Consuming sports and energy drinks is comparable to ‘bathing your teeth with acid’ according to scientists who have unleashed their findings on how these beverages may be destroying the health of your teeth. In their research, the study team members revealed that serious damage occurs to tooth enamel when exposed to sports and energy drinks, which is especially concerning when examining the high rate of consumption across the country — particularly in teenagers.
Published in the May/June edition of the journal General Dentistry, researchers observed the acidity levels present in 13 sports drinks and 9 energy drinks. Looking to examine how the sugar-laden beverages would affect tooth enamel, scientists placed samples of tooth enamel into each drink brand for a total of 15 minutes. In order to note the differences, they also placed tooth enamel samples in artificial saliva for 2 hours for 4 times per day over a period of 5 days.
What they found was that not only did many brands and flavors vary in acid levels, but as little as 5 days after limited exposure to both sports and energy drinks, the team reported enamel damage. What’s more, energy drinks actually lead to twice as much damage as sports drinks. About 30 to 50 percent of teenagers have stated that they consume energy drinks, and a shocking 62% of teens say that they consume at least one sports drink per day. This means that these damaging liquids are being chugged down on a daily basis, and in many cases it is a matter of how many — not if at all.
Thankfully, there are natural alternatives that actually improve your health. Coconut water is one of the most popular and beneficial options, as one 2007 study found sodium-enriched coconut water to be as effective as commercial sports drinks in overall hydration with far less stomach pains. And of course it does not contain high levels of acid and sugar, but instead can help to naturally lower your blood pressure.