IDA president’s warning over sugary sports drinksIDA president’s warning over sugary sports drinks

The new president of the Irish Dental Association has highlighted the danger of high sugar sports drinks and protein shakes during her inaugural address to the profession.

Dr Anne Twomey said that while most people engaged in sport in Ireland are aware of the importance of hydration and a healthy diet, many are still unaware of the high sugar content in sports drinks. She also said that many patients participating in sports are presenting in practice with significant tooth decay and erosion.

She said: “Clearly there are many benefits to adopting healthy lifestyles. However, consumers have to be clear about what they and their children are consuming. Sports drinks, protein shakes, energy drinks, energy bars and fruit juices can contain anything from five to a dozen teaspoons of sugar. “

“We’ve even come across one drink which contained 14 teaspoons of sugar. Protein/meal replacement bars can be very damaging due to the sticky nature of the honey or syrup which is often included. Dried fruit also has a very high concentration of sugar also.

“Tooth decay is always caused by sugar. Often my patients are unaware they are consuming sugar as they are labelled with other words. There are in fact 57 different words used instead of sugar such as sucrose, lactose, glucose, fructose etc.”