Sport Drinks and Teeth: How Exercise and Sport Can Affect Your Dental Health
Many athletes rely on sport drinks to keep up a certain level of energy and performance. Research has shown that many athletes also have recurring dental problems.
There’s a chance you too may putting your teeth at risk by relying on sports drinks for hydration and stamina, and here’s why:
Sports drinks are high in sugars and acid, which damages teeth
Sport drinks rely on giving you a quick energy hit. Sport drinks also helps your body hydrate by quickly absorbing electrolytes.
Unfortunately, this also makes sport drinks high in sugar to provide you with the energy, and the ingredients that aid in electrolyte absorption are highly acidic (even the ‘sugar free’ ones).
Consuming sports drinks while dehydrated is more like an attack on your teeth while their guard is down
- Exercise leads to dehydration, which subsequently reduces saliva production
- Saliva provides a natural protective buffer for teeth against disease and decay
Active exercise is great, but we don’t want your teeth to suffer in the pursuit of physical fitness. That’s why we at Whitehorse Dental are here to offer you some healthy and useful advice.
3 simple tips to keep your energy up while reducing the effect on your teeth:
1) Drink sports drinks in one go, instead of gradually sipping during exercise
For prolonged and extreme exercise, it’s important to keep up the sugar and electrolyte levels to ensure optimum performance of your body. Instead of taking small sips every 5-10 minutes, drink a larger amount every 40-60 minutes and just have water in between. This will ensure your body’s energy levels stay high while minimising the damage on your teeth.
2) Eat sports bars, but avoid grazing
Every time we eat our mouth becomes more acidic.
By grazing throughout the day, you are exposing your teeth to an acidic environment more often, putting them at higher risk of decay.
For energy, instead of snacking on small bites, eat the whole sports bar in one go.
3) Drink water
Simple. If your body is telling you that you are thirsty, there is no need to spend extra money on unnecessary sugars, acids and calories. Even during prolonged endurance exercise, what your body needs replenishing the most is water. Plain old H20.
We’re not saying you have to avoid sports drinks completely, just be sure to limit your intake and avoid putting your precious pearly whites at risk over the long term.
Do you actively play sport and have any other concerns or queries about your dental health?