Discover the truth about cold water, tap water safety, bottled water, and more to make informed choices for better fitness outcomes.

The Hydration Hype: Debunking common Water Myths

Water! The one thing no fitness plan can do without, but the myriad myths floating around can leave even the most seasoned gym-goer confused! From chilly waters “constricting blood vessels” to magical “raw water”, let’s sweat out these myths and sip on some facts, shall we?

The Cold Water Conundrum

One workout just finished, you’re hot, sweaty and the only thing that comes to mind is chugging a gallon of ice-cold agua. TikTok says it’s a no-go! But let’s be honest, when it comes to facts, is a viral video your best source? Right, probably not.

While there was a small study in 2001 where 7.6 percent of women participants reported a headache after drinking cold water, most of these women were already prone to migraines. It’s also been suggested that cold drinks could discomfort those with Achalasia (a rare swallowing disorder), but the study only had 12 participants. So, don’t let this myth freeze your post-workout hydration, the temperature at which you drink water typically doesn’t impact your overall health.

The Hot Tap Taboo

The idea that hot tap water being off-limits has some degree of substance to it. See, it’s all about the journey! Hot water is more likely to pick up metals and minerals during its travel through the pipes. Plus, bacteria and other not-so-friendly organisms find warm water pretty cozy. So, filling your cup from the cold tap and heating it up in the kettle is often the safer bet.

Beating The Bottled Water Bias

Bottled water may be a necessity in some parts of the world with contaminated source water, but in regions where tap water is regulated and safe, there’s really no need. Some experts, like the researchers at the University of Queensland, say bottled water could actually be tap water. Plus, the extra dollars you’re pouring into purchasing bottles could be flowing towards other parts of your health and fitness journey. And we haven’t even touched on the environmental implications. Nope, planet Earth doesn’t do well with plastic either!

Rejecting the Raw Water Rhetoric

Some folks have taken water consumption back to basics, sipping straight from rivers, streams, and lakes. This “raw water” trend touts the benefits of natural water, but remember, our ancestors also dealt with things like dysentery and cholera. Our water sources aren’t as pristine as they once were, and consuming untreated water carries its own set of risks, including exposure to pollutants.

Holding off the Hose Hydration

The nostalgia of drinking from a hose might be tempting on a hot day, but before you turn on the tap, consider this. Water can remain in the hose, bathing under the sun for weeks, which could create a friendly environment for bacteria. Similarly, the water fountains aren’t as innocent as they look, with the potential to host a variety of bacteria. So, maybe a few seconds of running water before you gulp down wouldn’t hurt.

Concluding Tips:

  • Icy or warm, your water temperature comes down to preference and has no general impact on your health.
  • Hot tap water can house more minerals and metals from pipes, so heating cold tap water is a safer option.
  • Bottled water isn’t the miracle hydration solution, often it’s simply tap water. Convenience is key, but so is consideration for environmental impact and expenditure.
  • “Raw water” has potential health risks due to untreated contaminants and pollutants. It’s better to stick with treated water sources.
  • Avoid direct drinking from a hose, or water fountains. An extra few seconds of flushing ensures you’re not consuming stagnant water.

Source Citation: https://theconversation.com/is-cold-water-bad-for-you-what-about-drinking-from-the-hose-or-tap-the-facts-behind-5-water-myths-215452

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