Water is one of those things that everyone knows is good for you. After all, aren’t we told to consume 8 glasses a day to stay healthy? Aren’t water shortages a leading cause of disease in developing nations? Water is clearly important, and always good for you. Right? Well, not exactly – even clean, potable water can be altered to be less healthy for us, and even cause problems of its own. Here are a few everyday issues that affect the health of your drinking water.


Bisphenol A


Commonly known as BPA, bisphenol A was a common ingredient in plastics – including plastic bottles for drinking water. Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that BPA can leach from the plastic into food and water, posing health risks to infants and children especially. Luckily, the rising popularity of steel and glass bottles gives you an alternative to plastic.


Dirty Water Bottles


So you got a stainless bottle, that’s great! How often do you wash it? Warm, wet places offer the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Say you left your mostly-empty water bottle on your desk overnight – you may as well have rolled out the welcome mat! But there’s an easy fix: regular washes with hot, soapy water, followed by the complete air-drying of the bottle. Problem solved!




You’re in the shower, relaxing in the hot water, and open your mouth to capture some of the warm drops. Congratulations! You’ve swallowed a mouthful of the bacteria that live in the showerhead! For most people, that’s fairly harmless, but not for the immune-compromised. So remember to wash your showerhead along with the tiles, and keep that water clean!


Flavor Additives


Some people just don’t like the taste of water. Crystal Light and other companies have made a fortune selling their water-additives to the public, boasting flavor without the calories. But Crystal Light has 12 ingredients – 12! All for a mild pink lemonade flavor? Instead of powders, try adding a slice of lemon or cucumber to your water. It’ll infuse your drink with flavor without adding a ton of chemicals.




Caffeine is wonderful, and can actually help with memory and concentration. But too much of it can lead to irritability and sleeplessness. So avoid those waters with added caffeine – otherwise you’ll find yourself feeling crabby and unable to sleep when bedtime rolls around.


Too Much Water


Seems like an oxymoron – isn’t more better? But drinking too much water can actually lead to fairly serious health problems – when your sodium levels drop too low, your cells begin to swell. Untreated, this can lead to seizures and even result in a coma. The solution? Don’t drink to fullness. Drink to quench your thirst, not to fill your stomach.

Image Credit: Darwin Bell