We care for our bodies through our physical yoga practice, and what we choose to eat and drink. Unfortunately we live in a time and place where we are bombarded by chemicals. Even if we eat organic foods and use organic products, we still have to be careful about hidden toxins in the air, water and even packaging. One key area of concern is plastic water bottles. In the height of summer and we all need to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. We also need to make sure we’re not unwittingly loading our bodies with toxic chemicals.
The Independent ran an article recently on the dangers of BPAs, which are found in a lot of hard-plastic “reusable” water bottles. BPA stands for Bisphenol A, a substance found in many plastics, that is a known to mess with the delicate balance of our body’s hormones.
According to Science – How Stuff Works:
BPA is a difficult substance to nail down; it doesn’t behave like a typical toxin. While other chemicals labeled as toxic have clear-cut impacts (asbestos exposure leads to cancer, lead poisoning causes reduced mental capacity), BPA is sneakier. Rather than harm the body outright, BPA is an endocrine disruptor. It changes the way our body’s hormones function, mimicking our own natural hormones — in this case, estrogen.
Estrogen can alter the behavior of more than 200 genes, which control the growth and repair of nearly every organ and tissue in the body [source: Environmental Working Group]. Among other things, estrogen affects fetal development, cell structure and the onset of puberty, and your body’s cells are highly sensitive to even tiny changes in estrogen levels.
According to this article, “As of 2005, 94 of 115 peer-reviewed studies confirmed BPA’s toxicity [source: Page].”
That sounds like a compelling case for not drinking out of plastic bottles!
The good news, if you can’t give up the convenience of grab-and-go water before or after class, is that disposable plastic bottles don’t usually contain BPA. But they do have a huge environmental footprint.
A better alternative is to invest in a reusable glass or steel water bottle, or seek out a BPA-free plastic bottle. If you’re not sure what to buy, you can check out The Independent’s Top 10 guide to BPA-free bottles in a range of shapes and prices.
Recommend your favourite reusable water bottle in the comments!