When it’s summertime and the weather is hot, our Krengel Dental team notices that sports drinks become a go-to for many of our patients. Children and adolescents love them, and whether or not you’re an athlete, sports drinks are branded with all sorts of perks on how they replenish important minerals that can be lost through sweat throughout the day. While some sports drinks do replenish minerals, almost all of them are high in sugar and have other additives that can be detrimental to your dental health. So let’s go over the good, the not-so- good and the better alternatives when it comes to sports drinks.
In the summer sun or when engaging in physical activity, our body loses electrolytes through sweat. Electrolytes help our muscles and nerves run optimally and without enough electrolytes, we experience dehydration and are more prone to cramps and muscle aches. Most sports drinks contain electrolytes that are vital to our bodies. These include sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphate. Replenishing these electrolytes can help us avoid dehydration and cramps.
While sports drinks are a tasty way to fill up on electrolytes and keep hydrated, most sports drinks are also packed with sugar and acid. According to the American Heart Association, some 20oz sports drinks contain around 20 grams of sugar which is over half of the amount we need a day! Sports drinks are also highly acidic which interferes with your mouth’s ability to regulate a healthy pH balance. Too much acidity and sugar can lead to erosion of tooth enamel and cavities. Various studies have shown how detrimental sports drinks can be to tooth enamel, making our teeth more vulnerable to bacteria, staining and gum disease.
The Better Alternatives:
So how can we get our electrolytes and be in optimal shape to workout without hurting our dental health? Your friendly Krengel Dental team is here with some ideas. Water is of course the best way to stay hydrated, and adding bananas, watermelon juice and coconut water to your diet is a great way to rehydrate your muscles without the excess sugar. Sipping or snacking on these alternatives can help support your overall health and keep your smile safe and bright.
Have questions about your diet or need more suggestions on how to get your electrolytes and keep your smile shining? Your friendly Krengel Dental Team is always a quick phone call away (952-888-1311).