Sports Drink Interception!


There’s been some controversy about the erosive effect of carbohydrate-electrolyte drinks (sports drinks) on teeth enamel. Detractors of the research linking sports drinks to enamel erosion argue that lab conditions do not reflect real life. It’s our position that there’s enough evidence to advocate avoiding, or at least limiting, your consumption of these drinks.

Sports drinks were designed to increase athletic endurance by elite athletes by maintaining blood glucose levels and increasing carbohydrate oxidation. It’s easy to forget that the phosphoric acids in a sports drink – as with all soft drinks – can result in erosion of the enamel on tooth surfaces. This creates tooth sensitivity, grooves, or notches in the sides of the teeth, worn down teeth, and yellowing due to thinning enamel. Since dental erosion is painless, we dentists are often the first to notice that damage has been done.

No doubt research will continue. Whether or not it proves a direct causal link between sports drinks and dental erosion, some facts remain true...

  • Prolonged exercise means decreased saliva flow and loss of your natural buffer against acid.
  • Increased athletic endurance and exposure to sports drinks without a buffer means a longer contact time between the drink and your teeth.
  • Protracted exposure to acid over time will erode your teeth.

Save your tooth enamel. Please avoid or limit your consumption of sports drinks. Water is the refreshment of choice: it’s sugar-free, has no calories ... and hydrates beautifully!