As summer sports activities heat up, so do thirsts. But before reaching for a sports or energy drink, consider the harm it may be doing to teeth. That’s because the average 32-ounce sports drink contains as much as 14 teaspoons of sugar -- about ¼ cup!
Drinking liquids that contain so much sugar can be extremely harmful to teeth. Sugar is the food source on which oral bacteria feeds.
Serious athletes who engage in long and strenuous workouts may need to rehydrate with an energy or sports drink that contains sodium and carbohydrates, which help the body retain fluids. But, there are lower-sugar products on the market that will meet most athletes’ needs.
But, for most of us who do less intense activities, such as walking or a leisurely game of tennis, plain and simple water should handle most rehydration needs. Water is not only healthful to the body overall, it also actually helps wash away the bacteria that naturally builds up in the mouth.
The bottom line: get out there and play -- but refresh wisely!