The Bane of Bottled Water?>

Supermarket Buying Guide: Beverages

The Bane of Bottled Water

by Edward R. Blonz, Ph.D.  

Even though they are recyclable, countless plastic water bottles get thrown in the garbage and end up in landfills. A more eco-friendly option is to carry a reusable water bottle.

Stainless steel is best, but if you have a reusable plastic bottle, be sure it does not contain BPA (bisphenol A), an industrial chemical used in the manufacture of some hard plastic bottles and the lining of cans. Bottles that are labeled with recycling code #7 may contain BPA; bottles with other numbers do not. BPA has been linked to cancer, heart disease and sexual dysfunction; it is especially of concern for babies and young children. In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially banned the use of BPA in baby bottles and children’s drinking cups.

Do you even need to guzzle bottled water everywhere you go? Most likely, you don’t. While some people may indeed be dehydrated, there is plenty of skepticism—and no real science—behind the admonition to drink eight glasses of water a day. In general, let your thirst be your guide.

An exception: Older people should drink water before they get thirsty, especially in the heat, since thirst is a less reliable indicator as we age.

Table of Contents