How Much Pee is in Your Pool? It may surprise you.

As we head into another summer full of swimming tanning and poolside lounging: you might have one question on your mind.

How much pee is in the pool?

A team from the University of Alberta decided to find out this exact question. What they found over their three-week study was that there was between eight and 18 gallons depending on which of the two pools they studied you look at. How much is that exactly? Here's one way to think about it: in one pool you would find 85 cans of soda worth of pee. In the other pool you would find an astonishing 192 cans of soda worth of pee.
How Many Soda Cans of Pee in the Pool This gives a whole new meaning to "Canada Dry" (sorry Canadians, I still love you).
Now I think I'm going to stop drinking soda for a while... What's really interesting is how they figured out how much pee is in the pool. The researchers used a method to detect an artificial sweetener that many people consume. Because we're all obsessed with using 0 calorie sweeteners and the body doesn't digest this particular sweetener the researchers used it as an indicator of urine. So when you think about it there is likely more pee in the pool than the researchers could detect because not absolutely everyone consumes this 0 calorie sweetener.

Is it a pee pool party now?

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has famously admitted to peeing in the pool. If the pros are doing it isn't it okay? Even one in five adults who swim admit to having peed in the pool at least once. Because it's so common doesn't that make it a taboo that should disappear? Ignoring the cultural taboo there are actually some scientific reasons we shouldn't pee in the pool. Although urine itself is sterile there are some other things in it that react with chlorine. One of the most dangerous culprits is ammonia. When ammonia reacts with chlorine it creates a variety of nasty chemicals. This cloud fumes is often referred to as chlorine gas. These fumes are so hazardous to your health that large concentrations of this mixture were used as chemical weapons in World War I. chlorine gas world war 1 Side note: Fun fact for viewers of King of the Hill: in the 2005 episode Bystand Me Peggy accidentally writes advice in the newspaper to combine ammonia and bleach in her household cleaning tips. Hanks then makes the comment that this creates mustard gas when it's actually chlorine gas. Fun TV and historical facts aside this reaction is what you are smelling when you think of the smell of chlorine. At your local pool the reaction between pee and chlorine isn't large enough to make a chlorine gas bomb. But it can still be a hazard to your health. One of the chemicals in this chlorine and ammonia reaction is called chloramines. Chlorine and chloramines actually grab onto the protein in your skin. This is why it's so difficult to get rid of the chlorine smell after swimming. When you don't wash these chemicals off your skin they can continue to dry it out. Over time this can make your skin rougher and potentially develop a skin rash.

So what's a swimmer to do?

All you want to some fun pool time in the sun. Maybe you'll even swim a few laps and get a good workout in. Instead of smelling like chlorine for the rest of the day there is something you can do. The most effective natural solution to get rid of chlorine is vitamin C. Vitamin C actually breaks down chlorine and chloramines chemically. This means it forces them to let go of your skin and be washed away. That's why we use vitamin C in our swimmers body wash and shampoo. It reacts instantly with these chemicals in any vitamin C left over will actually help your skin heal over time. So next time you go to the pool please remember to get out to go to the bathroom. Sharing is caring, but not when it comes to peeing in the pool.
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