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A Healthy Start to the New Year

For many of us the beginning of the year starts with a list of new years resolutions. For quite a few of us, the major one on the list is to make a change in our activity levels by joining a gym or getting involved in a sports activity.

When our activity levels increase we tend to reach for that energy bar or energy drink to replenish our energy levels after a hard work out.

In 2009, Canadian spent over $500 million on sports and energy drinks and energy bars. Did you know that these products have high levels of sugar and the drinks are highly acidic?

The majority of sports drinks contain minerals like salt, potassium, calcium, sodium and magnesium that we tend to lose when we are sweating. However, did you know that caffeine is the main ingredient in most of these drinks? Many of these drinks are also high in sugar and are very acidic, with pH levels between 2.3 and 4.5, which is even similar to what you would find in a can of soft drink or soda.

Damage to the outer surface of your teeth, called enamel, starts to occur at pH levels below 5.5. So just by consuming a sports drink, the environment in our mouth becomes more acidic, potentially causing loss of some of the minerals in your teeth, weakening the outer layer of the tooth.

If you are choosing that sports drinks to refuel make sure to:

– Drink the sports drink through a straw – Rinse your mouth with water afterward – Chew sugarless or xylitol containing gum afterward

These will all help to change the PH inside your mouth to a less acid environment, keeping your teeth healthy!

If working out is on your new years resolution list, try to limit the amount and frequency of sugar, sticky or processed foods. Drinking lots of water is a healthy alternative to sports drinks!!

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