If you’ve been refilling your water bottle it might be making you really ill

Apparently you might as well lick the loo.

Water. It’s a tricky one. To start with we thought we were supposed to drink loads of it. Then it turned out that you can drink too much. And then, just as we were adjusting to that news, it transpired that even though water is good for you, the bottle you’re drinking it out of might not be. In fact, the bottle could be making you properly ill.

Researchers lab-tested reusable water bottles after they’d been used for a week. And the scary part? One of the bottles, to be fair the one with the highest number of bacteria, had over 900,000 colony forming units per square cm on average. If that doesn’t make much sense to you, put it this way: it had more bacteria than the average toilet seat. Yep. That thing that you’ve been putting in your mouth on the reg has more bacteria in it than an actual loo.

Some bottles are better than others on the germ front: slide-top bottles are the worst, with 933,340 (germs) per square cm. Squeeze top and screw-top bottles weren’t as bad, with around 160,000 CFU per square cm. And the cleanest bottles were straw-tops, which had just 25,400 CFU per square cm.

Even the less germ-y specimens were less than sparkling clean. The average person’s water bottle was found to have 313,499 CFU per square cm. Which is a LOT of germs to be putting in your mouth. Oh, and to add to this lovely news, the researchers also found that 60% of those bacteria aren’t the nice friendly kind that come in yogurt drinks. They’re the nasty mean kind that can make you properly ill. So if you’ve been feeling ill it might have something to do with your dirty water bottle.

Happily there’s an easy way to prevent this situation, and it’s as easy as washing your bottle out with hot soapy water in between uses.

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