As the summer approaches and temperatures are beginning to resemble something like it, it is important to stay hydrated.
There has been so much in the press recently about plastic recycling and re using bottles rather than throwing them away. There are now over 1600 refill locations across the UK and a handy app to download to tell you where they are. However before you reach for that plastic bottle you bought last week to refill it beware of the dangers it could be causing to your health.
Some bottled water brands are still using plastic which is made from Bisphenol A (BPA). The chemical has been known to cause health problems.
The chemical, used since the 1960s to make certain types of plastic, mimics the female sex hormone oestrogen, and has been linked to low sperm counts and infertility in men, as well as breast and prostate cancer.
The NHS and the Food Standards Agency have both recently published information on BPA and have said that more research is needed into the effects of the chemical on our bodies. Read more from the FSA here.
Aside from this, there is another reason why re using your plastic bottle may not be as good as you think. “Bacteria”.
Studies conducted by a research lab tested water bottles which athletes had used for over a week, refilling them each day. The results showed that the bottles contained harmful bacteria which were higher than on a toilet seat and that many of the germs could cause sickness. Thousands of moisture loving germs and bacteria could be living in your water bottle.
From an average of 12 water bottles there were 313,449 colony forming units (CFU) of bacteria. While a child’s toy only contains 2937. What is more worrying is that the bacteria tested was not visible to the human eye, so you don’t even know if you are drinking it?
Other areas in the home which are prone to bacteria are toothbrush holders which can contain 331,848 CFU, Pet bowls 47,883 CFU and chopping boards which are the least of the offenders with only 6.8 CFU.
Bacteria found in the plastic bottles ranged from Gram Negative Rods which are harmful and known to cause Pneumonia and blood infections. They are also immune to antibiotics and Gram Positive Cocci which can cause skin infections, blood poisoning and strep and staph infections.
So next time you think about refilling your water bottle make sure that it has been cleaned in hot soapy water, or a dishwasher to kill the germs. Alternatively don’t refill it more than a few times and then replace it, but be sure to recycle the bottle. Stainless steel is known to be a better choice than plastic or you could opt for a glass bottle. Either way be more conscious about cleaning it.
For tips on killing bacteria in the home please see below.
Tips on staying hydrated
It is important to stay hydrated in the hot weather.
Water has many health benefits.
It is essential for your body to function properly.
It helps remove waste from your body via urine.
It lubricates your joints.
It controls your body temperature.
It transports nutrients and oxygen around your body.
Water is good for your skin.
As a tip you should aim to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. Keep a bottle on your desk, or a jug in the kitchen and keep refreshing your glass.
Tea, Coffee and fizzy drinks are second best to good old fashioned water as they contain caffeine which strips water from your body.
If you are planning to go to the gym early morning then drink plenty of water the night before and when you wake.
If you don’t like plain water than infuse it with lemon or lime.
Foods are also good and contain water. Cumcumber and lettuce have the highest amounts of water. Other fruits such as grapes, apples, oranges and water melon also are high in water.
If you are going on a flight then it is important to stay hydrated. Take an empty water bottle with you and once through check in, fill it up. Most airports have refill schemes now, or you can buy a fresh bottle in duty free. Alcohol can aggravate deyhydration and should be avoided.
Hydrate your skin with a good moisturiser as the cabin pressure can dehydrate your skin leaving it dry and flaky.