Preparing your cures before you need them is one of the truest signs of successful adulting – something to keep in mind with holiday parties and New Year's Eve looming.
For that reason, adults have increasingly stocked fridges with what was once the underground hangover remedy, the go-to workout recovery drink and a nostalgic childhood favorite: Pedialyte.
Now Abbott, the makers of the popular children's beverage, is continuing to monopolize on the booming Pedialyte renaissance by releasing a medical-grade fizzy drink called Sparkling Rush powder packs.
Announced Wednesday, the flavored sparkling water joins the company's line of Freezer Pops, Liters (classic 32-ounce formula) and Classic Powder Packs.
"If you look at the U.S. retail landscape, you see this tremendous growth in sparkling water. We saw an opportunity to operate in that space," said Chris Calamari, vice president of pediatric nutrition at Abbott. "You get the electrolytes you need with that great tasting fizz. It's a really exciting product."
The latest product offering comes in two flavors, Grape and Cherry, and is sold at Target and Meijer grocery stores nationwide, as well as on Amazon.
As part of the company's continued efforts to create products that are convenient for all ages, the new hydration solution comes in small packs and contains essential minerals such as sodium and potassium that are responsible for maintaining proper fluid levels in your body – similar to Gatorade.
However, Pedialyte contains less sugar than the average sports drink and a heritage that's rooted in advanced science. Launched in 1966, Pedialyte was one of the first ready-to-use oral rehydration solutions on the market and initially sold only to hospitals. A consumer version was released three years later.
While the bubbly grab-and-go formula is new, the oral electrolyte for adults idea is not.
The Pedialyte pivot from child-focused to universally marketed was inspired by social media posts made by adults who used the product to help with hangovers.
According to the Nielsen market-research firm, adult consumption of Pedialyte increased 57 percent between 2012 and mid-2015. The company made use of the opportunity, concerting an effort to advertise the adult benefits of the product in 2015.
While FDA regulations prevent Pedialyte from marketing its product as a hangover cure, the brand doesn't shy away from embracing its binge-drinking-headache alleviating properties. "It can help with the dehydration you may experience after a couple of cocktails. So rehydrate with Pedialyte to feel better fast," the company touts on its website.
To be clear, Pedialyte doesn't claim its product will cure a hangover (the only cure for that is going back in time and drinking less while staying hydrated).
Morning-after nausea aside, the appeal of Pedialyte's products gained entry into the adult market by starting with the community the company has been laser-focused on since the beginning – kids, who later grow up and experience similar symptoms as adults.
The company saw double-digit growth during the flu season last year as adults and kids alike can benefit from added hydration during the sick season.
"Hydration is such a broad-based need," Calamari said. "Our product design and marketing was designed around meeting adults where they need us."
NFL athletes have taken notice. Along with Gatorade in its various forms, you can find Pedialyte in NFL locker rooms.
"My mama talked about Pedialyte when she was growing up. If it’s been around that long, might as well use it. We’re all still babies to a certain degree," New York Giants cornerback Antonio Hamilton said in an interview with New Jersey Advanced Media. “As it says on the bottle, ‘No. 1 pharmacist and pediatrician recommended brand for hydration.' They’ve been in the game for quite some time."
Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown