Performance Envy: Is Dehydration Affecting You?

Is Dehydration Affecting You?

Water: cool, refreshing, tooth-friendly

Many Australians don’t drink enough water, but those who are active may find that dehydration can really affect them. Dehydration can reduce your ability to perform at your best, and it can also contribute to irreversible damage to your teeth.

Saliva is a very important protective factor for your teeth. Its presence dilutes acids and sugars in the mouth, and it can also help to neutralise acids that are present in small quantities. If you are dehydrated, your saliva flow is reduced, and your teeth will, therefore, be more susceptible to acid attacks.

The ADA recommends that athletes of all ages remain well hydrated by drinking water. Water from the tap is cheaper than bottled water and sports drinks, is calorie-free and doesn’t contain sugar or acid. It’s the most tooth-friendly beverage available! And fortunately, here in Canberra, the tap water is delicious (and fluoridated)!

Information About Dehydration From Around The Internet


A screenshot of article, "Mild Dehydration: A Risk Factor For Dental Disease?"Mild Dehydration: A Risk Factor For Dental Disease?

A review of literature by AJ Smith and L Shaw of the University of Birmingham (read it here) examined whether dehydration is a risk factor for dental disease. Whilst their report shows that there is no proven study that directly links dehydration and dental disease, the authors stated there is “considerable circumstantial evidence to indicate that such a link exists”.

An image of Safe Kids Worldwide's Infographic on How much water should a kid drink while playing sports.

Infographic: How Much Water Should A Kid Drink While Playing Sports?

This easy guide by Safe Kids Worldwide (check it here) shows that for every 20 minutes of sports, a young athlete should drink at least ten gulps of water, roughly equivalent to 150mls. Teens should drink about 20 gulps, or 250mls every 20 minutes.

Article Updated on January 15, 2019
Original Article Title: 
Performance Envy: Is Dehydration Affecting You?