Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks: Dangerous to teeth???

west seattle dentist

While I was doing research for last week’s post on fluoride, I stumbled upon an article talking about the dangers of consuming sport drinks and energy drinks.  While it ended up not having anything to do with fluoride, I decided it warranted a post all to itself.  There was good information that I hadn’t heard of before and, as you know, your West Seattle dentist is trying to keep you informed and up to date on the latest information to keep your teeth healthy!

The article was focusing mainly on why its not a good idea for kids to consume these drinks, since the American Academy of Pediatrics added their recommendation to that of dentists that water should be the source of re-hydration after physical activity, not sports drinks or energy drinks.  “Sports drinks—which contain carbohydrates, minerals, electrolytes and flavoring—are intended to replace water and electrolytes lost through sweating during exercise”.  The article states that this is awesome if they are
Energy drinks are the worst choice since they contain stimulants such as caffeine, guarana and taurine.  If you have active kids, you know they probably don’t need anymore stimulation than they already have!  The article states that caffeine “has been linked to a number of harmful health effects in children, including effects on the developing neurologic and cardiovascular systems”.  One of the co authors of the article goes on to say  “some cans or bottles of energy drinks can have more than 500 mg of caffeine, which is the equivalent of 14 cans of soda.”.  Yikes.  I just have to say I had NO idea they contained that much!  engaged in intense physical activity, but not necessary if they are just playing normally or eating lunch.  Water is still the number one recommended choice for both re-hydration and water or low-fat milk with meals.  Over consumption of sports drinks can lead to obesity and tooth decay because of the amount of carbs and sugars in them.

With sports drinks rich in carbohydrates, and soft drinks and energy drinks that have tons of sugar, all three are great ways to both increase the potential for both diabetes and obesity as well as dental erosion.  And because these drinks are often consumed after physical activity, when saliva is low because the body is thirsty, it leaves the teeth even more suseptible to the drinks’ erosive potential.  The article goes on to state if you must drink these drinks, follow these steps:

  • reduce the frequency and contact time;
  • swallow immediately and do not swish them around the mouth;
  • rinse mouthguards only in water;
  • seek out dentally friendly sports drinks;
  • discuss training and hydration protocol with a dentist.
The last thing the article stresses is this: “To minimize dental problems, advise parents and athletes to hydrate with water before, during and after sports.”.
To view the full article click here!