You’re at the gym every day, working hard, trying to get fit and healthy. You make sure you have a gym bag full of products to keep you going: water bottle, protein bars, deodorant, etc. But what if those products were making you unhealthy?
Toxic Gym Products and How to Replace Them
What’s a better pick me up than a protein bar in between workouts? Almost anything! These bars can contain all kinds of toxic ingredients, including GMOs and soy protein isolate. In addition, many are high in sugar, from high fructose corn syrup, GMO sugar, or sugar alcohols, or contain unhealthy artificial sweeteners, like maltitol, or can be far too high in carbs. Skip the processed protein bar and go for fresh fruit, like an apple.
Loaded with sugar, drinks like these are not only unhealthy for a typical workout, they also cause problems. They do not hydrate well, can deplete your energy, and may even contain added sodium. Worse yet, ABC News reports a study published by General Denistry in 2012 which showed that these drinks are so high in acid, they can very quickly do permanent damage to your teeth. To rehydrate, stick to water.
Water Bottles and Bottled Water
That water bottle may be BPA-free, but if it’s plastic, it still may not be safe. Rodale News reported on a 2011 study published by Environmental Health Perspectives showed BPA-free plastics can be just as much or even more of an endocrine disruptor than plastics with BPAs. Bottom line? All plastics can be toxic. Look for a stainless steel bottle for your workouts. And do yourself a favor and avoid bottled water. In addition to being made of toxic plastic and clogging up the environment, many brands just use tap water. Purify and use your own.
Antiperspirants and Deodorants
Who doesn’t bring underarm protection to the gym? But that roll-on may not be protecting you at all; in fact, it could be increasing your risk of breast cancer. As reported in Mamavation’s article, “Armpit Cleanse,” antiperspirants and deodorants can contain triclosan, phthalates, parabens, aluminum, propylene glycol, TEA, DEA, formaldehyde and artificial colors make from coal or tar – all of which have been linked to cancer or other health concerns. If you use a major brand, we recommend doing an armpit detox, and then a DIY brand or a safe, organic brand such as Primal Pit Paste.
Many yoga mats are made out of PVC, a dangerous carcinogen, phthalates that are endocrine disrupters, and are processed in toxic soup of lead, cadmium, and plasticizers. In addition, PVC is not biodegradable, meaning your healthy practice is leaving its footprint on the earth. Look for mats that are both PVC- and phthalate-free and are earth friendly. We do recommend using your own mat, to prevent against shared bacteria and germs.
Work Out Clothing
According to ABC News, many fabrics that are common for workout gear, like polyester and nylon, can irritate the skin with a nasty rash. Worse yet, gear that is labeled “odor-fighting,” “odor free,” “antimicrobial” or “Microban” can contain toxic chemicals. Microban is made from a mix of chemicals and contains triclosan, the controversial antibacterial, which may be linked to cancer. The manufacturers do not disclose any of the other ingredients or technologies used in making Microban, since they are proprietary. In addition, Microban may not work as you think. The website states:
I would avoid this product and select products made from natural fibers or Lycra.
Are there dangers lurking in your gym bag? Safeguard yourself by using earth friendly and nontoxic foods and gear to make sure your workouts really are healthy.
Disclosure: Primal Paste is a ShiftCon sponsor.