I was incredibly weak yesterday afternoon, either from dehydration or lack of sleep, but I decided that I could try and remedy at least one of the potential causes by going to the drugstore for some Pedialyte.
Inside of Walgreen’s, I stood blearily eyeing the different bottles that lined the shelves, just above the infant formula. So this is what I’ve been reduced to…
I couldn’t decide on a “flavor” of Pedialyte to buy; the system the manufacturers used for choosing flavors for this stuff seemed laughably arbitrary: grape, unflavored, bubble gum, mango and the ominously-named “artificial fruit flavored.” None of these appealed to me. In fact, the thought of “bubble gum” Pedialyte made me want to vomit right there in the aisle, and I was beyond certain that the “unflavored” bottle wasn’t truly going to be “unflavored.” Also, on a side note, what two-year-old wants mango-flavored Pedialyte?
After finally settling on a four-pack of single-serve portions in apple (also available in cherry!), I dragged my haul home and twisted the lid off a room-temperature apple-flavored Pedialyte, ready to become rehydrated.
If you have kids, then you’ve bought Pedialyte at some point. However, I doubt that you’ve actually tasted the stuff. Let me break it down for you: DON’T. It tastes like candy-coated death.
The second that stuff hit my mouth and tongue, I wanted to cry. I have never tasted anything so foul and noxious in my entire life. It is so intensely sweet that the only thing I could compare it to is dissolving 90 packets of Sweet ‘n’ Low into a bowl of “apple-flavored” syrup and then drinking it. I struggled to swallow it, and as it trickled down my throat it felt like sugary lava. The stuff is so sweet it burns. My jaw ached, my throat ached, my eyes watered.
I once had to drink an entire Route 44-sized container of barium for an upper GI scan. It was brutally thick, concentrated and chalky: like someone had dissolved an entire box of chalk into a pan of water and then stirred in some cornstarch. But even that was more tolerable than drinking one eight-ounce super-sugary-apple Pedialyte. I felt like this must be what the Devil gives you to drink in Hell. But I was determined to drink it.
After several attempts at drinking it straight up, I eventually discovered that it tastes much more palatable over ice, especially when the ice has completely melted into it. That way, you can chug it all down at once, with your nose pinched. Watering the stuff down definitely takes away the burn, but not the rancid, metallic taste. I’m presuming the reason it’s so sugary is an ill-advised attempt to mask that coppery taste. The solution? A ginger ale chaser.
So I chugged a watered-down Pedialyte last night and one more this morning and — I’ve got to be honest — I feel like a million bucks today. I’m still making the regularly-scheduled potty breaks every half-hour, but the stomach cramps are completely gone and I feel completely rejuvenated, despite the fact that I didn’t get more than a couple hours of sleep last night.
Moral of the story: Pedialyte tastes so spectacularly awful that it will make you want to spontaneously burst into tears and claw out your own throat, but it does a body good.