Yes, Pedialyte is gluten-free. Pedialyte is a popular oral rehydration solution that is used to prevent or treat dehydration caused by vomiting, diarrhea, exercise, heat exposure, and illness. It does not contain any gluten ingredients.
What is Pedialyte?
Pedialyte is an oral electrolyte solution that is used to keep children and adults hydrated and replace lost electrolytes when sick. It was originally created by Abbott Laboratories in 1960s to help infants and children recover from dehydration caused by diarrhea and vomiting. Today, it is marketed for use in both children and adults.
Pedialyte contains water, dextrose, citric acid, potassium phosphate, sodium chloride and zinc sulfate. It is available in ready-to-drink bottles and powder packets that can be mixed with water. It has a variety of flavors including grape, bubble gum, fruit punch and unflavored.
Pedialyte works by helping to replace fluids, electrolytes and minerals lost through diarrhea, vomiting and other causes of dehydration. Electrolytes are essential minerals that play important roles in the body. When you lose fluids and electrolytes, it can lead to dehydration which causes fatigue, dizziness, muscle cramps, nausea and other symptoms.
Pedialyte helps rehydrate the body and can help prevent hospitalization due to dehydration. It is often recommended when someone has the stomach flu, food poisoning, or diarrhea and vomiting from illness. It is also sometimes used when working out in hot weather to prevent dehydration.
Is Pedialyte Gluten-Free?
Yes, Pedialyte is gluten-free. It does not contain any ingredients derived from wheat, barley, rye or other gluten-containing grains. The main ingredients in Pedialyte are water, dextrose (a type of sugar) and electrolytes.
Abbott Nutrition, the manufacturer of Pedialyte, states that all Pedialyte products are gluten-free. They do not use any wheat, barley, rye, oats or their components in their oral rehydration solutions. Even flavors like grape, bubble gum and fruit punch are free of gluten.
This makes Pedialyte a safe choice for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity who are at risk of dehydration from illness, exercise or heat exposure. It can help restore fluid and electrolyte levels without concern for trace gluten exposure.
Benefits of Using Pedialyte
Here are some of the main benefits of using Pedialyte for rehydration:
- Helps prevent and treat dehydration – Pedialyte is clinically proven to help hydrate, replace lost electrolytes and reduce the risk of hospitalization due to dehydration better than sports drinks or water alone.
- Gluten-free – Safe for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
- Has optimal balance of electrolytes – Contains sodium, potassium, chloride and zinc in the ratios needed to support rehydration.
- Easy to digest – Pedialyte has lower osmolality than sports drinks, making it gentler on sensitive stomachs.
- Multiple flavors – Comes in enjoyable fruit and kid-friendly flavors to encourage drinking.
- Works for both kids and adults – Can be used for dehydrated children and adults.
- Convenient – Available in ready-to-drink bottles and portable powder packs.
Pedialyte is the go-to rehydration solution recommended by pharmacists, doctors and organizations like the Mayo Clinic. It provides an optimal balance of electrolytes and calories from dextrose to help absorb the lost fluids.
When Should Pedialyte Be Used?
Pedialyte can be used in the following situations when dehydration is a risk:
- Diarrhea or vomiting – Pedialyte helps replenish fluid loss from repeated bouts of diarrhea and vomiting with stomach flu, food poisoning, infections or medication side effects.
- Exercise and sports – Athletes use Pedialyte to rehydrate and restore electrolytes when training or playing sports in hot weather. It provides sodium to replenish what’s lost in sweat.
- Hangover – Some use Pedialyte to relieve dehydration symptoms and electrolyte imbalance after alcohol over-consumption.
- Morning sickness – Pregnant women may use Pedialyte to provide hydration and calories if dealing with vomiting and nausea.
- Heat exposure – Helps address dehydration in high temperatures, especially in elderly and children.
- Illnesses – Useful for flu, food poisoning, stomach virus, infections, and any diseases causing fluid loss.
Pedialyte can provide hydration before symptoms escalate and hospitalization is required. It’s a good item to keep at home or take traveling in case of dehydration episodes.
How to Use Pedialyte
Pedialyte can be used in two ways:
- Ready-to-drink bottles – Convenient option that can be drunk straight from the bottle. Each 8 ounce serving provides optimal electrolyte levels. Drink steadily and take frequent sips.
- Powder packs – Available in single-serve sticks that can be added to 8 ounces of water. Can also buy powder tubs to mix larger servings. Dissolve powder completely before drinking.
