Pedialyte: Time to poison your child

November 30, 2011 |

It is sad for me as a professional chemist to find out that my highly educated colleagues from a respectful pharmaceutical and health care giant, Abbott, are playing pranks with YOU by designing and selling to you Pedialyte, a miserable chemically loaded twin of Gatorade marketed to the American children (see  Food marketing to children and youth overview) as something revolutionary new and healthful. Well, I have done my best digging it out. And? And I have found nothing, zero value! It is YOUR turn now to dig the truth for yourself and for your children. Here is your shovel.

Stated value. Oral electrolyte maintenance solution.

  • Quickly replaces fluid and electrolytes lost during diarrhea and vomiting to help prevent dehydration.
  • Helps replenish zinc lost during diarrhea.
  • Use Pedialyte rather than juices, soda, sport drinks or water, at the first sign of diarrhea or vomiting to help replace lost fluid and electrolytes. (This is a plain marketing trick for idiots – read below to see why).

DyeDiet Doesn’t Buy It!

Pedialyte fruit flavor: Risk, Nutrition and Dye content

Pedialyte fruit flavor: Risk, Nutrition and Dye content

True value. I have found NO essential difference between Pedialyte and Gatorade except the price. See the comparison chart below.

Pedialyte and Gatorade are basically the same

Pedialyte and Gatorade are basically the same but price

Main ingredients are water and glucose (dextrose) with the rest added in less than 2%, including:

This is complete hoax designed to dupe upset moms who are looking for help to their sickened child so that they tricked to pay for Pedialyte 5 times what they would pay for the Gatorade. Why the drink with the same ingredients is so overpriced? By the way, Gatorade is such a poor electrolyte that you have to drink to 9 gallons of the beverage to replenish your daily potassium. There is NO indication of how much electrolytes are added to the Pedialyte, no even nutrition facts are given. But pictures of beautiful fruits are what you can see on the label. I call this the “fruit fraud.” So your child will get chlorinated sugar, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavor specifics of which are kept in secrecy and an artificial color Yellow 6 instead of the fruits. Any of the above foreign chemicals may trigger cancer, allergy, ADHD, even vomiting and diarrhea which the beverage is intended to fight against. Accordingly, you or your child will take extremely high foreign chemical risk of DDFI = 29/4 ~ 7.3 and get essentially NO nutritional value, DDNF = 4/48 ~ 0.08.

Another, “strawberry” version is ridiculously similar to the “fruit” one and is not a better one as expected. A difference? Two different artificial food colorants, Red 40 and Blue 1 (read a report: Blue Colon at Autopsy) are added in place of Yellow 6. Easy, simple, stupid and… obviously, profitable, now for $5.24 a bottle. Why? I don’t know…

DyeDiet Doesn’t Buy It!

Pedialyte strawberry: Risk, Nutrition and Dye content

Pedialyte strawberry: Risk, Nutrition and Dye content

We were unable to detect any Blue 1 in the beverage.  This is good news but the fact rises  questions: What else is listed but not added or added but not listed?  Based on the ingredients list, you and your child will take even higher foreign chemicals risk of DDFI = 35/4 ~ 9 and almost ZERO nutritional value of DDNF = 4/58 ~ 0.07. No one should feed a sickened or even healthy (!) child with this waste.  What kind of baby food is this?

At a first glance it may seem that 6 mg of Red 40  and 21 mg of Yellow 6 per bottle are  small amounts. But consider this. Long ago, in 1976 an FDA scientist estimated that 10 percent of children between one and five years old consume more than 121 mg of dyes per day and 10 percent of children between six and 11 consume 146 mg or more. The average level might have been as high as 76 mg and the maximum as high as 315 mg per day (see PDF file Diet, ADHD and Behavior). However, taking into account that dye consumption in the USA more than doubled since 1976 (see PDF file Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks), today’s average dye exposure can be well above 150 mg per day and, hence, some 50 – 60 g per year. As you can see, this is a large amount of a foreign chemical in the human’s blood which may be enough to trigger cancers, ADHD, allergy, autism, diarrhea, vomiting, who knows what else. We have to stop this nationwide toxicology experiment on the US population simply by not buying such products. Watch this nice video: Change Behavior By Changing Your Grocery List).

Bottom line. Despite Abbott is begging you to buy Pedialyte instead of water, I am begging you the opposite: please buy filtered WATER, our natural elixir which will make you NO harm! Also, you can make and use this natural human friendly Honey Lemon Cold Remedy instead. I do hope this quick report helps to make less risky food choices for you and your kids!

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Category: Baby food, Food Dyes Exposure, Soft drinks

Comments (27)

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  1. Billy Abbot says:

    Stop this nonsense. I’ve drank pedialyte many times for dehydration incurred illnesses and the results were awesome. Stop misinforming people because you have nothing better to do than titillate their minds. What’s wrong with you?

