When training for the Olympics, Michael Phelps probably spends about 72% of his day in the water. These grueling workouts don’t leave much time for trivial things such as going to the bathroom. The pool can be a bathroom if you’re bladder isn’t shy. So do you wonder if Phelps puts the “P” in the pool? The New York Times wondered.
Michael Phelps gave the New York Times an interview back in 2012 where 23-time gold medal-winning Olympic legend was asked if he goes wee-wee in the pool at the 3:25 mark.
Phelps responded by saying:
“I think everybody pees in the pool. It’s kind of a normal thing to do for swimmers. When we’re in the water for two hours, we don’t really get out to pee. Chlorine kills it so it’s not bad.”
I respect that. He’s a busy fella. Any aspiring athlete should be honored to swim in Michael Phelps’ urine. Plus, those golden showers are probably the closest those athletes will ever come to Olympic gold.
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While Phelps is undoubtedly an American hero and a world-class athlete, that does not make him a scientist who is well-versed in the effects of urine in a pool.
So what do scientists say about taking a whiz in the pool?
(And by scientists, I mean a slickly-produced YouTube video with fun graphics that I assume is based on some sort of legitimate research)
Sorry Michael, some bacteria is resistant to chlorine, as per Chemical & Engineering News:
Combinations of disinfectants might be needed because some pathogens are resistant to chlorine. Cryptosporidium—a protozoan that goes by the nickname “crypto” and causes intestinal disease—is more often than not the microbe that causes illness in recreational swimmers, says Ernest R. (Chip) Blatchley III, an environmental engineer at Purdue University who studies water treatment and DBPs. Crypto is resistant to chlorine but sensitive to UV radiation, which doesn’t kill the protozoan but makes it unable to reproduce.
So we see that real scientists say peeing in a pool can be harmful and you shouldn’t consider yourself cool like Miles Davis if you do so.
I’m still gonna pee in the pool.