The FDA suggests that polycarbonate plastic bottles are safe, but many scientists disagree.
It's safe to say that plastics are not the safe compounds that they were once thought to be. Plastics release harmful chemicals, most commonly Bisphenol A (BPA), when scratched or heated. A long list of health disorders is associated with BPA, including developmental and reproductive abnormalities, altered growth rates, early puberty in girls, reduced sperm count, altered functions in reproductive organs in both sexes, altered behaviors, higher rates of cancer and neurological disorders. Although BPA is lethal only at very high doses, increasing evidence suggests that it can disrupt key body functions at very low doses, and builds up in the body with each exposure.
Plastic bottles containing BPA are harmful to the environment, your health and your wallet. As convenient as they are, plastic bottles contain the most durable pollutants on the planet. As they break down into smaller and smaller parts, they get into our food and water systems, and effects can be seen in fish and animals ingesting these toxic pollutants. BPA has been shown to leach into bottled beverages, and refilling these bottles increases the leaching process and hazard to the body.
Glass bottles are safe for your health, but they are inconvenient, breakable and heavy. Aluminum bottles are one alternative, but there is some concern over whether the liners in these bottles may also leach BPA. Stainless steel containers are less harmful to the environment, recyclable and do not alter the taste of the water.
So for now the recommendation is stainless steel as the best choice for water bottles in athletes.
How safe is your water bottle?
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