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Green Water

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Commercially bottled water may not be a healthy fitness drink, from the container it comes in to the water inside.

The water may be no healthier than tap water, the plastic containers may leach chemicals into the water they hold, and the bottling, transport, and disposal all seriously weaken environmental fitness, and ultimately your own.


The Cornell Daily Sun made a nice summary of the information:

  • CNN news reports that Aquafina and Dasani are no different than tap water
  • Plastic water bottle manufacturing process, requires 1.5 million barrels of crude oil a year
  • 13,700 18-wheelers are used per week to transport one billion bottles of water across the world.
  • Bottled water undergoes eight tests under Environmental Protection Agency requirements. Tap water must undergo 22 different tests (tests in countries like Great Britain and Canada are more stringent).


The Journal of Queen's University (Ontario) adds:

  • One kilogram of plastic bottles requires 17.5 kilograms of water to be used in the production process. You're putting more water into it than you're getting out.
  • Bottling and shipping water produced more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2006.
  • Tap water is a safe and economical alternative to plastic bottles.


Both articles, plus others, advocate avoiding commercially bottled water and re-filling your own plastic or Nalgene bottles with simple tap water. I add two things:

  1. Use non-plastic bottles. Small glass bottles have been working for me and my students. For more safety, wrap them in protective neoprene sleeves, available easily in many places, including "dollar" stores. Some students have come in with stainless steel bottles from old army supply. We discourage aluminum bottles until we know if there is possibility of the aluminum leaching into the water and if that may affect health.

  2. Get a water filter for your tap water. There is work showing the water supply increasingly contains medical drugs excreted by the users and other chemicals that constitute a "body burden" of compounds with potential health effects. Future posts will explain those topics.


One of my students, Lily, who brings me a wonderful quick-bean recipe in thoughtful glass jars, adds this site for more eco-health through Deforesting Your Mailbox of catalogs.

Click this Friday Fast Fitness for recipes for Healthier Fitness Water. Readers, send your ideas for healthy, convenient water and photos of your inventive, fun containers.


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Photo 1 by blmurch.
Photo of trashed posture and water bottles by justin.
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About the Author


M.Ed, PhD, FAWM

Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.

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