What Part of the Body Can Sports Drinks Ruin?
Energy and sports drinks may be a great way to get a pick-me-up, but a new study published in the journal General Dentistry says they may be doing permanent damage to your teeth, as well.
In fact, the study says energy and sports drinks contain so much acid that they start destroying your choppers after only five days of consistent use. That's sober news, especially in light of the report's findings that 30-50 percent of American teens use energy drinks and up to 62 percent consume sports drinks at least once a day.
According to the report, these highly acidic beverages damage enamel, cause sensitivity to both touch and temperature, and make teeth 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, the study's lead author. "Most of these patients are shocked to learn that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth with acid."
Researchers tested the acidity of 13 different sports drinks and nine energy drinks by submerging human teeth in each several times a day for 15 minutes. At the end of a five day period, they observed significant wear and tear on the pearly whites, with energy drinks causing almost twice as much damage as sports drinks.
Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale Prevention Center, says these drinks should be used by athletes under "intense training conditions" and "make little sense for anyone else." "A far better approach," he said, "would be working to improve sleep quality and quantity and overall health."