Fitness Misconceptions: Water Bottles, Sunburn, And More.

The following information is either hard to come by, or word of mouth is incorrect and needs to be corrected. Those subjects I will be touching on are about water bottles, sunburn, tanning, and weight training.
In the health and fitness world there are many things to know, not all of which are general knowledge. Anything that you do not learn in a book you can probably learn by word of mouth, but I have found the following information is either hard to come by, or word of mouth is incorrect and needs to be corrected. The following topics are things you should know, but probably don't.


Water Bottles

The water bottles I am referring to are the ones that are already filled with water when you buy them. Not empty bottles designed to be filled after purchase. Water bottles are actually designed for a one-time use. I was surprised to hear this information considering how convenient it is to just refill them after use.

I was even more surprise to hear that water bottles quickly deteriorate after they are opened. When the plastic breaks down they release vinyl chloride into the water, which causes cancer. A general rule of thumb is that if you taste the "plastic" in the water, throw the bottle out.

I have however drank water directly after buying it and found it tasted like plastic, so this might not be the most accurate way of determining if the bottle is safe to use, that or the bottle had already began to deteriorate before I even opened the bottle.

In Defense Of Water Bottles
In response to increasing public concern surrounding the safety of plastic drinking bottles the American Plastics Council presented the document, The Safety of Convenience-Size Plastic Beverage Bottles.

A general overview is presented below. The full document can be seen here.

  • To help assure the safety of our food, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration carefully reviews food and beverage packaging materials, including plastics for beverage bottles, before allowing them on the market.

  • Most convenience-size beverage bottles sold in the United States are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET). PET has become the material of choice for bottled beverages because it is lightweight and shatter resistant, and PET has been extensively tested for safety. Bottles made with PET are widely used for everything from water and fruit juice to soft drinks and even beer.

  • Consumers can continue to trust the convenience and reliability of plastic bottles knowing that the safety of these products is demonstrated through extensive testing and protected by FDA regulations.

Besides the plastic breakdown another problem with reusing plastic bottles is that they tend to not be washed out properly between uses. Some people think that because the bottle only contained water to begin with there is no need to thoroughly wash it out.

The problem is that you are handling this bottle with your dirty hands, and most of the times you need your water bottle your hands will probably be quite dirty. Also washing the bottle isn't enough. You need to properly dry the bottle.

A damp bottle becomes an excellent breeding ground for bacteria. But its best to use that water bottle one time and throw it out, because studies are showing the longer you hold onto that bottle the more chemicals that will dissolve into your water.

Types Of Plastics
There are about 50 different groups of plastics, with hundreds of different varieties. All types of plastic are recyclable. To make sorting and thus recycling easier, the American Society of Plastics Industry developed a standard marking code to help consumers identify and sort the main types of plastic.

Sorting Logo Type Common Uses

PET

Polyethylene terephthalate - Fizzy drink bottles and oven-ready meal trays.

Recycling Logo

HDPE

High-density polyethylene - Bottles for milk and washing-up liquids.

Recycling Logo

PVC

Polyvinyl chloride - Food trays, cling film, bottles for squash, mineral water and shampoo.

Recycling Logo

LDPE

Low density polyethylene - Carrier bags and bin liners.

Recycling Logo

PP

Polypropylene - Margarine tubs, microwaveable meal trays.

Recycling Logo

PS

Polystyrene - Foam meat or fish trays, hamburger boxes and egg cartons, vending cups, plastic cutlery, protective packaging.

Recycling Logo

OTHER

Any other plastics - An example is melamine, which is often used in plastic plates and cups.


Sunburn

Putting on suntan lotion in the summer before enjoying a day on the sand is a good idea but it is still far from perfect. Dangerous sunrays are still around in the fall and winter and all that snow only helps reflect those rays onto your waiting skin. Sun block is supposed to be worn year-round when your skin will be exposed to the sun for extended periods of time despite the season and temperature.

