Using Mouthwash after Exercise Cancels Out Key Benefits of Exercise

By: | September 15th, 2019

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A new study found that using anti-bacterial mouthwash after exercising can reduce the benefits of exercise.

When you exercise, your blood pressure lowers down for hours. However according to the research published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine, this blood pressure-lowering benefit is significantly reduced when people rinse their mouths with antibacterial mouthwash after a workout.

For the study, 23 healthy adults were asked to run on the treadmill for 30 minutes. After the exercise, participants rinsed their mouths out with either an antibacterial mouthwash or a mint-flavored placebo. The participants repeated the rinse immediately after the exercise and also after 30, 60, and 90 minutes.

The researchers measured the blood pressure and took samples of their saliva and blood of the researchers. They took the observations before the exercise and two hours after exercise. Researchers found that the use of mouthwash diminished a person’s post-exercise hypotension benefits by more than 60 percent in the first hour after exercising and the benefits were completely vanished within two hours.

Mouthwash’s effects on oral bacteria

Researcher Craig Cutler said in a press release, “These findings show that nitrite synthesis by oral bacteria is hugely important in kick-starting how our bodies react to exercise over the first period of recovery, promoting lower blood pressure and greater muscle oxygenation.

“In effect, it’s like oral bacteria are the ‘key’ to opening up the blood vessels. If they are removed, nitrite can’t be produced and the vessels remain in their current state.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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