Is Liquid I.V. Safe for Kids? A Pediatric Dietitian's Rules for Giving Children Electrolyte Drinks (Exclusive)


Jan. 12 2024, Published 11:18 a.m. ET

Remember the days of chugging Pedialyte after a weekend's escapade? Liquid I.V., a trendy electrolyte drink claiming to rehydrate you "2 times faster than plain water," is the adult version of that sugary childhood concoction.

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But with its rainbow array of flavors and sleek packaging promising hangover relief and workout wonders, it begs the question: is Liquid I.V. safe for kids? A children's version of the drink does exist, but is it actually a good option for little ones? We spoke with a pediatric registered dietitian to better understand how drinks like Liquid I.V. affect children.

Short-haired kid in a white tee drinking from a blue water bottle
Source: iStock
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Is Liquid I.V. safe for kids?

According to She Knows, Liquid I.V. launched a kid’s version of its electrolyte drink mix in August 2023. It’s apparently identical to the original version, only with more enticing flavors. Hello, cotton candy!

Liquid I.V.’s FAQ page also states that its traditional Hydration Multiplier products are "designed for" people ages 1 and above; so yes, technically, it is safe for kids. However, the company covers itself by recommending you consult a doctor if you have concerns.

It makes sense. A pediatrician can offer personalized input on the best hydration strategies for your child, taking into account their age, health, and activity level. They can also advise whether or not Liquid I.V. might be suitable in particular situations. So before giving your child Liquid I.V. or any other electrolyte drink, make sure to check with their doctor.

Overall, for safe and effective hydration, plain water is often more than enough for healthy kids.

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Pediatric Registered Dietitian Karla Moreno-Bryce, MDA, LD, tells Green Matters that Liquid I.V. is safe, but should only be given to children in certain situations, and when it's been approved by their doctor.

"The kids line of Liquid I.V. is safe for school-aged children when given the OK by their healthcare provider," Moreno-Bryce, who owns the company Vegan Kids Nutrition, tells Green Matters exclusively via email. "It’s particularly helpful to prevent dehydration when a child is sick and experiencing vomiting and/or diarrhea."

She adds that electrolyte drinks like Liquid I.V. are "just not necessary as a beverage for regular hydration."

Another reason to stick with water is that it contains nothing but, well, water. According to, in January 2024, Liquid I.V. was accused of falsely labeling its product as being free from preservatives.

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Is Liquid I.V. or Pedialyte better for kids?

Both Liquid I.V. and Pedialyte are designed to replenish electrolytes and fluids. Choosing between Liquid I.V. and Pedialyte boils down to your child's preference, their specific needs, and what their doctor recommends.

Overall, Moreno-Bryce thinks Liquid I.V. and Pedialyte are equally acceptable for a child who needs an electrolyte drink, telling us: "Both products can be helpful in maintaining hydration when a child experiences vomiting and/or diarrhea."

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She notes that main difference between the products is their somewhat controversial ingredients: Liquid I.V. contains artificial sweeteners like stevia, while some Pedialyte flavors contain synthetic food dyes.

"Ultimately, a parent can choose the product that most aligns with their budget, one their child accepts and tolerates, and/or recommended by their healthcare provider," she concludes.

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These natural drinks may be better for hydrating kids than processed electrolyte drinks.

Moreno-Bryce believes that rather than a processed drink with additives, something more natural is often a better choice for kids.

"If a child is sick but experiences no symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea, an electrolyte replacement isn’t necessary," she explains. In these cases, plain water, coconut water, or diluted juice should be enough to sufficiently hydrate your child.

When a kid is sick with vomiting or diarrhea, Moreno-Bryce recommends making a natural alternative to Liquid I.V. or Pedialyte: Just mix together water with a bit of salt, a sweetener, and a splash of 100 percent juice for flavor.

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