Home Science Health & Fitness Ship In A Bottle: Your Body & Water

Ship In A Bottle: Your Body & Water

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Your body is a vessel and like any ship the waters you sail through will have a great impact on the speed of your journey.  When traveling towards peak performance staying hydrated is essential, especially for an athlete. Water is the key component in helping your muscles contract and relax and getting nutrients to your cells that aid in recovery. It’s recommended that you should drink about 3 liters of water a day to stay properly hydrated, that’s almost a gallon a day. But before you rush out and grab a huge jug of water at your local market you should keep this in mind, not all water is bottled equally.

Without knowing it, many of us are drinking water with anything from Flouride to Arsenic in it, continually drinking it can have some significant effects on your body. Flouride has been added to tap water for decades  It was most commonly known for it’s benefits in dental hygienics but before that it was used as an insecticide.  At one time when public health was at risk due to poor dental hygiene it was determined the best course of action to assist with improving general dental health would be to artificially add fluoride to tap water. This sounds good in practice but what happens when you get too much in your system?  Like many things we consume too much of it becomes toxic. Flouride has been associated with alzheimer’s disease , Skeletal Flourosis- which has similar symptoms to arthritis, underactive thyroid problems that can cause obesity,  and can also affect your melatonin levels- the hormone your body produces that is necessary for sleep. And that is just one of the major chemicals that has been studied, the NY Times reported that only 91 contaminants are regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act (in the US) but over 60,000 chemicals are used in tap water. All of these extraneous chemicals can affect not only your athletic performance, but your overall health as well.

A great way to ensure that you’re not slowly introducing unnecessary and potentially detrimental contaminants is to drink alkaline water. Alkaline water has a higher pH level than tap water and it’s available under various brands in nearly all grocery stores. Some studies suggest that alkaline water may help slow bone loss, neutralize acids in your blood stream, boost your metabolism to help your body absorb more nutrients.  It may even help prevent certain diseases.

Alkaline water is becoming more popular and easier to find with many brands to choose from.

While we aren’t endorsing any specific brands in this article if you would like to learn more about Alkaline water and potential sources feel free to contact us at info@scifighting.com.

Do any of you drink Alkaline water?  Have you noticed any benefits in your training?  Let us know in the comments!

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SciFighting's mission is to bring a higher standard of fitness to both the professional athlete and general population through concise reporting on the latest trends in the science of fighting. Our involvement in mixed martial arts spans both the professional and recreational realms of the sports. In addition to reporting on the news in the industry we function as a think tank, researching new facets of combat science and developing new tools and techniques to analyze theoretical and practical applications.
  • Evan Stoumbelis

    Really interesting article, those water bottles with filters seem like a good idea after reading this!

    • Thanks Evan. Yeah you know growing up in Europe tap water had a really bad reputation. Even living in the States I am still weary of tap water lol

      • Evan Stoumbelis

        Ohh yeah, I can’t blame you for being weary of tap water here after coming from Europe, the tap water there is notorious for being bad no offense.

        • Alex Briggs

          During my time in Thailand I couldn’t drink the tap water because it makes you sick. Now, it’s a habit to not do it.

          • Evan Stoumbelis

            One of my good friends went to Mexico and when he got back he told me the worst part was, like you said, the inability to drink most water. He ended up getting Montezuma’s revenge from it.

          • Alex Briggs

            It’s not a fun thing to experience, that’s for sure.

  • I think that the concern about the levels of arsenic and fluorine in drinking water are of little actual health consequence. I’m not sure the phthalates in plastic water containers aren’t a greater concern for an athlete. To me it’s off that someone would not drink tap water but them would turn around and drink a glass of milk. Milk is one of the reasons all the kids in grade school develop breasts by 4th grade – both boys and girls! I see it advertised as an after-workout drink. No too smart. Anyway, while I appreciate the concern for fluorine toxicity it has done far more good in drinking water than it has ill. If you can show me a case study that suggests that bottled water (aka some other place’s tap water run through a rudimentary filter) please post it. And don’t you guys even think about drinking chocolate milk after a workout.

    • Evan Stoumbelis

      Agreed, milk has way too many chemicals! But ohhh chocolate milk after a workout, way too heavy on the stomach! Horrible Horrible idea!

      • Almond milk is a pretty good alternative to cow’s milk. Soy is also good however some nutritionists have expressed concern regarding consumption of soy affecting estrogen levels in men which can be counterproductive for an athlete.

    • Great comment Philip. I actually have some information on plastics that was provided by a very well known chemical company (which shall remain nameless for now).

      Rules for Safe Use Of Plastic Water Bottles:

      1. Do not reuse, dispose after single use.
      2. Keep away from direct sunlight or long duration in the car and never fill bottle with hot water. PETE does not provide high resistance to temperature,
      3. degradation will begin at 70 deg C
      4. Keep away from chemicals , particularly solvents will cause early degradation.
      5. Do not consume water if discoloration of bottle, off–taste and/or fruity odor.

      Generally speaking the shelf life for water contained in plastic bottles is more limited than say polycarbonate (like those used for drinking water deliveries). You can also get Polycarbonate bottles for personal use and a proper filtration system will help considerably however the question isn’t the plastic as much as it is the source of the water.

      We aren’t endorsing a specific brand (I have my preferences) however we can safely say that the type and age of plumbing in a building or in a public water system will have a significant effect on tap water. Even private wells (like those found on certain farms and ranches) can have bacterial contaminants that are not cleansed by consumer filters. People with their own wells should have their water tested by professionals to ensure it is still safe to drink.

      Finally, yes you likely won’t die from one glass of tap water, but your body will perform better with a pure source. 🙂

  • Matt Watasha Wood

    Good stuff. Water is becoming more and more scientific.