Thursday, August 27, 2009

Are Sports Drinks Bad For Your Teeth?

Sports drinks can rehydrate you after a workout, but they also may wreak havoc on your teeth. Prolonged consumption of these types of beverages could lead to erosive tooth wear, according to a study presented at the International Association for Dental Research in Miami on Friday.

Sports drinks are acidic, and pose a risk to teeth, new research says.

Mark Wolff, professor and chairman of the department of cardiology and comprehensive care at New York University College of Dentistry, and his colleagues immersed cow teeth (because of their similarity to human teeth) in either water or a top-selling sports drink -- including Vitamin Water, Life Water, Gatorade, Powerade, and Propel Fit Water. After soaking for 75 to 90 minutes, to replicate consuming a beverage over time, researchers measured the strength of the teeth.

Previous studies found that sports beverages can damage tooth enamel -- even more so than soda -- due to a combination of acidic components, sugars, and additives. This research looked specifically at the way sports drinks affected dentin, the dental tissue under enamel that determines the size and shape of teeth.

All of the tested sports drinks caused softening of the dentin, and Gatorade and Powerade caused significant staining. The researchers used cut-in-half teeth in the study, which exposed the dentin.

"Sports drinks are very acidic drinks. When they become your soft drink, your fluid, then you run the real risk of very significant effects, such as etching the teeth and actually eroding the dentin if you have exposed roots," says Wolff.

Any beverage that has high acid content can weaken the enamel, making the teeth more susceptible to bacteria that can sneak into the cracks and crevices in the teeth. Sugar can exacerbate the situation, encouraging the bacterial growth, according to Kimberly Harms, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. "Sugar is bad, and acid is bad, but many of these [sports] drinks have both. The combination causes tooth decay," says Harms.

Wolff says adults shouldn't choose a sports drink as their everyday beverage, but Harms says it's more important for younger people to avoid excess intake. "The group I'm most concerned with are the high schoolers and teenagers, because they carry the drinks around school with them."

Either way, you may want to resist the urge to grab your toothbrush immediately after finishing your sports drink, says Wolff. "Mom always told you to brush your teeth after meals, but you may be damaging the tooth structure." The tooth enamel softens after consuming a sports drink, making teeth sensitive to the harsh properties in toothpaste. Instead, wait 45 minutes to an hour before you brush, and let your mouth do the work. "Saliva has the capability of re-mineralizing the tooth structure and neutralizing the damage."

Apple iTunes

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Teen Athlete Nutrition - Eat Extra For Excellence

Eat Extra for Excellence

There's a lot more to eating for sports than chowing down on carbs or chugging sports drinks. The good news is that eating to reach your peak performance level likely doesn't require a special diet. It's all about working the right foods into your fitness plan in the right amounts.

Teen athletes have unique nutrition needs. Because athletes work out more than their less-active peers, they generally need extra calories to fuel both their sports performance and their growth. Depending on how active they are, teen athletes may need anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 total calories per day to meet their energy needs.So what happens if teen athletes don't eat enough? Their bodies are less likely to achieve peak performance and may even break down rather than build up muscles. Athletes who don't take in enough calories every day won't be as fast and as strong as they could be and may not be able to maintain their weight. And extreme calorie restriction could lead to growth problems and other serious health risks for both girls and guys.

Apple iTunes

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Truth About Energy Drinks

The Truth About Energy Drinks
Do energy drinks really rev up your body and sharpen your mind? And what, exactly, are they even made of? To help you separate the science from the sales pitch, we analyzed the claims and ingredients of five of the most popular potions on the market, and rated them from best to worst. All to answer the most important question of all: Are energy drinks safe-or should you can these beverages for good?
Red Bull (8 fl oz)
110 calories27 g sugars76 mg caffeine

