A study out of Brazil finds reusable water bottles to be as filthy as a toilet seat.
In this small study, researchers sampled 30 water bottles used by people at the gym and compared them to unused, new water bottles. They found the following:
- 83% had bacterial contamination
- 27% contained Staph. aureus
- 17% contained E. coli
among other contaminants.
Although Staph. aureus and E. coli occur naturally in human orifices such as the nose and colon respectively, both have been implicated in multiple diseases.
This echos a 2016 study published by Treadmill Reviews which compared straw top to slide top to squeeze top to screw top reusable bottles and found the slide top design to be the worst in contamination.
Study author, Dr. Gilmar Weber Senna of the Federal University of State of Rio de Janeiro told Runner’s World,
“We tested in a real-world scenario, by surprise, asking for [bottles of] those who were arriving at the gym at those particular days……. We did this to avoid an intentional over-cleaning.”
Medical experts believe steel, metal or glass bottles may provide better protection against harboring pathogens. Studies need to determine which water canister is the safest.
For now, clean the bottle out regularly, wash your hands before grabbing it, and watch where you set it……
Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.