Cloud Cover

    Also remember clouds are not clothing. Dangerous rays can easily penetrate those fluffy sky ordainments so apply sun block to exposed skin even on cloudy days. The reason it seems like the sun is more harmful in the summer is because in winter people wear more protective clothing due to the cold.

    The problem is in winter the rays are equally as deadly and most people wouldn't even think about putting sunscreen on exposed skin in the winter. Also snow reflects sunrays in a way similar to water, so being around a snowy area can increase skin damage due to reflected rays.

Clothing

    Remember that clothing is not sunscreen. A white tee shirt actually has a low SPF (Sun Protection Factor) and depending on its thickness you can get burnt right through the shirt.

Recommended SPF By Skin Type
Skin Type 1 hour 2 hours 3 hours 4 hours 5+ hours
Very Fair /
Extremely Sensitive
15
30
30
45
45
Fair / Sensitive
15
15
30
30
45
Fair
15
15
15
30
30
Medium
8
8
15
15
30
Dark
4
8
8
15
15

    Sunglasses are also recommended as sun exposure can increase your risk of developing cataracts. Studies show that dark haired, dark eyed people are especially at risk of developing this eye condition.


Tanning

Who hasn't heard the rumor that you need a "base tan" before hitting the beaches in the summer? This seems like a popular habit, unfortunately it is mostly based on fiction. Tanned skin has a very low SPF (Sun protection factor) of somewhere around 4-8 SPF.

In comparison, the absolute lowest SPF a sunscreen you buy for the beach should have, is 15 to keep you safe. Tanned skin does not protect you from sunburn for the most part and it certainly does not protect you from dangerous UV rays at all.

UV (Ultraviolet)
The name means "beyond violet" (from Latin ultra, "beyond"), violet being the color of the shortest wavelengths of visible light.

Some of the UV wavelengths are colloquially called black light, as it is invisible to the human eye. Some animals, including birds, reptiles, and insects such as bees, can see into the near ultraviolet.

Many fruits, flowers, and seeds stand out more strongly from the background in ultraviolet wavelengths as compared to human color vision. Many birds have patterns in their plumage that are invisible at usual wavelengths but seen in ultraviolet, and the urine of some animals is much easier to spot with ultraviolet.

Remember there is no safe tan. If your skin is tanned it means it is damaged, it is unfortunate but true. And beware of tan-accelerating lotions if you are looking for a sunscreen.

Those lotions have a very low SPF and won't protect you from skin cancer. The safe alternative to a "sun" tan is a spray on tan, which doesn't expose you to any harmful rays, unlike tanning beds, which expose you to the same UV rays as the sun.

The spray on tan has a steep price however and only lasts about a week.

    To View Sunless Tanners By Lowest Cost Click Here.


Weight Lifting & Growth

It has become a common idea that weight lifting stunts the growth of still-growing bodies. Most people cannot really explain how this happens, but they believe that by weight lifting they won't grow to their full potential.

There are no studies that show that weight lifting may stunt growth. At a very young age however, around the pre-teen to early teen age, bones and muscles may not be fully developed yet and could be damaged easier by over doing it at the gym.

At an early age it may be a good idea to keep the rep range high and the weight lighter to avoid the possibility of muscle damage during this time.

Weight lifting in general however won't stunt growth. It is possible that heavy squats could make you shorter, but this happens to everyone during the day anyway. At the end of the day the tissue between your vertebrae settles making you considerably shorter than you are at the start of the day.

This however is an every day occurrence and returns to normal when you sleep and the tissue gets a chance to return to normal. If anything a healthy lifestyle during this time could lead to a great height as healthy people eat better, sleep more and take better care of themselves.


Conclusion

Word of mouth is a very common way information gets spread unfortunately it tends to be inaccurate. Stories change from mouth to mouth and facts get mistaken.

The fitness world is especially tricky because there is a lot of information to be learned, so before listening to that random gym friend, look up information from the many databases that are available, case studies and facts can usually easily be found.