Pedialyte for hangovers: Worth the hype?

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By Alexa Romagnolo

It’s the morning after St. Patty’s Day. The luck of the Irish has officially worn off and all that’s left of last night’s rager is a raging headache. Desperate for something to ease their discomfort, many college students reach for the newest fad in hangover remedies: Pedialyte.

A drink created to alleviate the symptoms of toddlers stricken with diarrhea and vomiting, Pedialyte is full of electrolytes that replenish the fluids and minerals lost. Since hangovers incite a similar dehydration, Pedialyte has been thought of as a logical cure.

In the many first-hand testimonials I have heard, Pedialyte works well to relieve hangover symptoms.

However, experts’ opinions do not line up with users’ experiences.

“There’s nothing you can do to remove the alcohol byproducts,” says Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, in an interview with Slate. “They have to be metabolized by your liver, which takes time. There’s no evidence that anything is better than waiting.”

Why this disconnect between user experience and expert opinion? Does Pedialyte have a placebo effect on consumers? Combining the facts with the testimonials of Pedialyte drinkers, a simple conclusion can be made.

Experts say that the body needs time to break down the alcohol byproducts. User experience says that drinking Pedialyte immediately makes you feel better. Connecting these ideas points to the conclusion that Pedialyte is not doing anything special except rehydrating the body– meaning water would do the same thing.

If your college motto, like mine, is to have fun and be frugal, consider swapping the sweet taste of Pedialyte for the simple (and free) rehydration of water after your next big night out.

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