Hungover? Drink Your Kid’s Diarrhea Medicine

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Oct 19, 13 Hungover? Drink Your Kid’s Diarrhea Medicine

Journalists are supposed to be inquisitive people, always looking for the story behind the story, armed with the broom of truth to sweep through the cruft and get to the solid facts.

For the following story, I will not be this journalist. The reasons why will soon become quite clear.

According to several news sources, the children’s drink Pedialyte might be the next big thing for curing the common hangover.

This story has some good potential; it’s got the makings of a sexy headline, it’s got some juxtaposition, and it’s got plenty of booze.

According to a Chicago retailer, a folk singer, and the makers of Pedialyte themselves, this is the real thing. Young adults really are taking Pedialyte in either its liquid or frozen form to pump electrolytes and fluids into their bodies following a raucous night of binge drinking.

Or just regular excessive drinking. Again, I haven’t done the research.

Jason Isbell, a former member of those booze-loving Americana artists Drive-By-Truckers, mentioned this odd cure in a May interview with the New York Times. As a recovering alcoholic, it’s likely Isbell knows a thing or two about how to get over a hangover in the most efficient way.

“It’s the stuff you give kids who are dehydrated from diarrhea. It’s like 10 Gatorades in one bottle,” said Isbell.

Gatorade is a common choice amongst those who wake up feeling like they’ve just been struck by a drive-by-trucker.

(See what I did there?)

But really, any fluid should do the trick, yes? And though it can be difficult to put anything other than breakfast burritos, cheeseburgers or waffles in your mouth the morning after an evening of revelry, fluids are always a good idea. According to some, this is precisely why some young adults choose the frozen popsicle version of Pedialyte. It’s easier to eat a delicious frozen popsicle than chug a sweet, electrolyte-packed beverage.

The creators of Foxtrot, an app-driven grocery delivery service in Chicago, also noted an increase in “demand” for Pedialyte.

“It’s super prevalent. I’ve noticed that it’s really gotten even more popular over the last twelve months. It went from like a funny thing to talk about to the norm. Almost everybody uses it,” explained Brian Jaffee, cofounder of Foxtrot. He said he first noticed grown adults drinking the children’s beverage when he first started business school at the University of Chicago.

Even an analyst who works for Abbott Laboratory, the maker of the drink, acknowledged that more bottles are passing through their factories. In the month of August, sales of the drink increased 16 percent over where the sales had been one year before. Though sales are normally flat year-over-year, (the number of babies born every year hasn’t really fluctuated) sales had been down in 2011. In three years, sales had picked up enough for analysts to take notice.

Some doctors have said the drink probably does help pump some fluids into your dehydrated body, but it won’t cure a hangover. Apparently the only sure-fire cure for hangovers is simple time.

Although, (and you didn’t hear this from me) it’s also been suggested that another beer first thing in the morning helps to take the edge off.

But again, I haven’t officially done the research.

Image Credit: igor.stevanovic / Shutterstock


Michael is a fan of All things alphabetical, The Beatles, his MacBook Pro, the Oxford Comma, and Vinyl LPs. When he isn’t forcing metaphors into tech stories, he’s usually brewing craft beer, following the Texas Rangers, and reliving his youth in a 90s cover band. He and his wife let a cat live with them, rent free, and escape to the mountains as often as possible. Michael is also an NPR listener and long-time vegetarian. For Twitter fun-times, follow @Oh_Okay.

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