Sports Drinks Dissolve Your Teeth

With spring less than two weeks away and temperatures beginning to climb upward, I suspect many of you are itching to get outside and enjoy all the benefits the extra sun and warmth can do for you and your health. And some of you will rev up your metabolism by running, as I do. I have been running for nearly 40 years, my primary form of exercise and a major part of my life.

After a good run or heavy-duty dose of weight training, you may be inclined to reach for one of the many popular "rehydrating" sports drinks your local gym sells. There are many reasons why you shouldn't, and here's a new one that's as good as all the rest: Sports drinks can dissolve tooth enamel and are generally up to 30 times more corrosive to teeth than water, according to a British study.

Sports drinks have high acidity levels to extend their shelf life, as do soft drinks. That can be problematic for a sweaty athlete with a dry mouth that can't produce enough saliva to regulate and protect the body from the acidity. And, if you think fruit juice are better alternative, similar corrosive problems have been found with them too.

Besides, soft drinks, energy drinks and fruit drinks are tainted with sugar, whether it's fruit juices that contain as much as 8 teaspoons of fructose, energy drinks (including some with up to 80 mgs of caffeine) or soft drinks loaded with artificial sweeteners like aspartame.

In an article I posted about this time last year about thawing out from the previous winter, the best and only thing you should be drinking is clean, fresh water.

BBC News March 8, 2005

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