Are you in the market for a reusable water bottle but overwhelmed with all of the options that are available? Understandably so, since there are several factors to consider. Aesthetics definitely play a role. Features are important, too, such as how well it works for keeping your cold drinks cold or your hot drinks hot. Also, the carrying ease factors in as well, but do you ever consider which water bottle is the healthiest?
For decades, single-use plastic water bottles were the preferred choice. The convenience and availability of them caused their popularity to spike. Although, as people learn more about the effects of plastic waste on the environment and our collective health, they are looking for new options. Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives that allow people to decide for themselves the healthy route they’d like to follow.
Brands have stepped up to the plate when it comes to transparency. They are putting their research front and center to give their customers direct knowledge about how their products are made and what kind of health initiatives they support. When it comes to health and safety, not all bottles are created equal. Important factors to look out for are the materials the bottle is made out of and its environmental impact. We’re lending our expertise to help you select the healthiest water bottle out there.
What is the Bottle Made Out of?
There are a plethora of water bottles on the market, both reusable and not, and a variety of materials used to produce them. The material of the bottle is directly correlated with its health level, both on a personal consumption level as well as the environmental impact it has.
Single-Use Plastic Water Bottles
Most single-use water bottles are made of plastic and provide a convenience to those who don’t want to drink water from the tap or need to hydrate on the go. However, with convenience comes cost. The cost of plastic waste to the environment has overwhelmed landfills and infiltrated the ocean. As a result, companies and consumers have rapidly scaled back on the amount of single-use plastic they use, particularly with water bottles.
Making the switch to reusable water bottles helps to reduce the 50 billion water bottles that Americans purchase on average each year, an action that has a positive ripple effect. Less use of single-use plastic water bottles lowers the amount of leached chemicals that contribute to plastic pollution, creating cleaner air and water for the planet. Plus, it limits the actual monetary cost of repurchasing single-use water bottles when supplies run out.
Polycarbonate Plastic Water Bottles
As people have begun to phase out their use of single-use plastic water bottles, the next option they likely turned to was reusable plastic water bottles. A majority of these used to contain BPA, a harmful chemical that used to be widely used in polycarbonate plastics. While most reusable water bottles are now BPA-free, the compound commonly used to replace it, BPS, isn’t much better.
BPS is thought to be more resistant to leaching, but studies show it may be just as harmful as BPA to the body. It’s best to read product labels and avoid using any water bottles with either chemical for a healthier experience.
Metal Water Bottles
Then there’s the option of skipping the plastic route altogether and opting to use a reusable stainless steel water bottle instead. When comparing the difference of plastic vs. stainless steel water bottles, steel is heat-tolerant so there is less concern over chemicals leaching into your drink. While the lack of harmful chemicals makes it most appealing, there are many more benefits to using a stainless-steel water bottle.
Stainless steel, when vacuum insulated, is durable, recyclable, and also king at retaining the temperature of your hot or cold drinks. When selecting a stainless steel water bottle, look for a 18/8 food-grade option, which means the steel is 18 percent chromium and 8 percent nickel and highly resistant to corrosion.
Aluminum is another metal used in reusable water bottles. It is often thought of as an alternative to stainless steel because it is lightweight and heat-resistant. Like plastic, though, aluminum can leach into water. Aluminum water bottles, therefore, need liners. If going this route, check that the liners are BPA-free. In many cases, these liners are made of plastic or epoxy materials, which face all the same problems of plastic water bottles as we mentioned above.
Glass Water Bottles
Finally, glass water bottles have recently become more popular for their heat-resistant properties and recyclability. They are a healthy option to drink from and rank higher than both plastic and aluminum water bottles on the unhealthiest to healthiest scale. Since glass is made of natural materials, experts say there is no danger of inorganic chemicals leaching into liquids when there is a temperature change.
However, a glass water bottle does not offer the same insulating benefits as stainless steel and certain options may not be shatterproof. Additionally, glass can be heavy to carry and is not allowed in some public places because of its breakable nature.
No matter which material you choose, it’s always best to perform your own research into a brand and its manufacturing process.
What Is the Bottle’s Environmental Impact?
In addition to consumer safety, it is also important to determine the environmental impact of a water bottle before buying it, not only for the sake of being green, but also for the sake of your health. Non-reusable plastic water bottles end up in either a landfill, recycling center, or worse, litter the streets and beaches, and eventually end up in the ocean. This causes both visible pollution and invisible air pollution since plastics release toxins as they degrade. It’s safe to say, plastic does not fall under the category of eco-friendly water bottles.
As an alternative, stainless steel and glass water bottles are recyclable and public spaces are making it easier for people to make sure their waste ends up in the proper place. Both are also sustainable options which can be used repeatedly, thanks to their durability and easy-to-clean maintenance.
The health of the environment impacts your individual health, in turn, so you’re doing yourself a favor by choosing a safe, reusable water bottle that is both made from recyclable material and easy on the earth’s resources. Using a healthy water bottle is better for you, yes, but it’s also better for the world.
Is Bottled Water Healthy?
The actual water you consume is also important to health. And the type of water bottle you use influences the type of water you drink. In a recent study of bottled water from popular brands, 93% of the bottled water showed some signs of microplastic contamination. Additionally, the bottled water contained double the amount of microplastics present in tap water.
Using a refillable water bottle is not only more cost-effective in the long run, but also can help limit the amount of contaminated water you drink. While most tap water in the U.S. is safe to drink, filtered water is also easily accessible at most workplaces and gyms, and easy to have at home. It is simple and affordable to install a water filter in your fridge or on your kitchen faucet or to purchase a filtered pitcher. You can then easily fill your reusable water bottle with healthy drinking water at home, work and the gym, and avoid drinking pre-bottled water potentially contaminated with microplastics.
Does Your Bottle Help You Hydrate?
We can’t talk about finding the healthiest water bottle without bringing up hydration. Hydration is key to overall health and using a reusable water bottle is key to hydration. Using a reusable water bottle not only ensures you always have healthy water within reach but also helps you track how much water you are drinking so you can ensure you’re getting the recommended amount.
As an added bonus, a good-looking bottle can also be inspiring. If you’re more likely to drink out of a beautiful bottle, be it tie-dye or teakwood, or drink more by having a larger, 40oz bottle at your side, then it’s the healthier option for you. You will feel more energized because of both the eye-catching bottle and the additional ounces it helps you consume.
Which Water Bottle Is the Healthiest?
Now that we have discussed what makes a water bottle healthy, it’s time to shop!
S’well water bottles are made from vacuum-insulated, 18/8, food-grade stainless steel, which makes them the best option material-wise, but their features and aesthetics are also compelling. S’well bottles are safe to drink from, shatter-proof, and will keep your beverages colder or hotter, longer than all the rest. Plus, you can choose from a variety of sizes and beautiful designs and even personalize your bottle for extra customization.
The bottles are completely BPA/BPS-free so you won’t have to worry about harmful chemicals making their way into your water. And, every bottle is reusable and recyclable. The eco-friendly nature ensures you’re not only making the right choice for yourself but for the world as well, all while staying hydrated and healthy.