When using Pedialyte to rehydrate, its best to drink steadily over a period of time rather than trying to drink large amounts all at once. Try taking small sips every 5 to 10 minutes over an hour or two. Cold Pedialyte is often preferred as it may be easier to tolerate.
The dose of Pedialyte depends on your age, the degree of dehydration and ongoing fluid losses. For children, starting with 1-2 ounces every 10 minutes is recommended and increased gradually if well-tolerated. Adults can start with about 4-8 ounces every 30 minutes.
In severe dehydration cases, seek medical advice as IV fluids may be needed. Mild dehydration can usually be treated with oral rehydration using Pedialyte.
Pedialyte Side Effects and Precautions
Pedialyte is generally safe when used correctly. Possible side effects can include:
- Upset stomach
- Mild abdominal cramping
- Diarrhea from rapid drinking
- Unpleasant taste depending on flavor
Starting with small, gradual amounts can help minimize side effects. There are a few precautions to be aware of when using Pedialyte:
- May affect absorption of some medications – separate doses by 2-3 hours
- Not recommended in kidney failure without medical advice
- Monitor electrolyte levels if vomiting continues despite use
- Contains sugar – may be unsuitable for diabetes or those limiting sugar intake
Speak to a doctor before using Pedialyte if you have kidney problems or are taking any drugs affected by electrolyte levels. Otherwise it can be used safely in most cases of mild to moderate dehydration.
Some alternatives to Pedialyte include:
- Oral rehydration salts (ORS) – Powder packets that contain key electrolytes to be mixed into water.
- Coconut water – Naturally high in electrolytes and minerals.
- DIY sports drink – Can make your own drink with water, salt, sugar and lemon/lime juice.
- Hydrolyte – Powdered electrolyte supplement containing simple sugars.
- Dioralyte – Brand that makes oral rehydration solutions.
For those avoiding sugar, sugar-free electrolyte tablets or drinks like Nuun can be used. However, the glucose in Pedialyte aids absorption so those with severe dehydration may still need medical attention.
Is Pedialyte Covered by Insurance?
Pedialyte may be covered under insurance plans in some cases, such as:
- Medicaid/Medicare – Pedialyte prescribed by a doctor may be reimbursed by Medicaid for children, pregnant women, disabled and elderly.
- HSA/FSA – Can be reimbursed through a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account with a receipt.
- Insurance for severe dehydration – Plans may cover when hospitalization for IV fluid treatment would otherwise be required.
For general use, Pedialyte would not be covered by most health insurance plans. However, certain populations like those on Medicaid may be eligible for at least partial coverage if Pedialyte is medically necessary and prescribed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Pedialyte have an expiration date?
Yes, Pedialyte does expire and has an expiration date printed on the packaging. Unopened, ready-to-drink bottles typically expire about 12-18 months from the date of manufacture. Once opened, Pedialyte should be used within 48 hours. The shelf life of powdered Pedialyte is also about 18 months unopened.
Does Pedialyte need to be refrigerated?
Pedialyte does not need to be refrigerated before opening. However, for best taste and to avoid spoilage, ready-to-drink bottles and prepared powder mixes should be refrigerated after opening. Store any unused product in the refrigerator and use within 48 hours.
Is Pedialyte safe for babies?
Yes, Pedialyte can be safely used in babies over 1 month old under medical supervision. It provides an isotonic solution that can prevent dehydration in infants and young children with diarrhea or vomiting. Always speak to a pediatrician about proper dosing based on weight and age.
Does Pedialyte help with constipation?
Pedialyte doesn’t directly relieve constipation, but can help soften stools and prevent dehydration associated with constipation. Drinking extra fluids promotes bowel movements. The electrolytes also help draw water into the intestines to hydrate and loosen stools.
Can adults drink Pedialyte?
Yes, Pedialyte is safe and effective for adults to use also. Its been medically formulated to replenish fluid and electrolytes lost through illness, exercise, heat, hangovers or medications. Adults can drink Pedialyte according to the recommended dosage guidelines for restoration of fluid balance.
The Bottom Line
Pedialyte is free of gluten and wheat. This electrolyte drink is a useful way to prevent and treat dehydration from various causes in both children and adults without concern about exposure to gluten. Its formulation replaces vital minerals and provides an optimal balance of electrolytes to boost rehydration. Pedialyte can be used when sick with diarrhea or vomiting, exercising in heat, suffering hangovers, or any situation where fluids and electrolytes are lost. With its variety of flavors and convenient formats, Pedialyte helps make staying hydrated simple and safe.