Pedialyte was developed as a medical-grade drink for children, using non-sucrose sugars, which can worsen diarrhea by drawing water into the intestine.

By Kevin Kelleher
December 28, 2018

For hard-partying revelers, Pedialyte has long been regarded as a morning-after cure for hangovers. Now Abbot Laboratories, the pharma giant that makes Pedialyte, is fully embracing that trend with a product targeted at intemperate adults.

Just in time for New Year’s Eve (or morning, really), Abbott has rolled out Pedialyte Sparkling Rush, a packet of powders containing electrolytes that, when added to water, adds a seltzer-like fizz. The powder packets, which come in cherry and grape flavors, are currently available at Target and Meijer grocery stores in the U.S., along with Amazon’s online store.

For years, adults have used sports drinks with electrolytes to rehydrate during athletic workouts, bouts of stomach flu or hangovers. Pedialyte was developed as a medical-grade drink for children, using non-sucrose sugars, which can worsen diarrhea by drawing water into the intestine.

And over time, adult athletes and partygoers have also turned to Pedialyte, despite its packaging as a product for children. By 2015, a third of Pedialyte sales came from adults, and Abbott began targeting Pedialyte marketing messages to grown-ups as well. Now, Sparkling Rush is a Pedialyte product packed especially for dehydrated partiers.

In a press release titled “Get Bubbly This New Year,” Abbott claimed that Pedialyte not only contains no artificial colors but are superior to sports drinks, which it says are “higher in sugar and lower in sodium, and may actually make dehydration worse.”

“Pedialyte Sparkling Rush is a medical-grade hydration solution that replenishes the body with twice the electrolytes and half the sugar of leading sports drinks,” the company says.

Abbott’s stock rose $1.01 a share, or 1.5%,to $70.63 a share Thursday.

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