Popular Drink Eats Away Tooth Enamel Don't overdo it on the sports and energy drinks. While they hydrate thirsty athletes and sweaty weekend gardeners, they are best consumed by chugging them. Don't sip and savor them all day. Why? They eat away tooth enamel and that can lead to tooth decay and a host of other dental problems, reports HealthDay News. Sports and energy drinks are even more abrasive on tooth enamel than tea and cola drinks. That's the surprising message from J. Anthony von Fraunhofer, director of biomaterials research at the University of Maryland Dental School in Baltimore. The study: Using extracted human teeth, von Fraunhofer exposed the enamel to a variety of beverages, including energy drinks, fitness water, sports drinks, colas, lemonade and iced tea. The experiment simulated 13 years of exposure from normal consumption of each beverage. The teeth were weighed before and after exposure to calculate the dissolution of the enamel. The results: All the tested beverages produced some enamel damage, but some caused more than others. The worst drinks in order: Lemonade Energy drinks Sports drinks Fitness water (often with citrus flavors) Iced tea Colas While colas contain the most acids, the energy and sports drinks contain organic acids that actually speed up damage to tooth enamel. Meanwhile, the sports drink industry insists there is no link between the beverages and dental problems, notes HealthDay News. Still, no one is saying don't drink these beverages. Go ahead and drink them all you want. Just chug them and don't sip on them all day long. "If you are going to drink sports drinks or colas, drink them quickly and then try to rinse your mouth. Or use a straw. It gets it past your teeth," Dr. Craig W. Valentine, a dentist from Lakeland, Fla., told HealthDay News. Beware one thing: Don't drink any of the tested beverages and then brush your teeth right away. Toothpaste is abrasive and it will actually work the beverage acids into your teeth. The study findings were published in the journal General Dentistry.