I was going through my Twitter feed the other day when I saw this tweet posted by elite runner Tyler McCandless (@TrackTy):
Pedialyte is a rehydration and recovery drink formulated to help rehydrate infants and toddlers that have experienced vomiting and diarrhea. It is found in drugstores and supermarkets in the health or baby sections, not in the beverage isle alongside Gatorade, Powerade, and other sports drinks. Pedialyte is not marketed for athletes, and the company (Abbott Laboratories) doesn’t have any plans to do so.
Pedialyte was first used by endurance runners in the 1980s and 90s. Popular ultra-runner Dean Karnazes used Pedialyte for electrolyte replacements when prepping for his ultra-running events as reported in his book, Ultra Marathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner. NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB athletes are known to consume Pedialyte on and off the field to combat dehydration and improve performance and recovery.
Pedialyte has nearly twice the sodium of Gatorade and just half the sugar. Also, it does not contain sucrose, a sugar that other sports drinks use for flavoring that has a dehydrating effect. To avoid any type of artificial sweeteners and flavoring, you may want to choose the unflavored Pedialyte. Many professional sports teams stock Pedialyte for their athletes to use before, during, and after games.
The price of pedialyte is a bit higher than Gatorade. A single bottle will cost you close to $6. That has not stopped many athletes from choosing Pedialyte over sports drinks. Gatorade responded by launching a new product line with twice the sodium content called Gatorade Endurance back in 2005 and the low-calorie, low sugar G2 product launched in 2007.
One negative against Pedialyte is the taste. It tastes a bit like salty chalk dust. But, people aren’t buying it for the taste.
In my experience, I found Pedialyte to be a great recovery drink after my long run yesterday. It’s easier on my stomach than the sugary Gatorade drinks and I noticed a quick recovery time. I have not yet tried Pedialyte as a hydrating drink before competition. But, I will try it before running a half-marathon this weekend and report out.
UPDATE (09-08-13) : I ran a very challenging course at the Freeport Half Marathon today and set a new PR by over a minute. I hydrated yesterday with a bottle of Pedialyte and water. It could have been the training, the shoes, the cool weather, or a the hydration strategy that gave me the bump today. But, I’m not going to mess with what works.
Have you tried Pedialyte?