Energy drinks and liquid gels- Dental health

  • Energy drinks and liquid gels

Hello everyone. I have been busy outside of work these last few months training for my up coming triathlon at Southwell. I enjoy the exercise and the fresh outdoor air. There is nothing like it for clearing the head and relieving stress.

Triathlon season is in full swing and anyone who cycles or runs regularly will probably be using some method of fuelling their bodies through those arduous hours of exercise. Energy drinks and gels are popular and effective but it is worth considering the impact these are having on the health of your teeth.

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Frequent consumption of these especially on a regular basis can increase your risk of tooth decay. The reason for this is because they are full of sugar and this reacts with bacteria in plaque to produce acids which over time soften the enamel and dentine structure of your teeth causing a hole – or cavity to form.

If you keep regular mealtimes then this is less likely to occur as your teeth have time to recover between each acid attack. But if you are snacking frequently in between meals or using gels and energy drinks regularly during training your teeth do not have time to recover between acid attacks increasing your risk of tooth decay. This is especially true if you are going on long bike rides or runs and consuming a gel every 20-45 minutes.

So what can you do to prevent this?

1. It is worth considering alternatives to gels and energy drinks such as nuts, dried fruit, bananas and a good breakfast.
2. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and after training also.
3. Floss your teeth daily to remove plaque build up between your teeth.
4. If you really can’t give up the gels and energy drinks let your dentist know, so they can take more regular X Ray’s and carry out examinations to keep a closer eye for any early signs of decay.
5. Also it may be worth increasing your intake of fluoride as this protects teeth from decay. This could be in the form of fluoride mouthwashes or special toothpastes. Your dentist will be able to give you further details.

A useful tip – If I use a gel or energy drink I always rinse my mouth out with water afterwards.

I hope you have found this blog useful. Remember carry on enjoying the exercise but just don’t forget all about your teeth!

Please leave any comments below.