Australian Dental Association Issues Oral Health Warning to Sports Stars

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The Australian Dental Association has warned sports stars they may be risking their oral health by consuming sugar-laden, acidic energy drinks.

Committee chair Dr Peter Alldritt has urged athletes to stick to water and avoid drinking sports drinks in a bid to reduce the risk of decay brought about by acid erosion. Many popular energy drinks contain a huge amount of sugar and the acidity level poses a risk to the protective enamel coating of the teeth.

A survey, which involves around 1,200 Australians, showed that 50 percent of adults and 30 percent of children consume sports drinks on a weekly basis, with many thinking them a healthy alternative to fizzy drinks. Most products contain at least six to eight teaspoons of sugar per serving, which is more than the total recommended daily intake, according to guidelines from the World Health Organisation.

Dr Alldritt said that it was particularly worrying that some people who are aware of the oral health implications continue to drink energy and sports drinks.

Rates of decay are increasing in Australia and sugar consumption is a major risk factor, especially among young people. The latest figures show that 50 percent of children and 33 percent of adults in Australia have signs of untreated dental decay.

Robert Skeat, exercise physiologist, said that many people who play sport drink energy drinks believing them to have a number of benefits. However, the best thing to drink when exercising is water, as it prevents dehydration.


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