Sports drinks and sodas make popular thirst quenchers. But their high sugar and carbohydrate content pose many health risks.
Oh yeah, there's a greatly increased risk of childhood diabetes," explains Dr. Eric Knudsen, and a lot of it is these sports drinks. Mountain Dew is probably one of the worst things possible. You have about 13 teaspoons of sugar in every Mountain Dew."
And there are about 10 teaspoons of sugar in a regular can of Coke. You can only imagine its effect on teeth.
These sports and energy drinks have a common ingredient: citric acid. It is highly erosive and continues to eat away at tooth enamel, even after the drink has been consumed. Dr. Knudsen said he's seen a 25 percent increase in the amount of tooth decay in kids.
And dentists, like him, face stiff competition.
Advertising is a tough thing to overcome. You look everywhere and they're assaulted," Dr. Knudsen said.
So how can you safely enjoy these drinks? Drink it in one sitting. Sipping them throughout the day is a 20-minute acid attack on your teeth. The best bet of all is to stick with water--it has no sugar, no acid, and no calories.
I think it's OK to give it to them every now and then, said parent, Jennifer Levins. But with it being so hot out, water's the natural resource that your body needs to keep going."
And what do kids think?
I like to drink water, said Matt Knudsen. But Dr. Pepper, I guess, would be one that I shouldn't drink as much."
Encouraging good habits now can prevent extreme dental fix-ups like crowns and root canals in the future.