Can drinking water that has been sitting overnight make you sick? An expert answers

You must have heard this advice to avoid drinking stale water that has been sitting overnight. Let's find out if it's true or not!
stale water
Think before you drink standing or stale water. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Aayushi Gupta Published: 7 Apr 2022, 12:00 pm IST
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If you want to be healthy, you have to drink water daily. But can you drink water that has been sitting overnight or for a long period of time? Can you get sick from consuming stagnant water? Well yes, our parents suggest we should avoid drinking old water, but they never told us WHY! And so we decided to dig into the matter.

So, is there any truth to it, or is it merely hearsay? Come, let’s find out.

Are there any side effects or is it safe to drink old water?

When it comes to drinking water, other than checking the purity of the water, we hardly pay attention to the other factors which need to be addressed. From how many glasses of water you are drinking a day to how old is the water you are drinking, hold great significance.

old water
Make sure the water you are drinking is clean and pure. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Most of us have a habit of keeping a glass of water near us while going to sleep in case we feel thirsty in the middle of the night. This glass sits there overnight, and we wonder if it’s safe to drink the water in the morning? So now if you’re also wondering, we have an expert to answer it.

HealthShots spoke to dietitian Hari Lakshmi, Motherhood Hospital, Alwarpet, Chennai. She said, The answer to this question depends on how the water is stored. Since our environment is full of dust particles and pollutants, the glass of water will become contaminated if it is left uncovered all night. However, it is safe for a healthy person to drink water that is left overnight if it is stored properly. Nevertheless, an unhealthy or ill person with low immunity should not drink stale water as it might lead to another infection through contamination.

Is there something called stale water?

Have you ever tasted the water that has been left out all night? It does not taste the same as it did the previous day, even if stored properly. “This is because the water starts to go stale in a single day, but contrary to popular belief, bacteria or microorganisms are not to be blamed for the less palatable taste. The change in taste is caused by carbon dioxide in the air mixing with water, leading to lower pH levels in drinking water, said Lakshmi.

old water
Don’t forget to drink water! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

While this water is completely safe to drink, most people prefer to get a fresh glass of water as they do not enjoy the taste.

Also, read: Drinking water after eating fruit is NOT a healthy habit! Here’s why

What’s the best way to store water?

The best way to store water is in containers that do not transfer toxic chemicals into the water they are storing. One should strictly avoid using plastic bottles to store water as they often contain toxic substances. Some tips you should follow while storing water are washing and sanitising the water storage containers before filling them up as they may become smelly over a while due to usage.

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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