What Is the Difference Between Pedialyte and Gatorade?

Studies show little difference between Gatorade and Pedialyte when people use these drinks to aid rehydration. When used to boost sports performance endurance, Gatorade may have a slight edge over Pedialyte.

Gatorade and Pedialyte contain ingredients such as potassium, sodium and glucose, which provide the body with electrolytes. Hospitals often give Pedialyte to young patients suffering from viruses that cause severe dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea. The electrolytes in Pedialyte replace essential nutrients lost during the illness. Some athletes choose to drink Pedialyte to stay hydrated during practice and competition.

The formulation in Gatorade, usually promoted as a sports drink, replaces lost nutrients during physical competition. During a study, children suffering from diarrhea drank both Gatorade and Pedialyte. Results from the study found that Gatorade is equally effective as Pedialyte in relieving stomach flu symptoms. Study results came from testing body weight and stool frequency. Pedialyte proved slightly more effective than Gatorade in maintaining healthy potassium levels. The study found that potassium levels remained deficient in some children who consumed Gatorade. However, the children enjoyed the taste of Gatorade more than Pedialyte. When comparing the two drinks for athletic performance Gatorade is higher in carbohydrates, which is important for long distance runners and competitors in other sports.