Water, carbohydrate drinks, sugars, heat and salvia all help germs spread rapidly.
These germs can make you sick for many days and keep you from training racing and working.
Ironmate Top tips.
1. Wash all new water bottles thoroughly before their first use not just cold plain water. This will remove the plastic taste smell and make them safer to use. It has been known to find bacteria in the mouthpiece of brand new shop bought cycle bottles.
2. Use light coloured bottles, black or dark bottles will hide any sign of bacteria inside, cleaning with boiling hot water will not always make them hygienic because when you add more fluid and drink it you could be swallowing dead germs or newly formed bacteria. Use a brush to clean them physically inside and out.
3. Put empty cycle bottles into boiling water if they will be standing around for a few hours before turning on the dishwasher. This is a good way to clean your bottles make sure you remove the top and open the mouth piece otherwise this prime spot for bacteria to thrive could still be there when you fill up your clean bottle later. Normally this will make your bottles safe to use afterwards.
4. After each use empty the contents and wash in a bowl of clean hot dishwater with 4-6 tablespoons of bleach. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning.
5. Training camps are the biggest risks to falling ill to from reused cycling bottles. Being used day in day out topped up not cleaned thoroughly continually drinking from the same harboured germ bottle is asking for trouble. Best to take new ones and change after a few days. They weigh very little when packing and can make all the difference. If the training camp issues new bottles put your name on them otherwise you could be using someone else bottles.
6. Putting half empty or unused cycle bottles in the fridge can transfer bacteria from the outside to the bottles to your fridge. Dead flies worms etc can be transferred. The cold of the fridge will not kill bacteria it just slows them down
7. If you use two different coloured bottles this can be helpful for the following reasons, one may have plain water the other may have electrolyte or carbohydrate. On a long ride you may need to stop and refill an empty bottle with plain water. This helps you tell the difference.
8. Change your cycle bottles every 4-8 weeks. The rule of thumb is if they look dirty on the outside they will be hidden dangers on the inside. Cycle drinks bottles are the ideal place for bacteria and germs to thrive.