Hidden dangers of reusing water bottles
I was in the gym last week and got to chatting to a guy about training/diet etc and noticed that he had a very battered looking water bottle that he was reusing all the time so I decided I would dig up this old post I did on the dangers of reusing water bottles (the plastic ones and many others that do not state that they are BPA free).
BPA is a chemical used in the liners of metal food and drink containers and is the subject of an on going health debate on it’s safety. One study has even showen that BPA interferes with our body’s natural hormonal messaging system. Not the kind of thing you want going into your body! More on the dangers later.
Camelbak , Nalgene and the amazing vapur foldable bottle have a great range of the hard and soft BPA free bottles and I find them vital if you workout and exercise regualarly. The hard ones can make for a really good foam roll substitute which I use when I am travelling.
Studies have shown that participants drink 24% more water from a reusable water bottle than a standard bottle. Most of them come with a handy mouth piece also which makes getting the water into you that little bit easier especially if you are training hard.
I never leave the house without two filled water bottles and snacks. I paid a little under €15 for a hard plastic bottle. Some people may ask why bother paying all that money when I can just keep reusing a plain plastic bottle?
Well there are a number of issues with this -
1. They can leach toxic chemicals – reusing standard water bottles can cause toxic chemicals to leach out as they get repeated use, get banged about and washed. Another possibe carcinogen DEHP and PET can leach from these shop bought water bottles as they worn down through use.
2. They end up in landfills – buy a good water bottle and keep refilling it with filtered water (I use www.simplywater.ie )at home or work. It’s just not very green (and more expensive) to keep rebuying water bottles that have to be dumped and incinerated.
3. Build up of harmful bacteria – with repeated use of any water bottle it’s sensible to wash them regularly. However, with the standard water bottles the heat of the water or the dishwasher will cause cracks for those harmful chemicals to leach out. I have had quite a few clients turn up for sessions with water bottles that look weeks old so please get a proper bottle and wash it regularly. This especially goes for all those using protein drinks as there is a far higher chance of getting a bacterial infection from one of these containers if it is not washed daily (use a toothbrush to get into all the fiddly bits).
The good water bottles can be bought from most outdoor shops and look out for the BPA free sign on them. There are more companies coming out with bottles that are BPA free so you should have more choice soon.
Keep drinking plenty of clean filtered water every day and remember some people that think they are hungry are just thirsty so drink a good mouthfull of water before you reach for the foods that could take your diet off track.