Plastic, Stainless Steel, Glass or Copper?
 
The Great Water Storage Debate

by Arreaux Royce

In the past few years, I’m sure everyone has heard some news about what kind of water we should or shouldn’t be drinking. Purified, alkaline, distilled, natural spring, etc. . .  Which is best? It’s up to you to do your own research and decide. But we do at least know which water NOT to drink, and that’s tap. If tap is all that’s available, it definitely needs to be filtered and/or boiled before drinking. 

 

But one important detail that’s missing in this conversation is how we store our water. Our only choice nowadays seem to be only plastic, with glass coming in a very distant second, with a few manufacturers using aluminum cans and/or stainless steel bottles. Centuries ago, the only choices were animal skins or clay and copper vessels. So which is best? In this article we’ll get into the pros and cons of each so you can better decide which is best for you. 

 

 

Plastic

 

Unfortunately, plastic is the norm nowadays, but absolutely not the best option. 1Plastics can release chemicals such as bisphenol-A (BPA) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) that mimic the sex hormone estrogen, according to a study in Environmental Health Perspectives. 2According to the Mayo Clinic, chemicals leached from plastics wreak havoc on the endocrine system, causing a condition called estrogen dominance, which in turn causes toxic fat gain, water retention and bloating. Hormonal disruption may be linked to many other conditions such as PCOS, hypothyroidism, 3negative effects on the brain/behavior and prostate gland issues of fetuses, infants, and children. A possible link between BPA and high blood pressure has also been reported.

 

Under perfectly controlled conditions, water can possibly be safely stored in plastics, 4but factors like heat and cold, or scratched and worn plastics containers increase the likelihood of water contamination due to BPA and PET. These factors can be somewhat controlled after our purchase, but conditions in warehouses and during transport are unknown and wildly unpredictable. 

 

(One thing that’s very important to mention in all this is the thickness of the plastic. Excessive BPA/PET leaching is a characteristic more prominent with thin plastics used for small water bottles. Thicker, high-quality plastic used for 5-gallon water dispensers has less leaching, resulting in fewer potential health problems but these higher-quality plastic containers are always reused, resulting in old plastic leading to the same problems listed above.)

 

Water stored in plastics shouldn’t be your first option to drink, but in reality it’s often it’s our only option. When faced with the choice of drinking water from plastics or not drinking any at all, the choice is obvious. Drink up until better options are available.

 

 

 

Aluminum x Stainless Steel

 

Aluminum cans and water bottles are generally considered safe, but because 5aluminum is reactive to acidic liquids, most cans are lined with an epoxy resin that contains BPA. While this isn’t a problem if you’re drinking water with a neutral pH of 7, it becomes a very serious issue when you think of the acidic pH of canned sparkling water and canned foods. 

 

Note: (The pH scale ranges from 1-14. Any number under 7 is acidic, over 7 is alkaline. Sparkling water has a pH of 3-4). 

 

Aluminum and stainless steel tops the list as far as durability, but aluminum cans lose a few points due to the fact they can’t be re-closed and properly transported after opening.

 

Stainless steel bottles (and utensils) are also not 6known to leach any chemicals when in contact with distilled water (remember, distilled = neutral ph of 7), but they are shown to leach chromium and nickel into all foods and acidic liquids, such as fruit juice, milk, coffee, tea, pickle juice, yogurts and curd. 

 

Lots of research has to be done in order to determine if an aluminum/stainless steel bottle is in fact truly safe for anything other than distilled water, but what is definitely known is the result of aluminum/stainless steel coming into contact with acidic liquids. So is aluminum/stainless steel better than plastic? There are options available proven to be better than both, so this particular discussion is irrelevant. To put it simply, your choice is only as good as your options. Water from an aluminum or stainless steel bottle is better than no water at all. 

