We all know that keeping hydrated it essential to our health; water carries nutrients to our cells, it flushes toxins out of our organs, increases our metabolism, regulates blood pressure, protects and moisturizes our joints… the list goes on. However drinking water from plastic water bottles may be doing us more harm than good.
Here’s exactly why you should avoid drinking from plastic water bottles, and that goes for disposable and reusable ones.
1. Some bottled water is glorified tap water at 1000 times the cost
Some bottled water comes from natural springs and other pure sources. However studies show that more than 25% of bottled water is sourced from the tap; and companies aren’t required to list the source on the label. Some examples include Aquafina, Dasani, and many other brands.
2.Plastic bottles release harmful chemicals into your water (even if they are BPA free! )
When plastic bottles are exposed to regular wear and tear or heat (i.e., in a hot car or a hot yoga class), the outer layers of plastic can break down and leach into the water you drink. Bottled water companies increasingly use BPA-free plastic. However most BPA-free plastics are likely to contain BPS, a chemical similar to BPA, but one that hasn’t yet received the attention and publicity that BPA has (not to mention numerous other chemicals). Reusable plastic bottles are subject to the same risks if they’re washed or dried in high temperatures like dishwashers or are used for hot drinks.
3. Plastic bottles could expose you to harmful bacteria
Bacteria have been shown to be crawling all over the spouts and caps of plastic flasks and bottles.
According to research both reusable and disposable plastic bottles contain thousands of harmful bacteria like E.coli and Salmonella that have been linked to colds, flus, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea skin infections pneumonia as well as blood poisoning. When the bottle is opened it can easily get contaminated, even from your hands. Bacteria have been shown to be crawling all over the spouts and caps of plastic flasks and bottles. Regular use of the bottle can lead to small cracks and scratches in the plastic that accumulate bacteria. Plus unwashed bottles provide the perfect environment for bacteria to multiply; the nutrients from “backwash,” moisture and the correct temperature. Whilst washing regularly with soap and hot water could help, it could break down the plastic even more leaving more cracks for the bacteria to settle in and more chemicals leaching into the water.
4. The chemicals from the plastic can cause hormonal imbalances that may increase your risk of breast cancer and can reduce fertility
Plastics are known hormone disruptors that mimic the female sex hormone estrogen. Studies have shown that the elevated estrogen levels increase the risk of breast cancer and make breast cancer cells more aggressive. Moreover excess estrogens have been shown to result in a reduced ability to conceive in women, reduced sperm counts, lower testosterone levels and increased feminization in men, and neurological and behavioral problems in fetuses, babies and children (National Institutes of Health (NIH)( though further research is needed to fully explore this subject.
5. The chemicals from the plastic can increase your risk of heart disease
Water bottles containing BPA, BPS and phthalates have also been shown to increase the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.
6. They are damaging our environment
Although most plastic bottles appear to be recyclable, it seems that most of the plastic bottles in the UK end up in landfills, oceans, rivers and lakes. As they slowly disintegrate toxins are released into the surrounding environment to poison our soil, water, and air. Moreover imported water brands can cause carbon pollution to spill into the water and spew into the air increasing our carbon footprint
7. Tap water is subject to much more stringent safety tests than bottled water
Water coming from UK taps is the one of the most rigorously tested in the world, and is checked daily by Thames water. By contrast bottled water companies are only required to undertake monthly testings at the source. Another benefit of tap water is that it contains trace amounts of chlorine that prevents bacterial contamination and subsequent infections.
The water that comes out of your tap is probably safe however if you have concerns (like too much chlorine or fluorine accumulating in your system over the years, or contamination from old pipes) a water filter can ensure the water you are drinking is as clean and pure as possible
In terms of a reusable water bottle/flask I suggest a durable stainless steel or glass flask to carry your plain or filtered tap water in, when you are on the go. Just make sure to clean it well between uses!
My personal favourite water flask brands include:
The Bkr water bottle
As well as being inspired by the latest runway fashion trends, these glass water bottles have soft silicone sleeves to help protect them.
Chilly’s water bottles
Equally stylish with a range of prints and patterns, these high grade stainless steel water bottles can keep your water ice cold for up to 24 hours without tainting the freshness or taste of your water.