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Keeping Your Teeth Healthy While Running Marathons in OKC

Keeping Your Teeth Healthy While Running Marathons in Oklahoma City

olivia reflections dental care
This article was written by Olivia Hart, RDH

The Memorial Marathon in Oklahoma City is quickly approaching! Whether you are a runner or just participating to remember and memorialize this event, there are many ways to fuel your body for the challenges it will face. But just because something helps you stay energized during the race, doesn’t mean it won’t harm your teeth. In this post, I’d like to discuss some healthier alternatives to fuel your race that won’t harm your teeth in the process.

I am not an experienced runner, and this is my first half-marathon in Oklahoma City, but I have learned so much in the process! The most important thing I have learned is that my body really needs fuel to be able to run 13.1 miles. One must hydrate and fuel before, during, and after the race to keep their body moving and healthy for the full stretch of the run.

low sugar energy gels

The first thing I think about before I go on a run is that I need to hydrate. Water is the most sensible option to hydrate, but there are also so many different sports and electrolyte drinks out there. How do you know which ones are good and which ones are bad for your teeth? Options that are full of sugar, like Gatorade or Powerade, are not good for your teeth. But I have found some healthier alternatives to these common sports drinks. Some products that I love are Nuun tablets. These are sugar-free electrolyte tablets that you add to your water for all your hydrating needs! These are great before and after your run, and you don’t have to worry about adding more sugar to your diet or providing a rich environment for bacteria to grow on your run.

In addition to hydrating before and during a race, you also need to fuel your energy reserves with carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are sugars, but there are the good kinds and the bad kinds of sugar. You just have to be smart about what you choose!

Before a run, I like to either eat a banana or whole wheat bread with just a small serving of peanut butter. low sugar protein before your runIt helps to give me the substance to get going on my run, but during the run, you have to continue to fuel!

When you reach 6 miles your body needs glucose to keep going. There are tons of products out there to use during races, but after reading the labels, I was shocked to learn how much sugar was in them!

I found that Gu Energy Gel is one of the glucose products with the least amount of sugar. It contains 6 grams of sugar compared to some of the others that had anywhere between 11-14 grams of sugar. I was really happy with this product because I knew it would help fuel my body and keep my teeth healthy! However, when consuming anything with sugar be sure to drink plenty of water afterward for an instant and natural rinse and teeth cleaning.

So next time you decide to participate in one of the marathons in Oklahoma City, and your race day approaches, be sure to think of your teeth. There are many great options out there to help hydrate and fuel your runs without the sugar! Just be sure to read your labels before buying a product for your race day!