Staying hydrated is absolutely essential for everyone, but especially so if you’re into training and getting lots of exercise. You should be drinking between six to eight glasses of water a day, whether you’re training or otherwise - and one of the best ways to ensure that you keep your hydration levels topped up is to carry a reusable water bottle around with you.
If you don’t keep yourself properly hydrated, your body temperature and heart rate may increase and you may find yourself feeling more fatigued than usual.
Dehydration can also have an impact on your motor control, as well as your decision-making abilities and your concentration. And it can also hinder your performance in the gym, so make sure you’re drinking regularly throughout the day!
What’s just as important, however, is to make sure that your gym water bottle is kept properly clean week by week, or you could be putting your health at risk.
A recent study carried out by waterfilterguru.com revealed at the start of the year that, on average, a reusable water bottle has twice as many germs as the kitchen sink - which may well be the encouragement you need to clean your bottle on a more regular basis.
The researchers investigated different types of water bottle - the spout lid, straw lid, screw top and squeeze top to see which were most likely to be riddled with bacteria. The results showed that spout top and screw top bottles had the most bacteria, while squeeze top options were the most hygienic of them all.
While it’s certainly better for the planet (and your back pocket!) to have a reusable water bottle, it’s important not to compromise your health. Cleaning your bottle at least once a week is the recommended course of action, although you could really up the ante and do it as soon as you get home from your training session each day.
Alternatively, what about investing in more than one bottle so you can have them on rotation, helping to reduce the amount of cleaning you need to do? Buying a good strong bottle brush could also be a good idea, so you can really give it a solid swill about and get into any hard-to-reach areas for a thorough clean.
And if you’re feeling particularly virtuous, you could also run it through the dishwasher once a week or so to really make sure that you’re getting rid of all that nasty lurking bacteria once and for all.
If your bottle isn’t dishwasher safe but you still want a deep clean, you can try filling it halfway up with equal parts vinegar and water, leaving it overnight to soak. The next day, rinse it out with some washing-up liquid to get rid of the vinegar taste, fill it up and head off to the gym, worry-free!
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