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Is the Beverage to Blame? Sports Drinks May Not Be Causing Those Cavities

By Caroline Jacobson on December 17, 2015 in Dental Health

Destroy. Bad. Worst. Decay. These were the words splashed across the Google results page after we searched, “sports drinks and teeth.”

But are sports drinks really the villain?

Though 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 You 

Intensity is everything. If you're an athlete or partake in prolonged physical activity, you'll benefit from swigging a sports drink. Intense sweat sessions deplete your body's resources and overall energy. Sports drinks fight fatigue and supercharge stamina with electrolytes and carbohydrates. But if you haven't hit this level of workout intensity, your favorite sports drink may be doing more harm than good.

Remember — water is (almost) always the winner. Walking on the treadmill while reading US Weekly does not warrant a sports drink. Unsure of which beverage is best for your athletic activity? Use this guide to determine your drink destiny.

• Consuming Them Wrong

While it's true sugared drinks can cause cavities, how and when you drink makes a huge difference. Taking a sip of water after sipping on sports drinks helps to wash away plaque-causing bacteria. You can also try slurping with a straw to minimize teeth contact.

• Abusing Them

If you are constantly snacking on sweets or sipping a sweet beverage, 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. Sip sports drinks occasionally and brush 30 minutes after consumption. Keep water on your starting line-up and sports drinks on the sidelines.