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People have been using straws for a long time (some sources say 6 or 7 thousand years!), so there are some great advantages. When thinking about what makes straws useful, there are two angles we can consider: practical, and healthy.
While ancient Egyptians may have used straws to avoid drinking bugs in their drinks, we don’t normally have that problem nowadays. Instead, we use straws to allow us to drink from tall glasses more easily, since using a straw means you no longer have to tip the bottle or glass completely upside down to get the last of your drink out of it. Straws make it easier to drink, whether from a cup, a stainless steel mug, a plastic bottle, or any other kind of container. They’re also useful for full containers: you might be using a stainless steel or plastic bottle that’s intended to give you enough water for an entire day—and bottles that big can be pretty heavy! Having a water bottle with a straw means that you’ll be able to leave your bottle on the table, (or desk, or whatever location) and enjoy easy sipping without lifting the entire thing every time.
Using straws with a water bottle, or especially a stainless steel water bottle or insulated water bottle, can also help your drinks stay at a consistent temperature for longer. Bottles with smaller openings at the top, intended for straws (like some of HydroJug’s products) will lose their excess heat or cold much slower than wide mouth bottles, which have more exposure to the surrounding air. Also, no matter how insulated your bottle’s stainless steel or plastic is, a straw lid will keep the temperature more consistent.
We’re not saying that the water will be better for you if you use a straw, or anything like that—the liquid you’re drinking will be pretty much the same, no matter how you drink it. Instead, the health benefit of using a straw is that it actually encourages people to drink more, and therefore stay more consistently hydrated. If you are struggling to drink enough water, adding a straw to whatever drinkware you’re using might just be enough to encourage you to drink more!
How do straws encourage people to drink more?
But why does a water bottle with straw added make people more likely to drink more and improve their hydration? Well, there’s one main reason for that:
When establishing a consistent habit, especially a health-based habit, you sometimes have to work against your normal inclinations. Because of that, the easier it is for you to do the healthy thing, the more likely you are to make it into a consistent habit. For example, if you’re trying to build a habit of exercising every day, but you find it difficult to fit a trip to the gym into your normal schedule, you’re not likely to establish that habit too easily because of the obstacles, minor though they might be. If you’re able to set aside some time for the gym every day, that removes one potential problem or “excuse” that you might fall back on while the habit is still forming.
This is where the benefit of a bottle with straw comes into play. As mentioned above, many bottles are quite large or tall, and lifting the entire thing to take a drink might just be inconvenient enough that it makes that habit a little bit harder to form. In addition, many stainless steel bottles or other types have caps or lids that need to be removed before drinking, which is one more minor step in between you and effective hydration.
Adding a straw to your water bottle, or whatever drink you’re using, makes water intake easier because you won’t need to pick up the bottle as often, or deal with unscrewing lids or leaky caps whenever you want a drink. Leaving a reusable water bottle with a straw on your desk at work, for example, makes it much easier to drink consistently.
Now, you might be thinking that this is a very small, almost insignificant difference in how easy it is to drink. But that’s just the point when you’re trying to build a healthy habit! The easier it is to do the healthy thing, and the less mental effort it takes, the more likely you are to do the thing more frequently. And with water intake, any little bit helps.
Which kinds of straws are best? There may not be a single answer to that question. But here's a quick overview of the different kinds of straws that you might want to consider, from disposable plastic to reusable stainless steel.
One of the most common types of straws in years past has been disposable straws, typically made of thin plastic. While extremely convenient and easy to use and dispose of, these straws are not generally considered the best option. As a result, many places and restaurants have moved away from plastic disposable straws in an attempt to reduce plastic waste, turning to paper straws instead. These straws are just as easy to use and throw away afterwards, making them very convenient, but they also don’t hold up quite as well to longer exposure to liquid.
Washable straws are another response to the problem of waste caused by disposable straws. These can be stainless steel, plastic, or other materials, but are intended to be used repeatedly rather than just one time. Some reusable straws are straight, while some have a curve towards the top to mimic the bend in a disposable plastic straw. They can be added to any sports bottle, water bottle, or drinks. These straws are very worth their value in many cases, and last a long time (particularly the stainless steel ones) though they can be difficult to clean. Fortunately, there are brushes designed specifically for cleaning these reusable straws, which make the process a lot easier for those who want to give them a try.
One form of washable straw is the kind that is built into the lid of a bottle with a straw, or sometimes just built to fit perfectly in a particular water bottle’s lid. A straw cap might come with many different bottles, such asHydroJug's stainless steel andglass bottles. These straws are helpful for larger bottles in particular, because they will be designed to fit the depth and size of the bottle, while straws not intended for the bottle might be too short, making them ineffective. They also come in different colors, usually dependent on the bottle’s color. Built-in straw caps may be stainless steel, and rigid or flexible plastic.
Is a straw right for you? If you want to increase your water intake, definitely! If you want to help yourself drink more frequently and stay hydrated more effectively, consider getting a bottle with a straw for easy everyday sipping.