Pool Myth Busters!

“Don’t swim for at least an hour after eating, you’ll get sick!”

“Pool chlorine will turn blonde hair green!”

“Don’t pee in the pool! Your urine will turn blue!”

We’ve heard all the advice. But are they true? Today we are going to examine a few of the common pool legends and discover whether they are true or just myths!

Wait an hour after you eat to swim or you will get cramps.

Myth: Some Truth&

How many times did your mom tell you this one, but it was SOOOO hard to wait to cannonball into that cool pool on those hot summer days?!? The truth is, when your stomach is digesting food, more blood goes to your stomach to aid in digestion, leaving less blood in your other muscles. If you overwork those muscles while swimming, you MAY get a cramp, but not likely. To avoid making this “momism” a reality, be sure to eat a lighter meal and ease back into swimming after eating. 

There’s too much chlorine in the pool because I can smell it!

Myth: False 

Actually, the opposite is true. Time for a short pool water chemistry lesson: chlorine in your pool attaches to bacteria and creates chloramines. When you shock the pool, these chloramines turn into oxygen and escape into the air. THIS is the point that you can smell the chlorine, when it’s in the air, not in the water. When you smell it in the air, that means it’s not in the water doing its job and more chlorine needs to be added.  

Chlorine will turn my blonde hair green! 

Myth: False

Poor, poor chlorine. Again, it’s not the chlorine that is the culprit, but instead it’s copper! Some algaecides are copper based and the oxidized metals in the water can attach to the protein in the hair shaft. No worries, it can easily be removed by a shampoo that strips the color or by conditioning the hair BEFORE swimming. 

Chlorine burns your eyes if you open them underwater. 

Myth: False

Here we go with chlorine getting a bad rep again! It’s actually not chlorine that burns your eyes, but acidic water with a low pH. A low pH can be caused by excessive rain water and can be raised by adding sodium bicarbonate and pH increaser. 

If you pee in the pool, blue dye will detect your urine! 

Myth: False

One of the most popular and often joked about legends is the blue dye urine detector myth. So is it a scare tactic or not? Of course it is! Parents have often used it to keep their children from peeing in the pool, and it’s a fact that even 52% of adults believe it too! In reality, it doesn’t exist. Though a chemical could be created to react to urine, it would be difficult to prevent it from reacting to other substances in pool water as well.

So the next time you hear one of these swimming pool legends, you now are armed with the truth, as well as a few facts to back it up! And as much as we are all disappointed that #5 isn’t true, maybe we all can keep that legend going anyway. smiley