If you're hitting the gym, even if you aren't a regular, you're likely to own a trusty water bottle that you take with you all of the time.
Bottled water can be purchased at most, if not all, gyms, while there are also drinking fountains installed a lot of places. Yet the water bottle isn't going out of fashion just yet and, unless it's forgotten at home, will always accompany persons working out at gyms or other places they work out.
Sadly, though, it's the one piece of equipment many people pay the least amount of attention to. Hell, even gloves get washed every few weeks (well, we'd hope). Water bottles, though, are simply rinsed and put away until they're needed next. After all, they only carry water and aren't thought to be dirty.
One couldn't be more wrong for thinking that, however. In spite of the fact that water bottles are mostly made of hard plastic and even stainless steel, they need to be sanitized after every use as they could literally make you sick if you don't pay any attention to their cleanliness.
In fact, you could still fall victim to some sort of sickness even if you clean your best workout buddy but just don't do it right.
"Bacteria can build up within the water bottle in a moist environment and nobody wants to drink bacteria laden water," Rudolph Bedford, MD, gastroenterologist at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California, told Health. "Clean it daily. The problem is most people rinse with water only."
“Since it’s a moist environment, it's possible for bacteria to set up shop and thrive, potentially leading to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea,” Robert Glatter, MD, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Northwell Health and attending emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital, added.
There are a few different ways you could give your bottle the treatment it deserves. Of course, there's the dishwasher, but you'd need to keep it away from the spray arms and run the hottest water possible in order to destroy germs. Also, it would need to be properly dried before it's used again.
There's also the traditional soap and water dishwashing method, but again, hot water is advised, as well as proper drying.
Vinegar could also be used to clean bottles. About 1/4 cup of diluted vinegar could be allowed to sit overnight after it's swished around and then rinsed in the morning. The same could be done with hydrogen peroxide in extreme cases, meaning those in which slime and possibly odor are involved.
You don't have to let the peroxide sit overnight, though. A vigorous shake and an immediate rinse should just about do the trick.
If you don't have a dishwasher and/or time for any of the above, you could just get some water cleaning tablets or the tabs used to clean dentures. You'd only have to fill your bottle with water, drop in a pill and leave for about 30 minutes before rinsing.
Whatever you do, just keep that bottle clean. Who knows? You might even notice some gains.