Staying hydrated is serious business when you're working out. Sure, you can just grab any old $3 plastic water bottle and go out for a run, but these days you also can buy a customized bottle that complements your sport, your music and even your hygiene requirements. Here are some of the new shapes, materials, technologies and accessories that'll help you go with the flow.
SIMPLE HYDRATION WATER BOTTLE
$19.99. (513) 289-4048
Hooked on Hydration
A hook-shaped 13-ounce bottle that catches hold of the inside of an exerciser's waistband without use of a hydration belt, allowing you to carry it hands-free while running or weight training.
Likes: It works. When positioned on your hip while hooked on a snug waistband, the bottle doesn't flop around, even at high running speeds. The curved, unobtrusive, 1.5-inch-wide lower section fits so comfortably against your skin that you quickly forget it's there — until you need it. It pulls out instantly and can be repositioned quickly with little practice.
Dislikes: The water weight can pull loose shorts down.
LIFEFACTORY FLIP-TOP CAP GLASS BOTTLE
$24.99. (888) 900-5520. http://www.lifefactory.com
No more plastic taint
22-ounce glass bottle wrapped in a silicone sleeve with a flip top and handle for use in gyms and at work.
Likes: Combines the benefits of glass — pure taste and easy cleaning — with breakage protection. The flexible silicone sleeve stops it from cracking when it tips over or falls. The flip top has a simple one-hand opening and closure. It's dishwasher safe.
Dislikes: It won't fit in a bike bottle cage and, at 1 pound, it's five times the weight of a similar-sized plastic water bottle.
CLEAN BOTTLE THE RUNNER
$24.95. (650) 427-0628. cleanbottle.com
A double-sided, easy-to-clean water bottle that is combined with a hand strap and iPhone-iPod pocket.
Likes: The convenience of keeping your essentials in hand during any activity. The screw-off bottom allows for more thorough cleaning compared with regular bottles. The zippered pocket includes a hole for a headphone jack and a thin plastic window that allows fairly normal touch-screen operation.
Dislikes: Tight pocket. Larger phones (such as a Samsung Galaxy S) do not fit. With a phone in place, there is room, at most, for one car key and a credit card — not several keys.
Safe water anywhere
CAMELBAK ALL CLEAR MICROBIOLOGICAL UV WATER PURIFIER
$99. (800) 767-8725. Camelbak.com
A 750-milliliter bottle with a water-purifying cap with built-in, bacteria-killing ultraviolet light that creates drinkable water in 60 seconds for use in hiking, international travel and daily workouts. Includes LCD countdown timer and a USB recharging cable.
Likes: Safe water made simple. Just fill it up with water, press the UV light button and stir. The light kills 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and protozoa. The package includes a 1.6-ounce purifier, a carrying case and a standard bottle lid. The filter has a projected life span of 10,000 purification cycles and will purify about 80 bottles of water between recharging.
Dislikes: High price for a water bottle (but cheap for peace of mind). Heavy, 7-ounce cap. Won't fit in a bike bottle cage.
Wallack is the co-author of "Barefoot Running Step by Step" and "Bike for Life: How to Ride to 100." firstname.lastname@example.org