Pedialyte and other drinks to rehydrate children are incredibly expensive, especially when you consider that the ingredients in these drinks are quite simple and do not involve any complex scientific processes to manufacture. In essence, these drinks only contain simple sugars and a combination of active ingredients that set off a chemical reaction in the body that is required for normal functioning.
It would seem that, outside of the packaging and promoting of their products, this company is marketing and selling an expensive version of something you can make at home using water, baking soda, salt and a potassium-based salt substitute and a touch of sugar. However, the balance of these ingredients is critical and it is easy to go wrong when you try to make your own Pedialyte solution and cause far more harm than good.
When making your own Pedialyte solution, be sure to read several sources from credible websites only, including WebMD. The recipe for making a solution similar to Pedialyte can be found at this link on WebMD and is the one I have used myself for my 14-year old. As the warning states, you want to make sure that you don’t ever, ever give the homemade Pedialyte solution to children under 12. While it’s the same thing on a chemical reaction level, the ingredients in Pedialyte are specifically designed to be gentle and are only the base elements of what is needed and offered in the form of citrates, not harsh salt, sugar, and baking soda solutions.
Serious complications can arise when you make your own Pedialyte like solution at home and it is important to follow directions closely. The main point of this article that is not covered elsewhere is that the ingredients are not the same at all in terms of their harshness and ability to digest easily. The ingredients in Pedialyte and similar drinks, however, use the same basic elements for the chemical reaction that the salts, baking soda, and sugar but the manufactured solution uses the simplest chemical elements and you get consistent results. Furthermore, you can only use the homemade Pedialyte electrolyte solution for those over 12 years old.
It is better safe than sorry and unfortunately, in this case, although making your own electrolyte solution to help with hangovers and the dehydration caused by diarrhea and vomiting is cheaper, it might be far less safe. Consider the fact that your body is already in bad shape since it’s dehydrated and go with the safe route.