8 tips to limit oral damage caused by sports drinks
Updated: Apr 5
If you go for a leisurely walk, jog or play a social game of soccer, water is the best for your hydration. It is effective marketing that has planted the idea that sports drinks should be an essential part of any fitness or exercise plan when in fact sports drinks were originally created for high-intensity exercises like marathons or triathlons.
So if you need to consume sports drinks here are some tips and tricks that can minimise damage to your teeth and oral hygiene.
After every sip of a sports drink, rinse your mouth with water
Foods rich in calcium and phosphate will help re-mineralise the surface of your teeth and minimise the erosion that is caused by the acidity found in sports drinks. Foods rich in calcium are often packed with protein so both will aid your recovery. Alka Power, a naturally raised high pH 9-10 alkaline water, contains calcium so it is an effective drink to help protect your teeth’s enamel as well.
Look for a sports drink that allows you to minimise contact with your teeth. A good sports cap will allow you to squirt the drink to the back of your mouth bypassing your teeth as much as possible.
Sipping sports drinks means your teeth are exposed to sugar and acid over longer periods of time. So limit sipping or ‘swish and swallow’ with alkaline water to help reduce the acidity in your mouth and increase the pH in your mouth faster. If you have to sip your sports drink, try using a straw to bypass your teeth.
Dehydration during exercise is your enemy on many fronts but the less dehydrated you are the more easily your salivary flows helping your teeth to deal with the acid and sugar from the sports drinks.
If you’re chewing lollies or using gels during high-intensity exercise, stop bits from sticking from your teeth by drinking some water. You can also use sugar-free chewing gum to help as well.
If you use a mouthguard never, ever rinse it with a sports drink, as it will pool in the mouthguard. Always use water.
And when it comes to your precious sleep, never throwback acidic or sugary drinks before bed but if you do, wait at least six minutes before brushing your teeth.
These tips can help prevent tooth decay, but high-sugar, high-acidity drinks will always impact your dental health. In fact, 15% to 75% of athletes are affected by decaying teeth according to the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
So when you’re preparing for a high-intensity event like a Spartan, Ironman or cycling event, prepare to use sports drinks sparingly and use naturally raised high pH alkaline water like Alka Power to reduce the effects of the sugar and acid found in sports drinks. And don’t forget Alka Power will re-hydrate you faster with the added benefits of five natural electrolytes including calcium to re-mineralise your teeth’s enamel.
For us mere mortals who are exercising for our health, water is best giving you all the hydration you need without burning a hole in your pocket on expensive trips to the dentist. And for the final word on sports drinks, contact your doctor or nutritionist so they can tell you exactly what you need for your body during your workouts.
Looking to get Alka Power, Australia’s No. 1 Alkaline water to be your hydration partner you can find it nationally at
To find out more about the impact of sports drinks on dental health click here