A comparison of sports and energy drinks--Physiochemical properties and enamel dissolution

Gen Dent. 2012 May-Jun;60(3):190-7; quiz 198-9.


The consumption of sports and energy drinks by children and adolescents has increased at an alarming rate in recent years. It is essential for dental professionals to be informed about the physiochemical properties of these drinks and their effects on enamel. The present study measured the fluoride levels, pH, and titratable acidity of multiple popular, commercially available brands of sports and energy drinks. Enamel dissolution was measured as weight loss using an in vitro multiple exposure model consisting of repeated short exposures to these drinks, alternating with exposure to artificial saliva. The relationship between enamel dissolution and fluoride levels, pH, and titratable acidity was also examined. There was a statistically significant difference between the fluoride levels (p = 0.034) and pH (p = 0.04) of the sports and energy drinks studied. The titratable acidity of energy drinks (11.78) was found to be significantly higher than that of sports drinks (3.58) (p < 0.001). Five of the energy drinks (Red Bull Sugar Free, Monster Assault, Von Dutch, Rockstar, and 5-Hour Energy) were found to have the highest titratable acidity values among the brands studied. Enamel weight loss after exposure to energy drinks was significantly higher than it was after exposure to sports drinks. The effect of titratable acidity on enamel weight loss was found to vary inversely with the pH of the drinks. The findings indicated that energy drinks have significantly higher titratable acidity and enamel dissolution associated with them than sports drinks. Enamel weight loss after exposure to energy drinks was more than two times higher than it was after exposure to sports drinks. Titratable acidity is a significant predictor of enamel dissolution, and its effect on enamel weight loss varies inversely with the pH of the drink. The data from the current study can be used to educate patients about the differences between sports and energy drinks and the effects of these drinks on tooth enamel.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acids / adverse effects
  • Acids / analysis
  • Adolescent
  • Beverages / adverse effects
  • Beverages / analysis*
  • Cariogenic Agents / adverse effects
  • Cariogenic Agents / analysis
  • Cariostatic Agents / analysis
  • Child
  • Dental Enamel / drug effects*
  • Dental Enamel Solubility / drug effects*
  • Energy Drinks / adverse effects
  • Energy Drinks / analysis*
  • Fluorides / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Potentiometry
  • Saliva, Artificial / chemistry
  • Sports*
  • Time Factors
  • Titrimetry


  • Acids
  • Cariogenic Agents
  • Cariostatic Agents
  • Saliva, Artificial
  • Fluorides