The Internet’s Flavored Water Trend: Introducing Watertok and what you should know

Once upon a time, people just drank water. Not anymore. Over on TikTok, you can now find an entire world of hydration influencers, water mixologists and a budding industry of artificial powders and syrups to create flavored water recipes. The hashtag #WaterTok (which is what this worldwide community of water enthusiasts has come to be called) has more than 300 million views, with thirsty people sharing new ideas for infused waters.

What Is the TikTok Flavored Water Trend?

On #WaterTok, hundreds of TikTok creators share videos showing off creative ways to flavor water using syrups, liquids and powders. Creator Keely Lindler, for example, posts a new water recipe nearly every day to her more than 230,000 followers. As she says in a recent video, “Good morning, let’s make a water together.”

@keelylindler Shoutout @Walmart for the best flavors 🙌🏼🤤 Lanyard is T’s Side Hustle on Etsy #teacher #teachersoftiktok teachertok #teachertoker #teachervlogger #teachercontent #teachercontentcreator #teachervlog #water #watertiktok #watertiktoks #watertok #watertoks #hydrationation #hydrationtok ♬ original sound – Keely Lindler

People are even creating videos of so-called “hydration stations” in their homes, stocking various syrups and flavor packets for easy use during the day. A good example is this video by TikTok creator @roxylover0813. “Come with me to build my hydration station.”

@roxylover0813 Welcome to my Hydration Station! If it makes you happy, then do it! ##water##watergoals##skinnysyrup##watertok##fyp##hydration##hydrationstation##organize##restock##megantrainor ♬ Mother – Meghan Trainor

All of these influencers pushing their water recipes are having an effect. The New York Times reported that business is booming for a number of companies that make flavorings. Sales of Jordan’s Skinny Mixes, a maker of popular sugar-free syrups, are up 143 percent since April. Sales of Torani’s sugar-free coconut syrup—a popular #WaterTok ingredient—have doubled since March.

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Is #WaterTok healthy?

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Many believe the trend is putting the fun back into drinking water. After all, anything getting people to drink more water and stay hydrated must be good, right? But others, including some nutritionists, have raised a note of caution. There’s worry about too much reliance on sweeteners and also the whiff of toxic diet culture. Is #WaterTok just another hydration myth?

With the trend roaring full speed ahead, some skeptics have stepped forward with concern. Frances Largeman-Roth, a registered dietician, says to stay away from artificially flavored and colored syrups. “Since these TikToks feature sugar-free syrups, the influencers don’t seem to be adding sugar to their water,” she told Today. “However, I do think that making your water super sweet isn’t great in the long run as it may put you in the mindset that all beverages need to be overly sweet and flavored to be enjoyed.”

Others take a more even-handed view. Dr. Amy Lee, a physician-nutritionist specialist and head of nutrition for Nucific, says she sees little harm in the #WaterTok trend. “I don’t see any dangers in the promotion of hydration as most people don’t drink enough fluids,” Dr. Lee said.

Flavors, as long as they’re not sugar-laden, can help promote drinking more water. “I think our society just doesn’t like plain water,” Dr. Lee said. “The discussion of water intake has always been difficult because, frankly, water is boring. So if there are creative and healthy ways to get one to meet their water goals, it would be great.”

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Dr. Lee does warn about drinking too much water in a short time period, however, which can lead to water toxicity, disrupting your body’s electrolytes. Meaning, yes, you can overdose on water—but you’d have to drink three to four liters of water in a short time to do that.

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