    • DyeDiet DyeDiet says:

      There is NO misinformation: All my conclusions are based on the INGREDIENT lists. So if you can read and you do read the labels you will come to the same conclusion: Pedialyte is almost indistinguishable from Gatorade. I am not saying that the both beverages cannot hydrate you. But you should have tried plain water instead to see how awesome results you will get without all the toxic crap added. The fact that you have drank it many times does NOT mean that you ARE healthy. Please read and learn what azo dyes, sucralose (chlorinated hydrocarbon) and acesulfame potassium are, then you will see that American children and any children deserve a better care. Good luck.

      • benamore says:

        Some safer choices for him:
        1. Unflavored Pedialyte (no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners)
        2. Plain water with a pinch of salt
        3. Raspberry tea with no artificial ingredients

        • DyeDiet DyeDiet says:

          Yes. Also adding one or two dried plums or a few raisins per glass of any home-made drink would provide
          ~ 10% of daily potassium in every glass which makes more sense than drinking unflavored commercial electrolyte.

    • Angelica says:

      Exactly if you have incurring illnesses, you would be the last person I would listen to… I would listen to someone that is not sick at all. Do yourself a favor and eat raw vegetables and fruits, avoid fluoridated water, no sodas, nor GMO (genetically engineered organisms), or food with pesticides, processed (supposedly food) and junk food. If you want to really want to improve your health try organic food, prepare your own juices I am sure your health will improve…

      • DyeDiet DyeDiet says:

        Yes, there are many healthy alternatives to Pedialyte. Smash two tablespoons of raspberries in a glass of hot water, add a teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of sea salt – just one example. No toxic chemicals to suffer unknown health consequences…

  2. Monika says:

    Great info on dyes and pedialyte. As a nutritionist and a mother of two boys, I wish there would be more info like this for the masses! Bravo! Yes, some mothers and parents will not admit that they are guilty or were guilty at some point of giving “bad” stuff to their children. Educating the people about what is real and true is the main goal! Great article, thanks! – Monika

  3. Monika says:

    I’m writing a post about home made, natural electrolyte drinks for adults suffering from cotton mouth/dry mouth for different reasons, as well as cotton mouth as a detox reaction during cleanses. Came across your article while researching pedialyte and gatorade. If it’s O.K. with you, I would like to mention your article in my post and back-link to this.
    I really can’t understand the ignorance of the first comment and I just couldn’t help but comment. Looking forward discovering your other posts! – Monika Baechler

    • DyeDiet DyeDiet says:

      Monika, go ahead spread the word and back-link. You are right, ignorance is what kills. Of course, food industry is very provocative…

  4. I’m just going to mention the electrolytes here; I’m also consideriny adult consumption of Pedialyte, rather than its traditional use in children. I have bipolar disorder. Like many of us, my primary medication is lithium (taken as lithium carbonate). One of lithium’s toughest side effects is that it lowers electrolytes in the bloodstream. The (noticeable) effects of that are hand tremors (really bad, sometimes I need both hands to write so one can keep the other somewhat steady) and diarrhea (again, it’s pretty bad). Now, this happens because lithium forms ionic bonds with chlorine just as sodium does (as a chemist I’m sure you can appreciate that). The problem here is that while sodium/chlorine can conduct electrical impulses through blood plasma (it’s an electrolyte), the lithium/chlorine combo is incapable of the same feat.

    So those of us on lithium are very interested in stuffing extra electrolytes into our bodies to counter these effects. While it’s true that both Pedialyte and Gatorade contain essentially the same stuff, there’s no mention here of the concentration differences. The Pedialyte label clearly shows approximately 2.5 times more electrolytes PER VOLUME than “leading sports drinks” (I’m just gonna guess which ones those are).

    But, of course, the biggest indicator here are the results of experimentation. With Gatorade, I can drink a gallon a day and still suffer from the effects of low electrolytes. Pedialyte? I drink one-half liter per day and my symptoms are either entirely gone or nearly so.

    I’ve been one of two primary administrators of the most thriving community of bipolar sufferers on the web for over five years. I’ve seen, and even asked for, others repeat this experiment. Always better results with Pedialyte.

    I can’t say anything one way or another about how it interacts with children, but for anyone on a lithium regimen, this stuff is a godsend, even if it does taste like chalk.

    • DyeDiet DyeDiet says:

      Thank you for your comment and sharing your story with us! No doubt, your experimental results are of importance and interest. Also, I am really happy that Pedialyte helps you for real. Just for curiosity: Have you tried some sort of coconut water as well? Say, O.N.E. Coconut water ( )? If it does help as well, this would add some more proof to your ionic hypothesis because the coconut water does not contain the other chemical stuff. From the other hand, I am not sure what role can be played by other additives in Pedialyte, say zinc gluconate and others. Thank you again!

