Your anti-bacterial mouthwash may actually be doing more harm to your body. According to a recent study, using mouthwash immediately after exercising could potentially negate the cardiovascular benefits — particularly lowering of blood pressure — achieved during a workout session.
Some entities inside our body are not meant to be there. The mouth may contain a colony of bad bacteria that could affect the health of the heart, and cause gingivitis — a disease that causes the inflammation of gums. People afflicted with the disease usually have puffy and sore gums that bleed while brushing. These bacteria also cause tooth decay and mouth odour.
But there are some bacteria that are supposed to be there. These aren’t harmful, and, in fact, are known to convert nitrate into nitric oxide, which, when gulped, helps in the widening of blood vessels.
Post working out, the body’s blood pressure tends to get lowered and stay that way. Now, according to the study published in the Free Radical Biology and Medicine journal, taking a swig of mouthwash could cancel the benefits of sweating it out in the gym — and researchers believe it could have something to do with the mouthwash’s effect on these bacteria.
For the study, participants were asked to run on the treadmill for two 30-minute sessions, having fasted the night before. Post workout, they were observed for two hours, during which, they were given antibacterial mouthwash, or a placebo of mint-flavoured water.
Blood and saliva samples were collected, and their blood pressure measured.
Post experiment, it was found that the blood pressure levels of those who had rinsed their mouth with a real mouthwash, were higher.