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Flat drinks poor for rehydration

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Flat carbonated drinks do not prevent dehydration in children with acute vomiting and diarrhoea, warn researchers from Watford General Hospital in Hertfordshire.

The World Health Organization states oral rehydration solution should contain 75mmol/l of sodium and the same amount of glucose. Despite the commonly held belief that flat carbonated drinks were an effective alternative, the authors found they had much lower levels of sodium but much higher levels of glucose.

‘Carbonated drinks, “flat” or otherwise, including cola, provide inadequate fluid and electrolyte replacement and cannot be recommended,’ they said online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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