Hold the Gatorade!

Posted by on Apr 4, 2013 in Blogs | 0 comments

The harmful effects of energy and sports drinks


Image by Joel Klal

Many people give the excuse that they’d rather drink energy drinks and sports drinks because they believe that they are healthier than soda when it comes to oral health. However, this is quite far from the truth, explains researcher Poonam Jian, an associate professor and director of community dentistry at the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine. Jian’s study, which was published in General Dentistry, looked at 13 different sport drinks and nine energy drinks for acidity. 6 drinks were tested and their effects on tooth enamel were determined. Jain and his team had acquired enamel samples, which were immersed in the different drinks for 15 minutes, stimulating an individual drinking the energy or sports drink in real life. It was found that both sports drinks and energy drinks resulted in tooth damage, where there was significant enamel loss. The average enamel lost with sports drinks was about 1.5% and the average loss for energy drink was more than 3%.

Researchers have listed Gatorade Blue as the sports drinks with the highest acidity, next to Hydr8. Other energy drinks containing high acidity content include:

  • Red Bull Sugarfree
  • Monster Assault
  • 5-hour Energy
  • Von Dutch
  • Rockstar

Because of their sugary content, both teens and young adults alike tend to consider these drinks as their favorite go-to beverages. Up to half of U.S. teens and young adults indulge in energy drinks, and studies have shown that more than half have at least one sports drink a day. To counter this, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin and Senator Richard Blumenthal have been trying to bring about change by urging top energy drink makers to stop marketing to children. Durbin and Blumenthal sent letters to the CEOs of Monster, Red Bull and Rockstar that highlighted examples of ways these companies have been reaching out to children, including sponsoring high school sporting events and Little League games. This is a great start in weaning teens and young adults off of these drinks, and perhaps a good step forward in bringing about awareness of the drinks’ harmful effects.

Although it will be a difficult task to convince these major energy and sports drinks companies to limit their advertisements, it is important to be aware these drinks’ consequences on oral health. Jian suggests although it is best to cut these drinks out completely, but he understands that it is difficult to give them up completely. He provides some tips to minimize the intake of these drinks. Jian explains that diluting the drinks and not brushing immediately after drinking them would help lower the amount of acid intake and prevent the spreading of acid in the mouth.

As you make another trip to the market to purchase more beverages, be mindful of the content of these drinks and think of the consequences they may have on your oral health! If you have any concerns, Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

 

References:

WebMD

Sun Times

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