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Pedialyte is an oral electrolyte solution manufactured by Abbott Laboratories that is designed to replace fluids and minerals that are lost when a child has diarrhea with or without vomiting. It was invented by Dr. Gary Cohen of Swampscott, Massachusetts.
Pedialyte is designed to promote quick fluid and electrolyte absorption while a child is sick and contains the quantity and ratio of the sugars glucose and fructose, and electrolytes recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). This makes it very low in sugar compared to most sports drinks (100 calories/liter vs. Gatorade's ~200) and higher in both sodium (1,035 mg/L vs. Gatorade's 465) and potassium (780 mg/L vs. Gatorade's 127). Sucrose is not used in Pedialyte because of the risk of making diarrhea worse by drawing water into the intestine and increasing the risk of dehydration. In its flavored formulations, Pedialyte uses the synthetic sweeteners sucralose and acesulfame potassium.
Pedialyte has become a hydration alternative to sports drinks for some athletes. It is also popular with undocumented immigrants near the US-Mexico border to avoid dehydration which is the foremost cause of death in the desert.
Pedialyte is similar to rehydration fluids used by the World Health Organization (WHO) such as "New Oral Rehydration Solution" (N-ORS), that are used during the outbreak of illnesses such as cholera and rotavirus. Similar products include Lytren, Gastrolyte, Ricelyte, Resol, and Drip Drop.
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