Sport drinks can equal decay

Sports drinks can equal decay

Fizzy drinks are well known to be full of sugar but sports and energy drinks are also hiding a dirty secret…. they are full of sugar too.

This means that athletes and sports professionals are at more risk of decay.

It isn’t a guarantee but for many athletes they have a higher risk because:

  1. They consume more sports supplements, including energy drinks, carbohydrate gels and intra-workout supplements. These are often high in sugar and also acidic. Some can be quite sticky and sit on teeth for a long time and are therefore more likely to cause dental problems.
  2. During training there can be changes in saliva. These happen for a couple of reasons:
    1. pH is a measure of how acidic/alkaline something is. Our saliva is usually neutral so this helps keeps our teeth protected. However, during training, the pH of your saliva can become lower and therefore more acidic. This makes the oral environment more favourable for decay and erosion.
    2. Also as a result of exercise, especially long endurance training, the amount of saliva produced is reduced so the natural washing action of the mouth isn’t as efficient. As a result, this makes plaque more likely to accumulate. Plaque is a layer of bacteria and debris. This can contribute to decay and gum disease.

Let’s face it – exercise is tiring for anyone and really can drain the energy out of us so we all need a little boost to get us through a workout. But this doesn’t mean we have to consume so much sugar!

Tips on how to boost energy:

  • Drink water!
  • Eat a banana
  • If you have to use supplements, try a low sugar one
  • Chew sugar-free chewing gum after to neutralise the acid and sugar.
  • Use a fluoride mouthwash or rinse with water to try and neutralise the acid/sugar.
  • Try to use a straw.
  • Try not to rinse the drinks around the mouth or sip on them frequently this exposes the teeth to acid attack for longer.
  • Do not brush for at least 60 mins after consuming any sports supplements/ energy drinks.

Cavities can cause pain and require dental treatment such a fillings and root canal treatment, sometimes even extractions.

By making some different choices you can achieve your fitness goals without damaging you teeth.

As always our dentists are here to help. Make an appointment today to start your journey to great oral health.

Sports drinks can equal decay