Could Bacteria In Your Reusable Water Bottle Be Putting Your Health At Risk?
If you're someone who lives an active and busy lifestyle, you probably have one drink bottle that you keep in your bag and re-use over and over. The same thing goes for your protein shaker; you use it, give it a wash with hot soapy water and use it again. Occasionally you’ll put it in the dishwasher for an extra clean.
A couple of months ago I read an article that made me feel a bit ill. To summarise; an English father noticed his daughter was regularly getting sick. On a whim, he took apart his daughter’s ‘twist ‘n’ sip’ drink bottle and, lo and behold, the lid was chock-full of built up grime. This unfortunately, is an issue that a lot of people are not aware of and if you’re one that is regularly getting ill, then your water bottle may just be the cause.
As it turns out, re-useable drink bottles and protein shakers with small moving parts and hard to reach corners create the perfect environment for brewing bacteria. Unless you are using a vessel that is easy to take apart and clean, it is likely that you are drinking from something that is not hydrating and nourishing you at all, but something that could be putting your health at risk.
There has been some contention about the actual plastic drink bottles are made of and the chemicals these may contain. This article will not go into plastics and their chemical composition - however regarding the relationship of bacteria and plastic, what we can tell you is that drink bottles and protein shakers made from low quality plastics have a much higher ability to absorb bacteria – leaving your bottle with a musty odor and putting your health at risk with continuous use.
How does the bacteria get there?
If you’ve ever seen a pool without chlorine left for a few days you’ve seen how quickly bacteria grows on still water. Now imagine what would happen if you put a lid on the pool and raised the temperature. It’s dark and would get warm and humid – the perfect breeding ground for germs. This is how bacteria begins to grow inside water bottles. Now consider; after you have a few sips from the bottle, saliva and backwash enters the water, full of traces of food and other goodies the bacteria can attach to and grow on. If you’ve used your hands to close the top of the twist top or flip up straw there’s bacteria from the last things you touched (think gym equipment shared by many) being added to the mix as well. Tasty.
If your drink bottle has a filter then you’re in trouble too. These types of filters are only designed for 300 refills. That’s approximately two months of use. Because they’re so difficult to clean properly after those two months are up you should throw it out or replace the filter. In general, bottles with fiddly bits tend to be the dirtiest. If you can’t see inside the hidden-away parts, then you probably haven’t been able to clean it properly.
Any vessel that you use regularly is subject to the same scrutiny. Let’s take a look at protein shakers. Protein shakers generally have hard to reach corners at the bottom of the shaker cup and sharp threads. These corners and thread types make for the perfect nook for supplements to get trapped and for bacteria to settle down in and grow. Not to mention that milk products grow bacteria far faster than water does when left to its own devices.
Why is it so bad?
Studies have been conducted on the bacteria found in water and shaker bottles and unfortunately, it isn’t a healthy immune-boosting dose of germs you’re getting. In a study of drink bottles sitting at room temperature for an extended period of time, the level of bacteria found in them was way above what the levels of bacteria are legally allowed for in drinking water. When these bacteria were tested it was found it was similar in type to the bacteria that causes food poisoning. The symptoms that you may experience from this type of bacteria include; gastroenteritis, typhoid fever, diarrhoea, urinary tract infections and general illness.
What should you be drinking from?
Ideally, we shouldn’t be carrying water or supplements around with us for extended periods of time at all. But as mammals whose bodies comprise mostly of water, it is a necessary evil. When choosing a reusable water bottle or protein shaker make sure it made of either high-quality BPA free plastic or glass. We recommend Eastman Tritan plastic which is what the MOUS fitness bottle is made from. It’s one of the highest quality BPA free and non-toxic materials designed specifically for this application.
In terms of design, the vessel should be able to be easily pulled apart in order to clean properly, it should have no hard to clean corners or areas that bacteria can call home! Preferably with a wide opening mouth piece with no intricate components, so that you can get right into the bottle to scrub clean. It should also be transparent to allow for light to enter your bottle (bacteria loves the dark.) Additionally, a lid that doesn’t require you to get your hands all over it would be great too.
We hope this sheds a little light on what may be actually happening inside your drink bottle and how you can maintain good health. The MOUS fitness and shaker bottle has been designed to combat this issue by introducing a unique modular and round design - the focus of MOUS is your health.
So keep working out, stay hydrated and fuel your body, but be conscious of what you’re drinking from. Make sure you can see all of the parts and think about the material that you’re drinking from, for the sake of the environment and for your health.