If you’re someone who swears by the health bible, you are well aware of the fact that drinking lots of water is the key to good health. Many of us prefer bottled water either because of the taste or because of how convenient it is to grab one of these bottles to go. And with bottled water being available everywhere, it’s easy to stick to your daily quota of water.
From groceries and restaurants to gas stations and schools – bottled water has now become a staple stock item. However, while you may be mindful of sticking to the recommended “8 glasses per day” quantity, you may not be making the best choice by choosing to drink bottled water. Here’s why.
Health Hazards Of Bottled Water
1. It Can Make You Gain Weight
Many plastics, including the one that you’re drinking water from, contain bisphenol A (BPA). This particular chemical compound has been found to trigger fat cell growth. Researchers extracted and isolated human cells from the hips, thighs, or abdomens of female volunteers. These cells were then exposed to BPS over a span of two weeks. The result? The cells that were left exposed to tiny amounts and the highest concentrations of BPS displayed the highest amount of fat growth.1
Given the fact that obesity is an already existing health problem that only seems to be becoming a larger concern with every passing year, this is definitely one reason you want to give up drinking bottled water.
2. It Can Cause Cancer
When a plastic bottle is left out in the heat for too long, the plastic can release chemicals like BPA and dioxin into the water. By drinking this water, you’re exposing yourself to water with carcinogens, that will naturally, increase your risk of getting cancer. Of course, more research is needed to confirm this, but it doesn’t mean we can go on drinking bottled water. You definitely don’t want to wait for all the evidence to show you that it can cause cancer after all!
3. Your Body Becomes A Dumping Ground
Ingesting BPA and other toxins through your bottled water is going to lead to all these chemicals being circulated throughout your body.2 They can cause some damaging effects to your organs, including your liver – the primary detox organ that works hard to filter out waste to keep your body clean and healthy. Over the years, your body will become a giant dumping ground of all sorts of chemicals and toxins. If your liver cannot function properly either, there will be nothing to filter out the waste, and from thereon, it’s just a downward spiral.
4. It Can Wreak Havoc On Your Hormones
It is a common known fact that factory-produced plastic bottles are routinely laced with dangerous, even fatal chemicals called hormone or endocrine disruptors. Many of these even mimic estrogen – one of the major hormones in women. Because your body fails to tell the difference between the authentic hormone and the imposter hormone, it goes ahead and blindly obeys the mixed signals given off by these hormone disruptors. As a result, the body starts producing reproductive hormones in excess, thus triggering all sorts of health problems and complications.
Some people may argue that technology has addressed the concern of chemical-ridden bottled water – with their chemical-free “safe” options. However, even BPA-free and “ultra-safe” plastics have been found to contain estrogen-mimicking chemicals and toxins that can alter your natural hormones, leading to some dangerous consequences.
5. It Can Cause Birth Defects
Turns out that BPA – which is really a low-grade version of estrogen, can not only cause obesity and cancer but can also negatively impact a woman’s reproductive system. BPA triggers unnatural changes in cells that will eventually become eggs in the developing fetus. When it’s time for the offspring to be reproduced, these cells will not able to divide properly, meaning the fertilized egg has an incorrect chromosome number. This, in turn, causes birth defects like Down syndrome, and can even lead to miscarriage.
7 Healthier Alternatives To Bottled Water
Now that we’ve established the fact that bottled water isn’t as safe as we thought it to be, let’s talk about some healthier alternatives. This is a little tricky because most of us are convinced that tap water is unsafe for drinking purposes.
The truth is, any kind of tap water that has been approved is perfectly safe for you to drink. This is because the process of quality assurance is pretty thorough. There are, in fact, multiple levels of water testing and reporting that are carried out before the final approval. Hence, your tap water is just as safe as bottled water. If your tap water has been tested and approved by the concerned authorities, then spending more money on bottled water is a waste, not just of money, but also of all that unused plastic that is only going to harm the environment.
For some of us, it’s as simple as not liking the taste of what we drink.
If you’re one of those who still question the safety of tap water or are adamant about disliking its taste, yet want to limit the negative impact of using bottled water as your main source of drinking water – here are some options worth considering.
- Bottles Made Of Stainless Steel: These make the best alternative to bottled water as they are both safe and easy to wash and reuse. They’re also unbreakable, which makes them child-friendly. They are great for retaining the temperature of your water, be it hot or cold, and don’t retain the flavors of previously contained drinks.
- Bottles Made Of Glass: Although not as child-friendly as steel bottles, since they’re heavier and easily breakable, glass bottles still make for healthier alternatives to plastic bottled water. If you can get bottles with silicone sleeves, you can easily bring down your risks of breaking them and hurting yourself. These bottles are also easy to clean and reuse. Since they don’t retain the flavors of previously contained drinks, they won’t affect the taste of your drinking water either!
- Bottles That Can Self-Filter: Some bottles come with their own filtration system, those these tend to be more present in BPA-free plastic bottles. If you’re traveling all the time, or are generally on the run, and you want to ensure you’re drinking clean, pure water, this is a far better option than regular bottled water. With the help of carbon filtration, these bottles will make sure that the water coming into your bottle is free of large particulate matter and chemicals, and will also fight off that unpleasant taste of chlorine that we all dislike so much.
- Carbon Filtration System: In continuation with our previous point, you can also separately purchase individual carbon filters for your bottles, pitchers, and urns. These are also relatively cheap on the pocket and usually, need to be replaced only once every two to three months.
- Reverse Osmosis: By forcing unfiltered water through a semipermeable membrane, a reverse osmosis drinking water system removes the smaller, more elusive particles that a carbon filtration system cannot. It can also remove minerals like lead, fluoride, and calcium, including sodium from water that has been softened.
- Infrared Filtration Systems: With the help of ultraviolet light, these systems target harmful pathogens. It also does a fairly good job of removing unwanted minerals like lead and fluoride from your water, while managing to keep the essential minerals in the water. However, it isn’t as effective as reverse osmosis filtration systems.
- Whole House Water Purification System: If you really want to go one step ahead, you can choose to set up a water filtration system for your entire house. These are called point-of-entry filters because they filter every drop of water that enters your home, even before it gets divided and distributed to the numerous water outlets throughout your house. This means you can get the same quality filtered water to shower as you do for drinking in your kitchen, without going through the hassle of installing individual filters for your kitchen and bathroom.
|↑1||Boucher, Jonathan G., Shaimaa Ahmed, and Ella Atlas. “Bisphenol S induces adipogenesis in primary human preadipocytes from female donors.” Endocrinology 157, no. 4 (2016): 1397-1407.|
|↑2||Vandenberg, Laura N., Ibrahim Chahoud, Jerrold J. Heindel, Vasantha Padmanabhan, Francisco JR Paumgartten, and Gilbert Schoenfelder. “Urinary, circulating, and tissue biomonitoring studies indicate widespread exposure to bisphenol A.” Environmental health perspectives 118, no. 8 (2010): 1055.|