"Water is the only drink for a wise man." - Henry David Thoreau
3/1/10 Update: We've found a great-looking steel water bottle, so the clear winner of the contest is steel over aluminum.
9/19/09 Update: Sigg admitted that their former "secret" lining contained BPA (but maintains it does not leach). MindfulEats is proud that we always noted the squirellyness of their secret lining and we still stand by this post.
As we discussed in a prior post, you should be drinking filtered tap water. The Mayo Clinic, a renowned medical center, advises that your fluid intake may be adequate if "you rarely feel thirsty and produce 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) or more of colorless or slightly yellow urine a day." Sorry to be crude, but have you ever measured how much urine you are producing? We didn't think so. You can probably drink more water.
It's easy to drink water when you're sitting in one place, but what about when you're running around town or exercising? Then you need a water bottle. Glass breaks and we know that we don't want plastic. That leaves metal.
- Cost. Stainless steel bottles are less expensive than aluminum.
- Weight. Aluminum bottles are lighter than steel.
- Design. Sigg aluminum bottles are more stylish than the metal bottles, and currently very trendy. Aluminum bottles used to be better looking, but now we've found the Klean Kanteen wide mouth, which is much better looking!
- Safety. Stainless steel is a neutral metal and doesn't leach - that's why silverware and cookware are made of steel. Aluminum bottles need to be lined to prevent the metal from leaching into your water (may be harmful) and imparting a taste. You need to be careful about not scratching the lining. Sigg asserts their bottles are completely safe. They claim they have the best lining in the industry but won't reveal the contents since it is proprietary. The President of Sigg America, Steve Wasik, has stated that there is no BPA or leaching with the current lining. Nonetheless, they are implementing a new non-secret lining in 2009. When MindfulEats contacted them to ask about their lining, they were oddly squirelly about it and said they would have a new lining this year. As Sigg seems to be the most reputable (and they are being dodgy), we wouldn't get any of the other aluminum bottles since the lining is so important.
Both bottles are good choices, and though style points count very heavily with us, we give steel bottles the edge since they are less expensive and don't have a mysterious lining. Who wants the potential of aluminum leaching? If you aren't using them for exercise, get the loop tops instead of the sports tops since they won't leak in your bag.
Tip: Use your metal bottles only for water (no acidic drinks) to reduce the possibility of leaching, and don't use them to store water for long periods of time. Acidic drinks upon occasion are probably fine - manufacturers say it's ok, but it is possible that they may leach (and you don't want that - especially with aluminum!).
What to do
- Choose a metal water bottle, aluminum or stainless steel.
- Wash it out with soap and water. For more thorough cleaning, you can use baking soda and white vinegar. If you have a steel bottle, you can put it in the dishwasher; Sigg does not recommend dishwasher use.
- Fill with filtered tap water and toss it in your bag or in your car.
- Carry it around and be mindful about drinking water as you go about your day.
Here's the great-looking steel water bottle
What I ate: 2 chocolate chip pancakes (bad, but I made a mindful choice and it's rare so I'm ok with it), butter, 1T breakfast syrup (fake maple syrup that is high fructose corn syrup, gross), 2 cups coffee, 12 oz. green juice, 2 clementines, 1 c. steel cut oats, 1 banana, 1 small handful goji berries, 1/3 lb. cod, brown rice, spinach + mushrooms + red chard, 1 cup hot chocolate, 50 oz. water
Exercise: Ran 6.5 miles