 

Glass

 

For reasons of durability and convenience in travel, glass doesn’t seem as appealing as it should. Despite this, glass can still be a simple yet effective way to avoid the risks of plastic contamination, if utilized right. Larger containers are perfect for home or office use. Glass bottles with some type of protective covering or sleeve lessen the risk of breakage and greatly improves mobility. While the major downside of glass is its fragility, the benefits are far more numerous and outweigh the one or two drawbacks.

Copper

 

They may prove a bit difficult to find in stores, but copper drinking vessels, cups and bottles are the absolute best option when it comes to holding water. The benefits are almost too numerous to list, so we’ll just focus on a few of the more important benefits.

Alkaline Water

8A recent study also determined that the water stored in copper utensils such as a copper jug or copper water bottle does become alkaline. It was found that the longer the water was stored in the copper water bottle the higher goes its pH level.

 

Essential Mineral for Life

Copper is a very important mineral essential to human health. It is antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory. Copper essentially aids to neutralize harmful toxins. Our bodies have the ability to make some nutritional elements on its own (called non-essential), but not copper (essential). Therefore, it needs to come from food, such as seafood, meats, nuts, seeds, whole grains, lentils, chocolate, cereals, potatoes, peas or some dark green leafy vegetables. If your chosen diet restricts or inhibits you from eating enough of those foods, drinking water that has been left in copper cups overnight is an easy way to make up for the minerals you aren’t getting.

 

Helps Improve Weight Loss

Copper regulates and correctly re-adjusts your digestive system to perform better. Copper also aids your body in the break-down of fat and eliminates it more efficiently.

 

Antibacterial/Antimicrobial

Copper is oligo-dynamic in nature (the sterilizing effect of metals on bacteria), and destroys bacteria very effectively. It is especially effective against E.coli and S.aureus, two common bacteria found in our environment known to cause severe illnesses.

Water stored in a copper container undergoes a natural purification process. 7Molds, microorganisms, bacteria, fungi, and harmful algae are eliminated, making the water perfectly fit to drink.

 

Slows Down Aging

For those of us who are concerned about fine lines on our faces, we have a secret weapon in copper. It’s loaded with super-strong anti-oxidants and contains cell forming properties, along with fighting off free radicals, a primary reason for the appearance of fine lines. 

 

Fights Anemia, Arthritis x Inflamed Joints

Maybe the most incredible fact about copper is that it is required in most processes that occur in our body. From cell formation to the absorption of iron, copper is an essential mineral for the functioning of your body. 

 

And The Winner Is. . .

In reality, it’s not possible to exclusively drink from copper 100% of the time. We’ll have to use one or all of these other materials at one time or another. The best thing to do is be knowledgeable about what you’re using. When using plastic, avoid any temperature changes for the bottle. Heating or freezing water in plastic bottles is strongly discouraged. If using aluminum or stainless steel, only fill them with distilled/alkaline water and avoid any juices, coffees or teas.

 

Drinking and storing water in copper most of the time is completely doable and highly recommended. The combination of durability, length of usability and most importantly, the health benefits, make copper the runaway best choice.

1 - npr.org/2011/03/02/134196209/study-most-plastics-leach-hormone-like-chemicals

2 - chatelaine.com/health/diet/how-having-too-much-estrogen-can-make-you-gain-weight/

3 - mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/bpa/faq-20058331

4 - npr.org/2011/03/02/134196209/study-most-plastics-leach-hormone-like-chemicals

5 - isustainableearth.com/green-products/are-aluminum-water-bottles-safe

6 - happy-mothering.com/02/household/why-were-switching-from-stainless-steel-to-glass-water-bottles/

7 - food.ndtv.com/health/12-amazing-healing-benefits-of-drinking-water-in-a-copper-vessel-1658134

8 - copperutensilonline.com/blog/how-to-prepare-alkaline-water-with-copper-water-bottle/#:~:text=A%20recent%20study%20also%20determined%20that%20the%20water,tested%20for%20its%20effect%20on%20microbially%20contaminated%20water.