Adults Are Guzzling an Infant Drink for This Age-Old Malady

And Pedialyte is capitalizing on this new market — actively advertising to the older crowd.

There’s nothing worse than waking up with the dreaded hangover. But many adults are finding relief in an unexpected form: Pedialyte.

That’s right. A growing number of adults are heading down the infant-products aisle to snag a few bottles (or powdered mix pouches) of the children’s electrolyte drink to help treat their hangover, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Pedialyte, which delivers a mix of electrolytes and minerals, has traditionally been used to help treat dehydration in children recovering from a stomach bug. But adult consumption of the drink has skyrocketed 60 percent since 2012, the WSJ said. In fact, adults now comprise more than a third of Pedialyte’s sales.

The drink has been used for years to rehydrate adult athletes, but its use as a hangover treatment is more recent.

“The adult usage really grew out of social media” and “simple word of mouth,” Heather Mason, an executive vice president at Abbott, Pedialyte’s owner, told CNBC.

Pedialyte has a higher electrolyte and lower sugar content than other hydration drinks, Mason said. But it also comes with a heftier price tag. While an 8-count of Gatorade Thirst Quencher powder packs will set you back about $3.78 at Walmart, a 6-pack box of powdered Pedialyte runs about $10, the WSJ noted.

The brand is now targeting adults with ads that promise, “When last night’s party threatens to ruin today, those in the know reach for Pedialyte,” CNBC said.

Pedialyte plans to release new adult-friendly flavors, like orange and strawberry-lemonade, this month. The company also plans to give away free samples of the drink at nearly 150 music festivals and sporting events across the country this year.

Pedialyte expects its annual sales to grow from a typical “midsingle-digit” percentage this year to “double-digit” percentage growth because of its popularity with adult consumers, the WSJ said.

I give my kids Pedialyte when I’m concerned about dehydration due to a stomach bug, but they don’t really like it. Like them, I think it’s sickeningly sweet tasting. I’d rather drink a Gatorade or Powerade myself.

As for helping your body recover after a night out, it’s worth a try. In college, I swore by a Snickers bar and fruit punch Powerade.

Stacy Johnson

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