Well the answer is not as easy as it should be. On one hand the exercise cannot be nothing but positive, but what are you actually swimming in?
It is the question most people going swimming really don’t want to think about: just how much pee is in this pool?
However, despite this, a team of academics helpfully set out to provide a scientific answer for the edification of humanity, taking more than 250 samples from 31 different pools and hot-tubs.
And the results make alarming reading.
One swimming pool, which was about a third the size of an Olympic-sized one, had an astonishing 75 litres – 132 pints – of urine, while a smaller pool had 30 litres.
The study was carried out in two unidentified cities in Canada, but it seems likely pool-peeing habits are similar in the rest of the world.
“Even though no one would admit to peeing in a pool, obviously somebody has to be doing it,” said one of the researchers, Lindsay Blackstock, a PhD student of analytical and environmental toxicology at Alberta University.
“Urine contains many nitrogenous compounds such as urea, ammonia, amino acids, and creatinine,” they said.
“These compounds can react with disinfectants (e.g., chlorine) in swimming pools to form disinfection byproducts (DBPs).
“Exposure to volatile DBPs, specifically trichloramine, in indoor swimming facilities can lead to eye and respiratory irritation and has been linked to occupational asthma. Read more…