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Blog: Sports Drinks, Soda and Sweet Tea

 

Rethink What You Drink

 

Over the past 16 years the amount of sugar intake in Americans has increased by 28%, with about a third of it coming from drinks. Water used to be the most common option to rehydrate after exercising. Now the stores are stocked with energy and sports drinks that are loaded with sugar and caffeine, which the bulk of the calories come from the sugar content. The typical serving size for sport and energy drinks are 16 oz., which means we could be consuming from 160-300 calories after our hard workout defeating the purpose of our efforts. Sugary drinks increase the levels of fasting glucose and insulin resistance- two signs of prediabetes.  High sugar fructose goes under a process to increase its fructose levels and is metabolized more readily to form triglycerides in the liver, which can raise triglycerides in blood levels. It takes 20 minutes for the pH levels to get back to neutral (7.0) after the consumption of sugar.

What about the acids levels that can harm the dental enamel? Battery acid pH Level is 1, Lemonade pH is 2.50, Gatorade 2.95 and diet Coke is 3.39. These energy and sport drinks can cause 3 to 11 times more damage to the enamel then Cola based drinks, with energy drinks and bottled lemonade causing the most harm to dental enamel. Studies show that most Cola based drinks contain one or more acids, usually phosphoric and citric acids, but sports drinks contain additives and organic acids that can advance dental erosion. Diet Cola may be less in sugar, but the phosphoric and citric acids are also very low in pH levels. (See table 1)

** If you have acid reflux (GERD)tell your dentist or dental professional, as this can also cause dental erosion and you should be on a fluoride **

What are the alternatives?

  • Don’t stock it in the house

  •  reduce the size of the drink

  • Choose beverages with low or no calories, Water is best pH 7.0

  • Brew tea pH 7.2 or coffee pH 5.5- with NO  or very little sugar

  • Infuse water with cucumber or fruits

  • Calorie free flavored water

  • Home carbonating system- the flavors contain less sugar, calories, carbohydrates, and sodium and do NOT contain high- fructose corn syrup.