The Claim: "With Taurine. Vitalizes body and mind."
The Truth: Caffeine certainly offers brain-boosting benefits, and the added slew of B-vitamins are conceivably helpful for a more efficient metabolism. Unfortunately, the sugar and taurine work to counteract those forces. A New Zealand study found that even the 27 grams of sugar in Red Bull is enough to completely inhibit your body's ability to burn fat. And taurine, an amino acid that works as a neurotransmitter, might act more like a sedative than a stimulant, according to researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Is it safe? Certain European countries have banned the product out of fear that its stimulant properties increase the risk of heart attack. However, a 2008 research study presented to the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology observed no negative side effects in people after the subjects quaffed one can. The best thing about Red Bull is the pre-packaged portion control. It's half the size of many other sweetened energy drinks, meaning half the calories and half the sugar of its supersized counterparts.
AMP Energy ((16 fl oz)
220 calories58 g sugars142 mg caffeine
The Claim: "With its energizing blend of B-Vitamins and a specially formulated intense combination of taurine, ginseng, and guarana, AMP keeps you connected and on top of your game at all times."
The Truth: AMP is basically a hybrid between Red Bull and Starbucks Double Shot Energy, but with more calories and sugar and without the brain-beneficial coffee-rendering it a veritable witch's brew of sweeteners, herbal supplements, and suspicious-sounding additives.
Is it safe? Just consider it a double Red Bull. One probably won't hurt, but don't make it a habit, if only for your waistline.
Starbucks Double Shot Energy and Coffee (15 fl oz)
210 calories26 g sugars146 mg caffeine

The Claim: "A powerful, great-tasting brew of B vitamins, guarana, ginseng, and natural proteins from milk. Charged up with coffee. That extra surge to keep you energized and alert."
The Truth: Most energy drinks laud their herbal supplements, but the science behind the add-ins is somewhat fuzzy. Ginseng, for example, won't give you an energy blast, although it might boost your brainpower. For instance, Australian researchers found that people who swallowed 200 mg of the extract an hour before taking a cognitive test scored significantly better than when they skipped the supplement. And guarana's benefit may simply be due to its caffeine content-a guarana seed contains 4 to 5 percent caffeine (about twice as much as a coffee bean). Fancy marketing ploys aside, the Double-Shot ultimately one-ups the competition by virtue of containing actual health-boosting coffee-a beverage that delivers disease-fighting antioxidants.
Is it safe? Ginseng has been shown to interact with certain medications, like the blood-thinner warfarin, potentially altering its effectiveness. And scientists at Florida's Nova Southeastern University concluded that the amount of guarana found in most energy drinks isn't large enough to cause any adverse side effects. However, there's still a question as to the safety of downing a few cans of the stuff in a brief time span.
5-Hour Energy (2 fl oz)
4 calories0 g sugars(Exact caffeine content not provided by the company)

The Claim: "The two-ounce energy shot takes just seconds to drink and in minutes you're feeling bright and alert. And that feeling lasts for hours."
The Truth: Sure, it'll give you a jolt. That's because it's mainly caffeine-about the same amount that's in one cup of coffee, according to label claims. (So somewhere between 65 to 135 mg of caffeine.) And turns out, the half-life of caffeine-the time it takes for half of the stimulant to be eliminated from your body-is about 5 hours. What's more, the company touts that since the product doesn't contain sugar, you won't experience the sugar crash that comes a couple of hours after guzzling the sweet stuff. And that's true, too. Of course, you could just grab a cup of unsweetened Joe for the same effect.
Is it safe? Downing a bottle should be no problem for a regular coffee drinker. Too much caffeine, however, could cause headaches, sleeplessness, nausea, hallucinations, and a spike in blood pressure.
The Worst Energy Drink
Sobe Energy Adrenaline Rush (16 oz)
260 calories66 g sugars152 mg caffeine
The Claim: "Elevate your game with high performance energy for your mind and body. Bold citrus taste enhanced with a unique blend of energizing elements including D-ribose, L-carnitine and taurine. So good."
The Truth: D-ribose and L-carnitine sound exotic, but they're simply natural compounds that your body needs for proper metabolism. While research shows that carnitine supplementation may aid in recovery from exercise, there's no strong evidence to suggest either compound helps improve performance or enhances energy levels. The massive sugar load, however, will certainly spike your energy-for a price. You see, this drink quickly sends blood glucose soaring, which sets you up for a major sugar crash to follow: British scientists discovered that sleep-deprived people who consumed a sugary drink actually had slower reaction times and more sleepiness 90 minutes later.
Is it safe? Not if you're diabetic or pre-diabetic. Sobe Energy Adrenaline Rush contains as much sugar as 5 and a half scoops of Edy's Slow Churned Rocky Road Ice Cream. Additionally, taurine is probably fine in small doses, but chug too many energy drinks and the picture becomes less clear. According to a recent case report from St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, three people had seizures after drinking approximately two 24-ounce energy drinks in a short period of time. Whether the seizures were due to caffeine, taurine, or pre-existing health conditions is unclear. So, limit yourself to one-at the most.

Cheer Nutrition is COMING!

Get the nutrition information you need to have max
performance at cheerleading practices and competitions.

Apple iTunes