Closeup of orange, blue, red, and yellow sports drinks in a tub of ice water outside

Are Sports Drinks Healthy?

February 26, 2022 11:11 pm

Many kids and teenagers, not just young athletes, enjoy sports drinks. But are sports drinks a healthy option?

Acid & Sugar

Both energy and sports drinks contain high levels of concentrated acid, which can damage tooth enamel with frequent exposure. When acid comes in contact with your teeth, the minerals in the enamel soften and wear away. This is called demineralization. Softened enamel leads to tooth sensitivity, easier staining, and cavities.

Sports drinks also tend to be high in sugar, which is another enemy of oral health. Bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugar and create acidic byproducts that make teeth more susceptible to cavities.

Water vs. Sports Drinks

Water is the best beverage for patients of all ages. It is tooth-friendly and critical for all bodily functions. For athletes, water is still the best choice to stay hydrated during exercise that lasts under one hour. Sports drinks are only beneficial during extended and heavy exercise that lasts longer than an hour to quickly replace electrolytes (essential minerals) lost through sweat.

If you’re looking for something more interesting than plain water, try unsweetened coconut water or water infused with cucumbers or mint leaves.

Minerals that boost athletic performance can also be obtained through whole foods like bananas, oranges, yogurt, avocados, and almonds. Save sports drinks for vigorous exercise.

In addition to consuming a balanced diet and plenty of plain water, brush and floss every day at home and visit the dentist for regular cleanings and exams.

We Can Help Your Child Have a Healthy Smile!

At our office, we’re dedicated to providing high-quality dental services for kids and teenagers. Your young athletes can protect their smiles by limiting their consumption of sports drinks, drinking plenty of water, wearing an athletic mouthguard, and visiting us for cleanings and checkups. If you have any questions about sports drinks or want to schedule an appointment for your child, please contact us today.

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