FOUR ROAD-TESTED WATER BOTTLES
You’re not still using single-serving water bottles, are you? Besides being full of BPAs (a chemical that, among other things, leeches harmful estrogen-like chemicals into your body and can mess with your nervous system), single-use water bottles are a nightmare for the environment. In the United States, 17 million barrels of oil are consumed annually just from the production and shipping of single use bottles. Worse, only 15 percent of single use bottles are recycled.
But you need water while you work out, especially here in Florida. Water makes up 50-70 percent of the average human’s body weight, and a loss of just 1 percent may affect athletic performance. Clearly you need a re-usable water bottle. Not all water bottles are created equal, though. Let’s look at what is currently available on the market to contain this essential element, and which water bottle suits your needs for different activities the best.
Pros: This bottle works great for keeping your water cold in the summer heat—a necessity here in Florida (unless you enjoy drinking warm water on a hot day). Also, the adjustable valve allows you to dial in the perfect amount of flow—from a trickle to garden hose. These bottles stand up to years of abuse and don’t give water the off-putting chemical taste that some water bottles can be known for.
Cons: The bite valve can be tricky to clean, since you have to remove it from the bottle to really clean the inside.
Pros: This hydration bag is known for its toughness—after all, military special operations teams use them in the desert. Multiple lash points (spots where you can tie the bag down to a kayak or canoe) and sizes ranging from two liters to 10 liters allow you to carry as much water as you could possibly need. Several accessories are available for this system, from different caps to hydration hoses. Some users even use them as improvised showers when public facilities are not available at the beach.
Cons: Some users report a chemical taste until the bag has been used several times. Also, the cost of additional accessories can add up.
Pros: When you are in a room that is at 104 degrees, cold water is a heaven-sent blessing. This bottle is renowned for its ability to keep beverages cool. Stainless steel means it is BPA free and it does not retain flavors like some plastic bottles can.
Cons: The outer steel surface can get hot to the touch when left in your car, although users report that the liquids inside are always cool.
Everywhere and Anytime:
Pros: This bottle collapses to almost nothing and lends itself to fitting in your pocket, purse, carry on, or whatever you happen to be carrying. The top and bottom are harder plastic, helping the bottle maintain its form, which can be a problem with other collapsible bottles. Stash one permanently in your gym bag and you’ll never be stuck without a bottle for the day’s WOD.
Cons: The collapsible nature of this water bottle means it can be a little awkward to drink one handed and filling the bottle to the brim can be a problem.