Don’t let a trendy water bottle obsession become a hydration horror story.
Colorful insulated tumbler brands, including Stanley, Hydroflask and Owala, to name a few, are currently one of the hottest status symbols across the US as a new generation of mindful, health-conscious young adults clamor for the coolest way to stay hydrated.
But water enthusiasts beware: you can have too much of a good thing.
“I think the concern and issue is that everybody’s gonna start drinking a huge amount of water,” Dr. Isaac Dapkins, Chief Medical Officer at the Family Health Centers at NYU Langone, told The Post.
According to Amazon search data, the insulated 40-oz Stanley Quencher Tumbler with a side handle and straw was a top-searched product on the platform this holiday season.
“It is really valuable to have enough water. I think the biggest problem is whether you are getting too much water or not,” Dapkins added.
“The most important thing is to kind of focus on whether you’re thirsty or not,” Dapkins said. “Your body is going to tell you how much water you really need. If you feel thirsty, you should listen to your body and you should drink water.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, adult men should have about 3.7 liters of water per day, while women should have about 2.7 liters.
With the 40-oz Stanley, Dapkins said women should be drinkingno more than three full cups and four for men, but he emphasized that those amounts are still excessive and should be the absolute maximum. Around two full cups for women and three for men will do.
“I’m not saying you should be drinking three. I’m saying you should not be drinking more than three full ones a day,” he clarified. “There’s no reason to do that. It doesn’t help you that much, and it’s not going to benefit your skin beyond. If you’re drinking two of them in a day, your skin is doing to be great. You don’t need four.”
He explained that the biggest thing with water has to do with electrolytes — such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium — as they are the minerals in your blood that essentially help keep everything in balance in your body.
When you exercise, you’re not only losing water, you’re also sweating out electrolytes like sodium — so if you lose both water and salt but only replenish with water you can diminish electrolytes, which can be “really dangerous.”
“If you take too much water in, you dilute those electrolytes and that can be a real problem,” he said.
In the case of the 40-oz Stanley Quencher Tumbler, Dapkins shared, “If you’re filling it up with water and drinking it a lot during the day, there is a theoretical risk that you could dilute the electrolytes sin your body and that could be really bad for you.”
When a person is exercising, they lose a ton of water and electrolytes and replace it with fresh water when they drink water, but typically in this case, you’re just sitting at your desk taking a lot of water in and not releasing any.
Dapkins noted that the most concerning electrolyte to worry about is salt, since sodium is carefully regulated and is regulated around water.
If you take in too much water, it can get to a point where your body doesn’t have enough electrolytes to make urine and release that water, which can lead to a decrease in sodium level and a “really lousy” feeling.
When your sodium or electrolyte levels go down, Dapkins shared things that you would start to notice, such as a headache or feeling really weak at first. If you’re not careful and keep diluting electrolytes, excessive water intake can lead to developing swelling in the brain, which could cause vomiting or even a seizure.
Aside from the brain-related symptoms, if your sodium level is really low, you can get muscle spasms, muscle cramps and muscle weakness, Dapkins said.
If you’re looking to replenish electrolytes, Dapkins recommended looking at electrolyte replacement options, such as tablets, powders and pre-made drinks.
One way to keep track of whether or not you’re over-drinking is to keep track of how many times a day you go to the bathroom. The doctor advised that going pee around six or seven times is normal.
He also suggested looking at the pee color to see if you’re hydrated. If your urine is absolutely clear, like no color whatsoever, you know that you’ve hit the point where you don’t need significantly more water than you’re already drinking.
The main selling points of the portable cups are the insulation that can keep a drink cold for hours, the rotating lid and the slim base that can easily fit into a car cupholder.
A recent peer-reviewed study found that an average one-liter plastic bottle of water contains levels of “nanoplastics” that are 100 times higher than previously thought.
Dapkins noted that people are becoming more aware of the fact that plastic is everywhere in the environment and believes that part of the reason there’s so much interest in the Stanley cups is because it’s made of metal.
Of course, there are benefits to carrying around a water bottle. It’s important to stay hydrated, and having water on you allows for easy access when it’s needed.
Meanwhile, some posts going around on social media are claiming that the famous Stanley tumblers contain lead in them, including blogs like “Lead Safe Mama,” a self-proclaimed advocate for lead poisoning awareness.
These claims have arisen because there is a small bit of material on the bottom cap that seals the insulated cups that contains lead — which is reportedly a standard sealing practice used for insulated drinkware.
However, a rep for the company dispelled the accusations in a statement to WCNC Charlotte.
“Please rest assured that no lead is present on the surface of any Stanley product that comes in contact with you or the contents of your container,” the rep told the publication.
“Every Stanley product meets all U.S. regulatory requirements, including California Proposition 65, which requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians about heavy metal and chemical exposure.”
While Dapkins emphasized that he’s not familiar with the exact situation regarding lead and Stanley tumblers, he suggested that there is “basically no likelihood that there’s lead in the metal in lining of the Stanley Cup.”