Diarrhea and vomiting can cause your body to lose large amounts of water, nutrients, and essential minerals called electrolytes. This happens faster and is more serious in babies, young children, older adults, and people who have chronic illnesses.
Rehydration drinks replace fluids and electrolytes. Plain water doesn't provide necessary nutrients or electrolytes and may not be absorbed with diarrhea.
Oral rehydration solutions (ORSs), such as Pedialyte, are used to treat dehydration. ORSs contain the right mix of salt, sugar, potassium, and other minerals to help replace lost fluids.
Soda, fruit juices, and sports drinks have too much sugar and not enough of the important electrolytes that are lost during diarrhea and vomiting. These kinds of drinks should not be used to rehydrate.
Adult rehydration drinks should not be used for babies and young children.
Current as of: September 8, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine