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Athletes and Sports Drinks

athletes and sports drinksAthletes tend to pay close attention to their diet, but they may be missing a common source of problems, which could ultimately affect their performance adversely. Energy drinks may seem like the ideal on-the-go beverage for athletes during intense training sessions. These drinks contain concentrated energy, electrolytes, and vitamins and minerals that promise to boost energy. Unfortunately, they are also a source of sugar, acids, artificial dyes, and other unhealthy ingredients.

These sweet drinks may offer some benefits, but the potential drawbacks to dental health in particular are severe. The acid and sugar combine to erode enamel and feed cavity-causing oral bacteria. The dental erosion associated with energy drinks can be severe. Patients may not notice symptoms immediately. Over time, teeth can develop a grayish cast as the dentin begins to show through the thinning enamel, and teeth may become sensitive. Teeth can develop spots of decay and cavities. Over time, they can become infected and be lost.

At the 2012 Olympics in London, 18 percent of athletes reported bleeding gums, toothaches, and other dental problems powerful enough to affect their performance. Nearly half had not seen a dentist in the previous year. Along with energy drinks, high-carbohydrate diets can increase the risk of dental problems. Dehydration stemming from long or hard training can leave teeth dry and more prone to decay.

You can protect yourself by skipping energy drinks and instead drink water and replenish your electrolytes naturally through foods, such as bananas, peanut butter, seaweed, leafy greens, melons, milk, beans, and whole grains. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule your next checkup.

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