Skip to Content
Home > Health Information > Health Library > Rehydration drinks
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 in children. ORSs contain the right mix of salt, sugar, potassium, and other minerals to help replace lost fluids.
Adult rehydration drinks should not be used for babies and young children. You can make an inexpensive rehydration drink at home, if an ORS is not available. But do not give this homemade drink to children younger than 12 years.
Measure all ingredients precisely. Small variations can make the drink less effective or even harmful. Mix the following:
Current as of: June 25, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
See important information from Billings Clinic on Non-discrimination and Interpreter Services.
Billings Clinic is proud to be an equal opportunity/affirmative action (EOE/AA) e-verify employer.