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Reusable plastic water bottles have been infiltrating people’s lives for quite a few years now. As people become healthier and realize the benefits of drinking water and want the convenience of drinking water on the go, more and more people are turning to one-time use plastic bottles. However, there are some surprising effects that one-time use plastic bottles have on our health, including our hormones.

You may think that drinking water is a good thing, and in most cases it is, but plastic water bottles can have chemicals in them. The chemical Bisphenol A, also known as BPA, is one of the main culprits that cause problems. Even though this isn’t proven by science yet, the chemical has the potential to leak into the water or beverage. When you reuse a plastic bottle, the constant washing and everyday wear and tear can lead to a breakdown in the plastic and the chemicals can leech in.

Even though the science is not completely clear, the chemical BPA has been known to mimic hormones and can interfere with the endocrine glands, which help release hormones into the body. Scientists attribute this chemical to the rise in certain illnesses like breast cancer, heart disease, and genital birth defects. The chemical can also affect ovulation in women and cause other hormone-based problems such as PCOS and endometriosis. The hormone fluctuations not only can cause health problems but can also lower the sex drive. Ovulation usually comes with an increased sex drive and if the chemical is known to mess with ovulation, it also messes with the sex drive. Those suffering from PCOS that have fluctuating testosterone levels can also have a low libido due to this.

Not only does the chemical have an effect on hormones, but reusing plastic bottles also leads to another issue, which is that bacteria can be found after reusing the bottle. A study conducted by Treadmill Reviews showed that water bottles after used by an athlete for a week showed that the bottle was filled with 900,000 bacteria. The level of bacteria is greater than what is on the average toilet seat. Sixty percent of the germs that were found on the bottle was the type of germs that can make people sick.

The best advice is to not reuse plastic water bottles that are designed to be used once. It’s also a good idea to buy plastic water bottles that are BPA free, or refillable ones that are made out of stainless steel or glass.