We all know how important it is to stay hydrated or to take on carbs and nutrition when exercising. The method of choice for most triathlete’s is to carry a plastic sports bottle filled with drink. Water, electrolyte drink, protein mix, they seem perfect for people with an active lifestyle, they’re light durable and we can take them to the pool, stick them on our bikes or take them on a run with us.
However these plastic bottles may pose serious health risks. Reusing sports bottles saves money and waste but is it safe? Studies show dangerous levels of bacteria can accumulate in the bottle making you feel unwell. After a few weeks use they become scratched inside making it hard to keep clean, it starts to taint your drink and frankly, they start to smell a bit!
A new bottle on the market, the FLEXR water bottle, addresses these issues. It is the first to use a disposable and fully biodegradable liner which ensures the bottle is clean every time.
So how does it work, and more importantly how does it perform?
Available in four different sizes, I tested the 21oz bottle with neoprene insulating sleeve.
Most water bottles looks pretty much alike. There’s nothing new here, though the neoprene sleeve does give it a reassuringly good grip as well as keep your drinks cold. The cap has a one way valve with adjustable flow.
The liners fit easily inside the bottle, each bottle has its own dedicated liner. All you need to do is fold over the top around the thread of the bottle and screw on the cap. Any concerns that the liner would break the seal between cap and bottle were proved unfounded as I gave it the Tom Cruise “Hippy Hippy Shake” a la the bar scene from the movie “Cocktail”.
So it doesn’t leak. We know using a disposable liner makes sense, but for me the best thing about using the FLEXR water bottle is that as you drink, the liner “shrinks”.
This keeps the water near the top of the bottle. Thus you don’t need to tilt the bottle or (more importantly) your head whilst running or cycling making it much safer. It also stops liquid sloshing in your hand as you are running. As you probably know this can be both annoying and uncomfortable.
You do need to be a little more organized when using the FLEXR sports bottle. I found it a good idea to divide up the liners, spread them around a little so you always have them to hand i.e sports/swim bag, car, garage. It’s all too easy to forget about a bottle after a workout and when you next go to use it….Urghhh!
So to test the claims that the liners keep the bottle as “fresh as on day one” I left a protein drink in it for a few days in and yes, it did stink! I removed the liner, gave the cap a good wash and put in a new liner, filled it up with juice. I can honestly say there was no adverse after taste. If you are the sort of person that does forget about your bottle on a regular basis then FLEXR sells caps separately. No need to replace the bottle.
Like most new ideas in the endurance world the FLEXR water bottle was created by three athletes (Jim and Jeanne McFarland and Richard Kern) who with 35 years of competing in a variety of sports including running, hiking, swimming and cycling couldn’t find the hydration system they were looking for.
Would I use one? Definitely, especially as you can use them with the bike hydration system... just need to make sure I remember not to run out of liners!
If you want to be eco friendly, and have fresh tasting safe drink every time you do a workout... you should consider the FLEXR water bottle. Five percent of all sales go to charitable causes including health, environmental and children’s charities.
You can check them out at http://www.flexrsports.com.
British correspondent Danny Ward, filed this review.