Should athletes rethink sugary drinks?

By Kelsi Matylewicz/ Social Media Intern, Benco Dental

Health experts have claimed that sugary energy drinks may have cost athletes medals at the 2012 Olympics; nagging mouth pain could have put them off their game, according to www.dailymail.co.uk

The amount of energy that athletes need for training often means they have high-carbohydrate diets and regularly use sugary, acidic energy drinks.

It’s not just Olympians  — Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers quarterback, shown. According to the Wall Street Journal, he has been drinking soda after every game for seven years.

But intense training can lead to a dry mouth, which in turn may lead to oral health problems.

According to the Daily Mail, story, “The study found 18 percent of top sports men and women complained the state of their teeth had a negative impact on their ability to perform” and “nearly half (46.5 percent) reported they had not visited a dentist in the past year.”

French cyclist Pierre Rolland drank a soda while riding in the 2013 Tour de France.
French cyclist Pierre Rolland drank a soda while riding in the 2013 Tour de France.

Last month, a study published by German researchers, found the longer athletes exercised, the less saliva they produced and the more alkaline (alkaline saliva works to encourage the growth of plaque bacteria which causes tooth decay) it became.

The study found that for every extra hour of training each week, there was an increased risk of a person needing fillings, or having decayed or missing teeth.

As part of the study, a team of dentists at the University Heidelberg Hospital in Germany, examined the teeth of 35 triathletes and 35 non-athletes.

Commenting on the results of this new study, health experts at University College London said dentistry must be given the same priority as other sports sciences to help increase their ability at any sport event.

Olympic athlete promoting Coca-Cola.
Olympic athlete promoting Coca-Cola.

Professor Ian Needleman of the UCL Eastman Dental Institute said: ‘Oral health could be an easy win for athletes, as the oral conditions that can affect performance are all easily preventable.”

To read the full story: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2791172/dental-problems-cost-athletes-medal-olympics-experts-blaming-sugary-energy-drinks.html

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