Tag Archives | Sports Drinks

The Truth About Sports Drinks

If you’ve ever looked at a fluorescent colored so-called “sports drink” (i.e. Gatorade, Powerade and all the wannabes in the category) and wondered if it could possibly quality as a natural, healthy beverage, we now know the answer: No, it’s not. Don’t take my word for it, here’s an exhaustive review of the relevant science by Deborah Cohen in the BMJ:

Prehydrate; drink ahead of thirst; train your gut to tolerate more fluid; your brain doesn’t know you’re thirsty—the public and athletes alike are bombarded with messages about what they should drink, and when, during exercise. But these drinking dogmas are relatively new. In the 1970s, marathon runners were discouraged from drinking fluids for fear that it would slow them down, says Professor Tim Noakes, Discovery health chair of exercise and sports science at Cape Town University. At the first New York marathon in 1970, there was little discussion about the role of hydration—it was thought to have little scientific value.

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Energy And Sports Drinks Destroy Teeth

Gatorade

Photo: Jeff Taylor (CC)

Mikaela Conley reports for ABC News:

Sugar may rot your teeth, but the acid in energy and sports drinks will also do some irreversible damage to those (not so) pearly whites, say researchers.

A new study published in the journal General Dentistry found that energy and sports drinks contain so much acid that they start destroying teeth after only five days of consistent use. Thirty to 50 percent of American teens use energy drinks, the paper says, and up to 62 percent drink sports drinks at least once a day.

Damage to enamel can cause teeth to become sensitive to touch and temperature changes, and be more susceptible to cavities and decay.

“Young adults consume these drinks assuming that they will improve their sports performance and energy levels and that they are ‘better’ for them than soda,” said Poonam Jain, lead author of the study. “Most of these patients are shocked to learn that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth with acid.”

Jain and colleagues analyzed the titratable acidity, pH and fluoride of 13 different sports drinks and nine energy drinks (including Gatorade and Red Bull) by submerging samples of human tooth enamel in each beverage for 15 minutes.

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