  5. Gustavo says:

    Hi DyeDiet,

    I really enjoy your articles and information. I am trying to understand the Pedialyte and Gatorade formulas and I am having a hard time trying to figure out your pie. Can you help me clarify what they have in weight (i.e. mg). For example, you state 1% of water, what does mean?

    Thanks and regards,


  6. DyeDiet DyeDiet says:


    Thank you for your comment! I know where your confusion comes from – the segment numbers are not percents. They are Risk Factors, assigned based on known toxicity information about an ingredient. Please look into the pages and for references. I hope this helps.

  7. Joanna says:

    I had used store brand non flavored electrolytes (cheaper than pedialyte) with good result. But I recently got really sick and 2 nice persons brought me a bottle of flavored pedialyte each. I thought nothing of it and started drinking from one of the bottles,,didn’t look at the label since I thought it should be safe because it’s made for babies. I noticed that my head would hurt every time i took a sip, but attributed it to the cold I was running, until I had a glassful of it and I got a tremendous killer headache. Then I decided to read the label and what do I find? Well ‘sucralose’ I looked it up and found out that one of the side effects IS headache. I was so angry, how could they do this? Specially when it is for kids. I will never eat or drink from anything before reading the label.

    • DyeDiet DyeDiet says:

      Joanna, thank you for sharing your story. Unfortunately, in the profit-driven “economy” this is common thing to maximize profit at an expense of consumers be they adults or even children. Remember, in this kind of economy children are just a market.

  8. Rick James says:

    you’re an idiot, why don’t you actually try it before making retarded conclusions. Gatorade doesn’t replenish Zinc, which is the entire point of Pedialyte.

    Oh and BTW if you are drinking sports drinks to replenish your potassium you need to be beaten upside the head with a medical journal.

  9. Tiffany says:

    Awesome article. Thank you so much for the research you have done. I’m a huge believer in doing things naturally! We use coconut water for my daughter. But I was able to share your article with several people to explain to them why they should try more natural cures!

  10. Virginia says:

    Thanks for this article! I just started making my own little concoction and it’s pretty welcoming thus far. I use Evamor artesian water, different powered jellos like strawberry or cherry, Cal-Mag powder you can buy at most health stores, a teaspoon of sea salt to a gallon and some kind of sweetener like dextrose/honey to taste. It actually tastes pretty good! Sure beats the other stuff out there. Hope this helps

  11. Sarah says:

    As a fructose malabsorption sufferer; there is a huge difference between Gatorade and Pedialyte. Fructose. Pedialyte uses dextrose which is just glucose. I know everyone is on a huge kick of fruits and veggie are the answer but for me they are not. The dyes could be eliminated but pedialyte helps me in ways no other drink out there can.

  12. Yan Huang says:

    I have been sick before and I can tell you first hand, Gatorade does not cut it the same way Pedialyte does. I like your choice of verbiage “essential difference” “basically the same” to cover the key ingredient differences.

  13. Yan Huang says:

    I’d like to add “almost indistinguishable” to that list too. Have you even tried them before? I can tell you one thing certain: Gatorade and Pedialyte is distinguishable.

  14. Healthyman says:

    Doesn’t look you have done any research before writing this well meaning but misleading article. It is true that the dye’s in both are very unhealthy, but I believe there is pedialyte made without them. But the big difference with both is osmolarity. Rehydration has been know for thousands of years. And up until the last century cellular physiology has helped to explain how it works. I won’t get into the complicated science but I will refer you to the Oral Rehydration Solution guidelines of the World Health Organization. They call for very specific ingredient measurement. Based on that sport hydration drink like Gatorade use way too much sugar (especially non glucose sugar) only Glucose aids in rehydration and added osmolarity of any type of sugar (fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose) can actually draw out fluid from the intestine and even cause Diarrhea. Pedialyte uses less sugar. Also Pedialyte’s sodium and Potassium ratio is closer to W.H.O’s guidelines. Gatorade is less then half. The reason is Gatorade is drunk more often so that is they included high levels of potassium it would be dangerous. And then limit salt because of taste. As for zinc, zinc has been clinically proven to lower the duration of diarrhea from infectious illness. It is also inconclusively tested to shorten colds. Too much zinc lower copper which isnt good. But zinc has a short half life and the amount Pedialyte are including are very low and would not exceed RDA usually.

    With all that said I would hot recommend either for maintaining health, only in emergency situation where you can’t make a healthy substitute. If you are going to make a health substitute Mayo clinic recommends 12:1 ration of sodium to sugar. I would recommend buying an organic Dextrose powder and something like Real Salt with added trace Minerals. Also remember that sugary fruits contain half fructose and half glucose in general sometimes some sucrose too. The sugar from coconut is half fructose as well. Just keep that in mind. And if you use coconut walk I recommend either raw bottled or fresh and you need to add salt. There are many kinds of salt nut just table salt too..