product for infants and children who are at risk for dehydration due to diarrhea and vomiting. The electrolytes in Pedialyte help prevent dehydration in infants and children who are ill.
The FAQs section of the Pedialyte website states that the difference between Pedialyte and sports drinks is that sports drinks are ‘too high’ in carbohydrates and ‘too low’ in sodium. These are important considerations when treating dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea in infants and children.
For athletes, however, the difference can make a difference, as well. With lower carbohydrates and higher sodium, athletes could experience different results with Pedialyte than they do with Gatorade.
Abbott, the company that makes Pedialyte, has various information pages concerning their products and uses for them. Among them is the Abbott Nutrition page for athletes. On this page, there is no mention of any Pedialyte products. The only products promoted for use by athletes are found in the EAS line of products. Pedialyte is marketed only for use with infants and children as a means of combating dehydration due to illness.
But hydration in general does count for *something* when I’m hungover, right?
For sure. When your drink, there’s some evidence (as mentioned) that you urination frequency goes up, which does leave your body is need of some serious H2O.
And while you can certainly sip plain water, your favorite hangover drink with electrolytes might pack an additional punch. “You need a bit of sodium to help with fluid absorption, and the little bit of sugar found in the low-carb electrolyte drinks helps with blood sugar,” Hultin says.
If you’re going to rely on a beverage, make it a sip that’s 1.5 to 3 percent carbohydrates, and with sodium-that’s most effective for hydration, says Sims. Standard Pedialyte and Gatorade both have more sugar than that 1.5 to 3 percent recommendation (though Gatorade Zero has just a gram). Something like Nuun Sport electrolyte-rich tablets that you just add to a glass or bottle of water also work, she says. Coconut water, too, is low in calories and high in potassium.
On top of drinks, watery soups with salt (chicken or miso soup) would fit the bill. You can also get a combo of hydration and electrolytes by drinking plain water and eating lots of foods that contain electrolytes (think: fruits, vegetables, and seeds).
Which One Is Best?
Both Pedialyte and Gatorade can work well in different situations, depending on the person and the reason for rehydration. Keep in mind that individual hydration needs can vary based on health status and activity level.
Alcohol causes your body to produce more urine, which depletes electrolytes and can lead to dehydration. This is why it’s important to get fluids back into your body when you’re feeling hungover after a night of drinking.
While electrolyte beverages are not a hangover cure, they can help with rehydration. Because Pedialyte typically has less sugar and additional zinc, it may be the better choice for someone experiencing hangover-induced vomiting, diarrhea, or headache.
Staying hydrated in general is important, and some studies show that electrolyte beverages can help keep you hydrated for longer periods of time.
The combination of sugar, sodium, and calories in Gatorade can not only replenish hydration, it can also slow down the process of emptying your stomach and urination. This can help extend the amount of time that your body stays hydrated.
Any illness that causes vomiting and diarrhea can lead to quick electrolyte loss. Older research found that both Gatorade and Pedialyte were effective at treating dehydrated adults dealing with a viral digestive illness.
However, keep in mind that the original Gatorade formula can have a higher sugar count, which often makes diarrhea worse. In this case, it's likely best to stick to lower-sugar options like Pedialyte, particularly for kids and older adults who may have trouble processing the extra sugar.
The Best Option for Your Stomach
When you're sick, any fluids are better than none. Perhaps the best option is to choose the drink that your stomach is able to tolerate.
Sports drinks are not only designed to replace electrolytes lost while sweating, but also to provide carbohydrate energy to your muscles during exercise.
Gatorade was literally made for athletes. In adults, Gatorade's higher carbohydrate content can help support high endurance activities during 90-minute training sessions and decrease the odds of muscle cramping. While Gatorade can be useful for extremely physically active children, you might consider G2 or Gatorade Zero as lower-sugar options.
Whether it's a hangover, illness, hard-core workout, or just not getting enough to drink throughout the day, electrolytes are key for rehydration. Ultimately, it's up to the person (and potentially their healthcare provider) whether Pedialyte or Gatorade is the best choice for each individual situation.
Regardless of which drink ends up working best for you, experts agree it’s essential to maintain hydration and avoid becoming dehydrated.
Consider Pedialyte for:Illness recovery, particularly for young children and older adultsSituations where extra electrolytes are needed, rather than extra sugar and carbs Consider Gatorade if:You're an athlete looking to rehydrate after a serious sweat sessionYou could benefit from the extra sugar and carbs
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