When was the last time you put your reusable water bottle into the dishwasher? You might want to do it right now because a team of Brazilian scientists conducted an amazing experiment.
They were eager to find out if reusable water battles are a carrier of bacteria in the gym? Nobody paid much attention to this aspect of hygiene before, but you might want to after you hear the results.
A health hazard
Gilmar Weber Senna, a professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and his team wanted to know how much microbial content there is in shaker bottles.
There have been speculations that shaker bottles are a culprit for many health problems of gym members, but there wasn’t proof. To carry out their study, the team needed real-life examples.
To analyze as precisely as possible, they stood in the gym all day and asked people to donate their bottles for testing. They compiled 30 used shakers, as well as bought 30 new ones to compare results. What they found out was astonishing to gymgoers and experts around the world.
In 27% of all bottles, there were large traces of the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. E. Coly was present in 17% of all tested bottles. This shows us that bacteria are widely present in gym-goers’ bottles.
With this in mind, unwashed shakers have started to be considered as some of the most prominent carriers of microbial organisms. Our mouths and fingers are in contact with bottles during the workout, when we are the sweatiest.
“In the beginning, we faced a dilemma on how to conduct the research,” explains professor Senna. “To avoid people purposely cleaning their bottles beforehand, we just appeared at the gym and asked people to help us with the experiments.
Almost everyone obliged and we were able to get real-life results from people who have just finished a workout in the gym.
How to avoid bacteria spreading?
Staph bacteria are not necessarily dangerous, but some strains of E. coli can cause intestinal problems and diarrhea. However, there are also other microbial organisms hiding on and in your shaker bottle. What can you do to prevent them from spreading?
The best thing you can do is to wash your hands before handling the bottle. Another good idea is to give the bottle a good wash.
Many bacteria are attracted to the smell and taste of sweat. This makes bottles infection magnets, especially after you’re hands are sweaty during a set. Avoid touching your face in the gym, as well. If you need to wipe the sweat, use a special towel or disposable tissues.
Many gyms offer these tissues, but avoid facilities which don’t have closed bins. Open baskets are a breeding ground for bacteria. And, of course, wash your bottle after every workout. It’s practically impossible to have a sterile shaker, but you can kill off the majority of the bacteria.