Destroy. Bad. Worst. Decay. These are the words splashed across the Google results page when you search, “sports drinks and teeth.”
But are sports drinks really the villain?
While it’s true they can harm your teeth, the same is true of your habits. When it comes to sports drinks, don’t be a sore loser. Stop blaming the beverage and take responsibility for your smile. A few mistakes we all may be making:
• Assuming They’re For All Workouts
Intensity is everything. If you’re an athlete or partake in prolonged physical activity, you’ll benefit from the electrolytes contained in sports drinks. Intense sweat sessions deplete your body’s resources and overall energy. Sports drinks fight fatigue and supercharge stamina with electrolytes and carbohydrates.
So if your workouts are intense, grabbing a sports drink from time-to-time may be justified. However, you can also make your own sports drink without the harmful additives, or grab a water infused with electrolytes. And remember, water is usually the best choice for most workouts. Walking on the treadmill while reading US Weekly does not warrant a sports drink.
Make wise decisions on which workout drinks you choose based on your level of activity and make sure to drink sips of water throughout your workouts to stay hydrated.
• Consuming Them Incorrectly
While it’s true sugared drinks can cause cavities, how and when you drink makes a huge difference. Make sure to take a swig of water after sipping on sports drinks. The water helps to wash away plaque-causing bacteria. You can also try slurping with a straw to minimize the drink’s contact with your teeth.
• Abusing Them
If you are constantly snacking on sweets or sipping a sweet beverage, not only is it bad for your body but your teeth are exposed to acid all day long. When sugar sits on your teeth for long periods of time, you’re destined for decay.
As with everything, moderation is key. If you insist on sipping sports drinks, make it an occasional splurge and brush 30 minutes after consumption. Keep water on your starting line-up and sports drinks on the sidelines.