In a study conducted by Treadmill Reviews, researchers lab-tested water bottles after each had been used by an athlete for a week and found that the highest number of bacteria reached over 900,000 colony forming units per square cm on average.
Worryingly, that’s more bacteria than the average toilet seat. It also found that 60% of the germs they found on the water bottles were able to make people sick.
So what can you do to avoid becoming ill? It’s simple really – don’t re-use disposable bottles. Drink from them once and then recycle. It’s also a great idea to buy BPA-free plastic bottles where possible or invest in a refillable one made out of glass or stainless steel.
While drinking plenty of water this summer is a healthy habit, refilling that plastic bottle again and again could do you more harm than good. There have been concerns about Bisphenol A (BPA) – a controversial chemical, which is used in the manufacture of plastics and is thought to interfere with sex hormones.
“Certain chemicals found in plastic bottles can have effects on every system in our bodies,’ Dr Marilyn Glenville said in a magazine interview. “They can affect ovulation, and increase our risk of hormonally driven problems like PCOS, endometriosis and breast cancer, among other things.”
It’s a sentiment shared by the NHS too, which has confirmed BPA has the potential to migrate into beverages. However, they suggest that more research is required into the effects of the chemical on humans.
It said: “The science is not yet completely clear on how BPA may affect humans. BPA may mimic hormones and interfere with the endocrine system of glands, which release hormones around the body. Those calling for a ban suggest that it may be a factor in a rising numbers of human illnesses, such as breast cancer, heart disease and genital birth defects.”