The Olympics are here and athletes will be running, jumping and swimming their way to gold, silver and bronze. Throughout this period, lots of sports drinks will also be consumed. While sports drinks can effectively replenish electrolytes and fuel athletes through exercise, they are full of sugar and can be harmful to teeth. Sports drinks are highly acidic and some contain up to 13g of sugar per bottle — which is more than a can on Coca-Cola.
Dr. Peter Alldritt, chair of the Australian Dental Association’s Oral Health Committee said: “Not only are sports drinks acidic and high in sugar, but people tend to sip on them frequently during exercise rather than consuming them all at once. This increases the time that teeth are exposed and leaves them vulnerable to dental damage.”
“Sports drinks are designed for elite athletes and not the average weekend warrior. Frequent use can cause teeth erosion and increase your risk of tooth decay. We are alarmed that people consume these drinks even when they’re not exercising — when they are working at their desk or watching TV,” Dr Alldritt added.
Although there will be many sports drinks in Rio this August, note that, even for world-class athletes, sometimes water can’t be beat. When it comes to hydration, it is best to drink water.