Stanley Cup: Viral drink bottle prompts warnings from experts

Two screengrabs side-by-side, one of baby using Stanley Cup, another of skincare expert demonstrating cigarette 'sucking' motion
A skincare expert and dentistry expert have spoken out against the potential risks of using the cup. Photo credit: TikTok

It seems like almost everyone is currently touting around an emotional support Stanley Cup - an insulated, supersized stainless steel drink bottle-slash-mug that has taken the internet by storm.

The viral tumblers have a hefty price-tag, with its Super Quenchers currently retailing on the Stanley 1913 website for between $79.99 and $99.99; but according to several doctors, these must-have mugs may also be impacting our health and appearance, as well as our bank balance.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Dr Sachin Soni - the owner of Lady Bay Dental Care in Nottingham, London - has warned that consistently drinking from a straw, such as the Stanley Cup's reusable straw, could potentially be damaging young children's teeth.

Many children have hopped on the Stanley bottle bandwagon, with a TikTok creator by the username @worstlyfe claiming earlier this month that his little sister had been bullied at school for not owning the trendy tumbler.

Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup has taken social media by storm. Photo credit: Stanley 1913

"I kid you not, every kid that was getting dropped off had a Stanley Cup, and I want y'all to keep in mind, these kids are small as hell," he said in the video, which has since been liked over 504,000 times.

Parents have also been showing their toddlers drinking from the viral accessory on TikTok, with some claiming it encourages the tots to drink more water.

But Dr Soni said he would advise parents to avoid giving the cup to young children in particular, noting that the straw may "adversely affect tooth position and the growth of the developing jaw".

"Children using a straw too often can sometimes cause changes in tooth position while the jaw is still developing," he said. "We advise parents to limit the frequency of straw use, typically young children between one and three."

In a video shared to TikTok last year, Dr Chisom Ikeji - a physician certified in internal medicine who also provides skincare advice - said the tumbler can also damage your skin over time, captioning the clip: "Your Stanley Cup has to go!"

Dr Ikeji compared the motion of sucking water through a straw to puffing on a cigarette, a puckering movement known to cause deep wrinkles, or 'smoker's lines', around the upper lip.

"Your beloved water bottle is ruining your skin. Hear me out... over time, just like any muscle in your face that you use a lot, you're going to develop wrinkles over time," she said.

"I use my water bottle all the time and I'm constantly sucking on that straw - a very similar movement, maybe not to the same extent as inhaling a cigarette, but you're still using those muscles... stop using your straw water bottle constantly."

The Stanley Cup potentially harbouring bacteria has also been a topic of conservation for some time, with several owners of the bottle taking to TikTok to show the buildup of mould hiding beneath the adjustable lid.

However, several experts have largely debunked the concerns circulating on social media, with Dr Robert Laumbach, a researcher and associate professor of occupation medicine, telling this "organic material" is mostly nothing to worry about.   

"It's relatively harmless," he said. "It's not necessarily proliferating in the drink." 

Mould in your lid or cup could potentially make you sick, but for most people - even many of those with mould allergies - the build-up is harmless, as most people's mouths and GI tracts are good at breaking down its proteins. However, the expert stressed the cups should be cleaned regularly to prevent any black spots.