A photo has been making its rounds on Reddit recently that has left people straight-up confused.
Reddit user PonchoHung snapped a picture at his gym of a vending machine stocked with bottles of water for saleright next to two drinking fountains.
“My local gym thought it’d be a good idea to put a Dasani vending machine next to a (free) water fountain,” PonchoHung wrote in the thread on the website. “I saw this and instantly knew that reddit had to see it.”
PonchoHung’s photo has gotten 980,635 views so far, and users aren’t without comment. Most believe it’s a ripoff, but there are others who don’t think the concept is that insane.
“It isn’t entirely ridiculous to buy bottled water near a fountain,” writes one Redditor. “Bottled water isn’t really selling the water, it’s selling the bottle. In this case, the ability to keep it near you and grab a sip as you need it while working out instead of stopping what you’re doing and walking over to the fountain every time.”
People also point out that water fountain germs are a thing, but then again, gyms in general are pretty germy. Your average dumbbell has 362 times more germs than a toilet seat, for reference. (But don’t let that freak you out too much. Wiping down your equipment before and after using it, avoiding touching your face, and washing your hands after your workout are all ways to make sure your gym doesn’t get you sick.)
While the Reddit post was ironic and entertaining, gyms selling bottles of water when there are fountains close by is more common than you might think.
A Planet Fitness in Katy, Texas, where PonchoHung said he lives, sells bottles of water for $1 each, according to one of their workers. However, when reached for comment, the chain’s corporate headquarters couldn’t disclose how much money they make from these sales. Though they believe this adds to overall customer experience, their main concern is everyone’s overall wellbeing.
“We offer members the opportunity to either purchase bottled water (if they don’t have a water bottle) or fill up their own water bottles in our clubs via water fountains to ensure a positive customer experience,” McCall Gosselin, vice president of public relations and communications at Planet Fitness, says. “Drinking water and properly hydrating is extremely important before, during, or after a workout, and providing options for our members is helpful to them.”
Yeah, we know what you’re thinking: Just bring your own damn water bottle. But we’re all busy people and sometimes those things just slip our minds. It happens to the best of us. So sometimes you’re left choosing between bottled water or fountain water. But hey, as long as you’re staying hydrated, who are we to judge?
Men’s Health also reached out to Lifetime Fitness—PonchoHung’s gym in Katy—for comment, but did not hear back by the time of publication.