It seems like every time we turn around, there is a new study about something we seem to be doing wrong. In this case, Experts Say, Using Mouthwash Reduces The Benefits of Exercise and it certainly has me stumped!   A study conducted by the University of Plymouth in collaboration with the Centre of Genomic Regulation in Barcelona and published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine looked at the effects of oral mouthwash and the link to benefits of exercise after using mouthwash. The study looked at 23 healthy adults who were asked to run on a treadmill for 30 minutes on two separate occasions, after which they were monitored for two hours. At 30, 60 and 90 minutes after exercise they were asked to rinse their mouths with a liquid – either antibacterial mouthwash or a placebo of mint-flavored water. Their blood pressure was also taken before exercise then taken right after exercise and using the mouthwash.  What they found was that those that rinsed with the placebo, had an average reduction in systolic blood pressure was minus 5.2 mmHg at one hour after exercise. Those that rinsed with the antibacterial mouthwash, the average systolic blood pressure was minus 2 mmHg at the same time point. This meant that the blood pressure-lowering effect of exercise was diminished by more than 60% over the first hour of recovery, and totally eradicated two hours after exercise when participants were given the antibacterial mouthwash.
Credit: Free Radical Biology and Medicine
Conclusion: using mouthwash after exercising diminishes the effects of exercise on blood pressure meaning exercise is less effective on health after using mouthwash. Isn’t that crazy?! So, I think the lesson here is to avoid using mouthwash around the time you are exercising to receive the full benefits of it to your heart, blood pressure and overall health. Maybe ditch the mouthwash altogether and use an all-natural alternative like a mixture of peppermint essential oil and water. Better safe than sorry.

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