NYC Sugary Drink Ban Good For Athletes too?

If you’re a New Yorker, you have less than six months left to enjoy a super-sized sugary drink. The New York City Board of Health has just passed Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to ban sugary drinks (sodas, teas, and sports drinks) over 16 ounces in fast-food joints, stadiums, movie theaters, and other restaurants and eateries serving prepared foods.

“This is the single biggest step any city, I think, has ever taken to curb obesity,” said Bloomberg after the ban passed. “It’s certainly not the last step that lots of cities are going to take, and we believe that it will help save lives.”

According to the NYC Department of Health, over half of New York City residents are now overweight or obese. In the Bronx, this number climbs to 70%. The City calculates that if everyone drinking 20-oz sugary drinks switched to 16-oz, the city would “save” about 2.3 million pounds per year.

Bloomberg has been a longtime activist for his city’s health, which is apparently on a downward trajectory. Smoking in public places, trans fats, salt, and now sugar have all fallen victim to various bans since Bloomberg has been in office. But despite initial backlash on the bans, Bloomberg’s New York has become almost like a model system for the other cities across the country, which have often instated similar bans after seeing the effects of Bloomberg’s. McDonald’s announced that they will be posting calories on menu boards across the nation.

The Times reported that its own poll revealed that about six out of 10 New Yorkers are not behind the Bloomberg sugar ban.

After reading this article on, it made us think about the positive effect a ban like this could have on TEETH!

 What Do Sugary Drinks do to your teeth?

Even for those people who are NOT obese, sugary drinks can present great damage! According to recent studies, even Athletes can also benefit from a sugary drink ban:  
People who regularly guzzle sports drinks designed to replenish energy and minerals may risk damaging their teeth, suggests a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

A British dentist analyzed the acidity of eight sports drinks after seeing a 23-year old runner with severely eroded front teeth who quenched his thirst with sports drinks.

All eight drinks were below the normal “safe” pH of 5.5; in other words, the drinks are too acidic. Any level below the pH of 5.5 can promote tooth erosion.

Upon hearing of the study, researchers at Baptist Hospital Dental Center in Miami decided to test the three most popular sports drinks in this country: Gatorade®, Powerade® and All Sport®.

Laboratory technicians at the dental center measured the pH levels of each drink using the standard litmus paper test. Each drink had pH levels of three, indicating a high level of acidity.

The researchers caution that because sports drinks have low pH levels, it does not mean these drinks should be avoided. In fact, sports drinks have high pH levels because they are loaded with minerals that replenish the body’s supply lost during exercise.

The Chicago Dental Society urges athletes to use sports drinks in the following fashion.

  • Use sports drinks in moderation; also use fruit juices or soft drinks in moderation because they have the same potential to erode teeth. Water is the best drink for light workouts in which less body fluids are lost.
  • Dilute sports drinks with water.
  • Drink sports drinks while they are cold. Warm temperatures speed erosion.
  • If possible, use a straw to reduce contact between the drink and teeth. Do not hold the drink in your mouth or swish it around.
  • Do not brush your teeth immediately after consuming a sports drink. The acid in sports drinks makes teeth softer and brushing can cause protective enamel to be lost.

The Chicago Dental Society strongly advises athletes to consider water as the logical thirst quencher.

Contact J.C. Duncan Family Dentistry if you are ready maintain a healthy smile!

103 Commerce Center Drive Suite 101
Huntersville, NC 28078
(704) 948-1300


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