You’ve just pushed through a heavy-duty sweat session at the gym, and you couldn’t be more thirsty. Even lukewarm water would be great at this point. So, you reach out for the easiest solution, bottled water. While this may seem innocent at first (you need to hydrate, right?), word on the street is that bottled water may actually be worse than tap water, especially testosterone-wise.
So, how about you hear the whole story before guzzling the bottled stuff? You might be doing your testosterone levels a favor.
Ever Heard of BPA?
As much as we’d like to disagree, many studies suggest that food and beverage containers (including plastic water bottles) contain dangerously high amounts of bisphenol A (BPA), an industrial chemical (xenoestrogen) usually used to manufacture plastic products. From there, BPA leaches its way into the food or water and, then, our body. What’s alarming, though, about this chemical is that it may lead to a variety of health issues, including neurological disorders, heart disease, even cancer.
Unfortunately, the use of BPA is so widespread that it can be hard to avoid the dang thing. In fact, experts claim that up to 93% of a study’s 2517 participants were already drenched in BPA which was detected in their urine.
Even though factors such as age, sex, and country of origin result in different BPA concentration rates, children are the ones who are affected the most. Why? Because adults seem to process BPA more quickly than them.
BPA and Estrogen
Aside from being a harmful substance, BPA serves as an endocrine disruptor. That means that it interferes with your body’s endocrine system which leads to several adverse effects. More specifically, BPA is a xenoestrogen which mimics the effects of estrogen on the human body and messes with your testosterone levels.
In 2011, a panel of scientists decided to check whether the so-called estrogenic contamination of bottled water is valid by comparing water from a spring in France and its bottled version. It turns out that bottled water contained three times the amount of estradiol (the predominant form of estrogen) than the water from the spring. Remember that we’re talking about the same water. It’s the packaging that’s different.
And, Then, There’s Phthalate
Much like BPA, phthalate is another xenoestrogen which disrupts the function of the endocrine system. In fact, phthalate is the industrial chemical which makes plastic bottles flexible. According to one recent study, the contamination of water with phthalates is impossible when we’re talking about plastic bottles. About 76% of bottled water contains dangerously high amounts of phthalate residues.
Estrogen-Friendly Plastic Water Bottles and Testosterone
While very few people have ever thought of using plastic and testosterone in the same sentence, scientists can’t stop talking about the corrupting relationship between these two from the moment xenoestrogens made the scene. And for a good reason.
Both BPA and phthalate pollute bottled water beyond control, and we are the ones to pay the price with our ever-decreasing testosterone levels. As xenoestrogens promote estrogen synthesis, testosterone levels take a turn for the worse. And here’s how.
Ironically, estradiol is the one regulating testosterone production.
The male body is designed to produce testosterone non-stop through the healthy function of several organs, including the testes and brain’s hypothalamus.
However, this non-stop synthesis needs to be controlled, or else testosterone levels will slowly yet surely reach unhealthy levels.
That is where estradiol steps in and regulates the production.
However, when estradiol levels are critically high, testosterone synthesis is further suppressed, leading to decreased free T in the bloodstream.
We know it, you know it, everyone knows it: Plastic water bottles are made using a variety of chemicals. While some of them may go unnoticed, some others can have a terrible effect on your testosterone levels by mimicking the effects of estrogen on the human body. Do you want to spare your body the hormonal “confusion”? Opt for glass or BPA-free bottles to store water from now on.