I drank water from a copper bottle and ended up with a stomach ache for days

Updated on:17 September 2020, 20:12pm IST
Copper vessels are known to lend drinking water extra power to fight infections amongst other things. However, copper water doesn’t suit everyone. Here’s how
can drinking from copper make you sick, is copper harmful to the body, side effects of drinking from copper utensils
Drinking from copper water bottle isn’t necessarily safe. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

It’s a fact well known that there’s hardly anything healthier than water in this world. And yet, we strive to take the nectar of life a notch higher health-wise, by trying to boost its nutrient quotient. After all, isn’t that what the craze of copper water bottles is all about?

Ask any nutritionist and they are likely to tell you that the cooling properties of copper water detoxifies the body, keeps cancer at bay, and even helps you deal with anaemia. And they aren’t wrong! Drinking out of copper vessels isn’t just age-old superstition—there is legit science behind it. One that I researched to the core, before investing in a rather pricey copper water bottle to boost my health.

Drinking out of a copper bottle was a BIG mistake, at least in my case
I had seen my friends drink out of cute enamelled-exterior bottles with copper insides, I had tasted the copper-tinged water from a sturdy jug at my in-laws, and I had heard enough from my colleagues about the benefits of copper water.

Benefits of drinking water from copper bottle
There are truly some benefits to drinking out of copper vessels. But it jus Image courtesy: Shutterstock

But when I took the first few gulps from my brand-new copper bottle—that I thoroughly cleaned with dish soap by the way—I could feel that something was just not right.

Almost instantly, I felt a warm sensation in my stomach. It kept growing and growing until I could feel the heat all over my body. Shortly after, came the stomach ache—slight at first, a dull throbbing telling me that something was wrong. But soon, it mutated into a monster of a pain, one that was giving my worst period cramps a run for its money.

Mind you, all of this was happening at around 8 in the evening, in the middle of a pandemic-riddled city, when going to the doctor was a less than preferred option. The pain kept growing and growing, and I kept taking antacids—because what else could this be apart from gas? After all, how can a few sips of water—albeit from a “potent” copper vessel—cause such discomfort.

The antacids didn’t work and the night was worse than the evening. And so, me and my aching tummy reluctantly dragged ourselves to the doctor the next morning—only to be surprised by the diagnosis.

is drinking from copper water bottle safe
I drank from a copper bottle and got a severe stomach ache in return. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Copper water gave me toxicity—and it was completely my fault!
Since I had drunk water from copper vessels before, copper hypersensitivity was ruled out. So, what went wrong then? Well, for starters—I didn’t treat the bottle properly before drinking out of it.

Turns out, copper utensils must ideally be cleaned with citric acid and/or tartaric acid (found naturally in foods like lemon juice and tamarind) before using. This washes off any oxidation. Next, in order to use the bottle for the first time—or any copper vessel for that matter—you have to store water in it overnight, throw it out the next day, and then use.

Needless to say, that I did neither of these things and ended up with a severe stomach ache, that took its own sweet time to bid me adieu.

Copper vessels are great, but you need to proceed with caution
There is plenty of scientific research out there that links to the consumption of too much water to diarrhoea, stomach cramps, and vomiting. This is why you must limit the use of copper vessels to two to three times a day. And never, EVER store water in the copper vessel for drinking for more than three to six hours.

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Not all health fads are actually healthy—because everybody is different. And while those cute copper sippers are still BFFs with my pals, I know that my bottle is best suited for decorative purposes from here on. And that I won’t be drinking out of it… ever again.

Meghna Kriplani Meghna Kriplani

Waging a war against diets one cookie at a time, Meghna is a content creator and editor focusing on women's issues, wellness, and lifestyle.