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Sports Drinks or Water: Which Is Better for Child Athletes? March 2, 2020

Bolivar, Polk
Sports Drinks or Water: Which Is Better for Child Athletes?, Bolivar, Missouri

As the parent of a young athlete, you may have heard about the many benefits of sports drinks. Although these drinks are beneficial under certain circumstances, dentists warn about the damage they can do to a child’s oral health. Here are a few reasons why water is the better option for young sports stars. 

Should I Give My Child Sports Drinks?

Sports drinks contain electrolytes—minerals like sodium, calcium, and potassium—to replenish athletes that have pushed themselves to their physical limits. They were originally formulated to help athletes replace calories and nutrients lost through intense training sessions lasting hours.

For example, a 20-ounce bottle of a popular sports drink contains 34 grams of sugar. That’s more sugar than some candy bars contain. Excess sugar intake during childhood increases the risk of cavities as an adult, especially when combined with the acids in sports drinks, which wear down tooth enamel.

Why Is Water Better for Kids?

dentistWhen kids sweat and heat up, they need water, not sugar. Water rehydrates and cools the body and is better for their oral health when compared to sports drinks. 

The high sugar content of sports drinks damages teeth, but water reduces the risk of tooth decay. Drinking water washes plaque and bacteria from teeth, while also keeping the mouth properly hydrated. Dry mouth and lack of saliva are both associated with increased tooth decay because saliva keeps germs at bay. Talk to your dentist about other remedies to tackle dry mouth if your child struggles with the condition.


A dentist can offer useful tips on how to keep your young athlete’s smile bright and healthy. Bolivar Family Dental proudly supports kids in Polk County, MO, and surrounding communities with quality dental care, from cleanings to fillings. They also create customized dental mouthguards to prevent dental trauma while your child is on the field. Call (417) 777-8654 to schedule an appointment. You can also visit their website for a complete listing of services.

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