What Should You Carry Your Drinking Water In?

Woman drinking water from water bottle
Stainless steel water bottles.

Research shows that 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated and do not drink the recommended average of 8 cups of water per day. Carrying a reusable water bottle is a great reminder to drink more water and stay hydrated. There are tons of water bottle options out there, so what is the best type to use? Plastic? Aluminum? Stainless steel? Glass?

Let’s start with plastic. Plastic water bottles came under fire in the past several years because of the additive bisphenol A (BPA), which can have adverse health effects by mimicking the hormone estrogen. Since this research came to light, many companies have removed BPA from their bottles, but this does not mean that plastic water bottles are 100 percent safe.

Plastic bottles still contain many other additives that can leach into the water. Since we do not fully understand the health effects of the chemicals in plastics, it is best to avoid plastic bottles.

Many aluminum water bottles have a liner inside that contains BPAs or other additives as well, so if you can’t find an unlined aluminum water bottle; it’s best to also avoid these.

That leaves us with stainless steel and glass, and both are great options! Stainless steel and glass bottles do not contain chemicals that will leach into your water.

Stainless steel water bottles are widely available at your local grocery stores. Some people don’t love the slightly metallic taste associated with a stainless steel bottle, so if that’s you, glass is an alternative.

There are many glass bottles on the market now that have a rubber or silicon sleeve to prevent them from breaking. Be sure to check the tag to see if the water bottle you pick up is machine washable if that is an important factor for you!

— By Miranda Bryan, MS (’14), Bastyr University 2014-15 dietetic intern, and Amy Frasieur, MS, RD, core faculty in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University.

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Stainless steel water bottles.

What Should You Carry Your Drinking Water In?

Stainless steel and glass bottles are the safest options for you to drink water out of.