Apple juice best for rehydrating sick kids

child drinking apple juice

2 May 2016

Diluted apple juice may be better than electrolyte drinks for preventing dehydration in children with gastroenteritis.

Canadian paediatricians who studied 644 children with diarrhoea and vomiting report that those given half-strength apple juice were less likely to need a drip or hospitalisation than those sipping on electrolyte drinks to replace fluid losses.

In fact, the results show that only 17% of children given diluted apple juice experienced treatment failure versus 25% of children who were given an electrolyte solution to drink.

Also, diluted apple juice worked better than the child’s preferred drink.

Presenting their work at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Baltimore, the researchers led By Dr Stephen Freedman from the University of Calgary, say the results challenge the recommendation to routinely administer electrolyte drinks when diarrhoea begins.

“The present study findings …conducted in an era when complicated episodes of gastroenteritis have become uncommon, may more accurately reflect the effect rehydration fluid choice has on unscheduled medical visits,” Dr Freedman and colleagues write in the US journal JAMA.