Sports & Energy Drinks

Sports Drinks & Energy Drinks contain sugars and acids, which can lead to erosion and decay. But there are things you can do to protect your teeth including drinking plenty of water to keep you hydrated & checking in with your dentist regularly.

How do sports drinks affect my teeth?

Hover over the tooth to see magnification

Erosion Decay


Acids in these drinks wear away the tooth surface over time.


Bacteria use sugars to make decay or "holes" develop in teeth.

How do acids change the tooth over time?

DAMAGE TO ENAMEL - the outer surface of the tooth is damaged by acids, which remove the minerals and weaken the tooth.

Initially, the damage from acid is reversible. The minerals in the outer part of the tooth are lost, but your saliva can help to rebuild the tooth by putting these minerals back.


If you drink acidic drinks often enough you start to permanently wear away the enamel and it becomes thinner. This exposes the deeper tooth layer (dentine), which can become very sensitive.


Short sharp pains with eating and drinking, particularly foods or drinks that are cold or sweet.

Change In Appearance

As the enamel thins, the teeth start to look very different.

How to minimise damage if you are drinking sports drinks

Reduce Frequency

Reduce the number of times in a day that you drink.

Reduce Frequency

Finish Quickly

Don't take too long to finish your drink.

Finish Quickly

Don't Swish

Don't hold or swish the drink in your mouth.

Don't Swish

Rinse After

Rinse with water afterwards. Do NOT brush immediately after drinking or you will wear away the tooth enamel, which has been weakened by the acid.

Rinse After

Brush & Floss

Do use a fluoride toothpaste, soft toothbrush and floss every day to keep your teeth clean and healthy.

Brush & Floss


Remember sports and energy drinks are not at all necessary for regular sporting activities.

Drink Water Instead

What else you can do to look after your teeth

See your dentist who can identify if you have erosion and create a plan to start protecting your teeth

Your Dentist can provide:

how to brush
floss better
application of gels
and varnishes
to protect
your teeth
Home Care
special toothpastes
and fluoride
mouthrinses to use
repair any
damaged teeth

Useful Information

Sports drinks & your oral health

Sports and Energy Drinks contain acids and sugar. To find out more information about what you can do to reduce the risk of decay, the Australian Dental Association National Dental Health Week website provides lots of useful tips to help you avoid damaging your teeth.

Tooth Decay & Erosion

If you'd like to find out more about how tooth decay and erosion occurs, the Rethink Sugary Drink website, which is a collaboration between Diabetes Australia, National Heart Foundation and the Cancer Council have lots of facts and information to help you understand the effects of drinking sports and energy drinks.

Sports Drinks versus Water

Do you really need a Sports Drink to hydrate when exercising? The consumer advocacy group Choice has provided the following article which discusses the science and sale of hydration, and whether water is a healthier choice.

Which Foods & Drinks Damage Your Teeth?

Want to know more about the types of foods and drinks that may lead to decay and erosion? The consumer advocacy group Choice provides loads of information about what foods and drinks to avoid, and how you can prevent decay and erosion

Dental Health for Athletes

Athletes aim to achieve success and performance. They need to think about dedicating themselves to training, eating well, staying hydrated, and meeting their nutritional goals. Athletes consult with their Sports Physicians and Physiotherapists for physical health, and their Sports Dietitian for a performance nutrition edge, but oral health is often overlooked. While oral health may not directly affect your day-to-day performance, or win this year's Best & Fairest, the consequences of poor oral health can catch up with you in the near future.