Do you use mouthwash after a workout? Many of us do. It can be a quick way to finish off the hygiene routine you follow after you’re done exercising. However, you may be surprised to discover that this careful battle against bad breath may negate the blood pressure lowering benefits you’d earned during your exercises.
You May Not Need to Stop With Mouthwash After a Workout
Recent research may have shown that mouthwash after a workout can cut into your exercise’s blood pressure benefits. However, Dr. Martha Gulati, a cardiologist who runs the University of Arizona College of Medicine’s cardiology division, and American College of Cardiology spokesperson, said that you may not need to cut this component out of your hygiene routine quite yet.
The reason it’s too early to make any changes to using mouthwash after a workout is that the study was a very small one. In fact, it involved only fifteen male participants and eight females. Though they did see that there wasn’t a drop in blood pressure when an antibacterial rinse was used when compared to those who used a placebo instead, what they have not yet determined is why that occurred. The fact is that the researchers simply don’t know why it happened.
Other Benefits Remain In Tact
Though the researchers found that mouthwash after a workout can eliminate the blood pressure benefits of exercising, the other measured benefits were not affected by this habit. In fact, it doesn’t even mean that you’ve eliminated your heart healthy benefits. Gulati pointed out specifically that blood pressure is only one of a large number of heart and health benefits of exercise.
She explained that the heart response, such as improve blood flow, are not affected by the use of mouthwash after a workout. They aren’t “magically blocked by these lovely bacteria that we’d like to get rid of with mouthwash,” said Gulati.
Speculation Over the Heart-Mouth Connection
For a long time, doctors have known that there is a connection between bad bacteria in the mouth and cardiac wellness. Gingivitis, for instance, is a buildup of bacteria or plaque. This has been connected with easily bleeding swollen gums.
This bacteria can lead to bad breath and pain but has also been connected to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. Moreover, it can increase the risk of heart attack by almost 50 percent. That said, the reason for the connection between mouth bacteria and heart health – and of mouthwash after workouts and blood pressure benefits – remains unknown.