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We Asked A Nutritionist About Those Viral Water Recipes On TikTok

This might get me in trouble, but I have a confession: I’m a water hater. I know, I know — But, Julianna! You need water to live! It literally doesn’t taste like anything! — as someone who prioritizes her health and wellness, not liking water is definitely not on the bingo card. I would literally rather drink anything else. (Well, except cow’s milk.)

However, I’m aware of the importance of drinking water. And no matter how much I dislike it, I force myself to chug an adequate amount of water a day. Since I can have, like, zero unique experiences in this world, I’ve noticed that folks on TikTok also struggle to drink water. But instead of bucking up and chugging a few glasses of water throughout the day, TikTok is offering an alternative: “water recipes.”

Now, I’m no scientist. But I do know that it takes two hydrogens and one oxygen to make water — isn’t that just the recipe? Evidently not. On TikTok, users (who aren’t fans of water) are adding flavor packets and Skinny Syrups to their water to create flavor combinations. Seriously, they’re making everything from “birthday cake water” to “peach ring water.”

Posed as an alternative to drinking normal water, these water recipes are said to make the act of drinking water easier. But are they healthy? And do they measure up to simply drinking water from the tap? I talked to nutritionist Michelle Blum, owner of Nutrish Mish, to find out more about this supposed hydration hack.

What are “water recipes” on TikTok?

As I mentioned before, water recipes are basically juice, TBH. On the app, creators are mixing their glasses of water with different flavor boosters, and drink several throughout the day in an effort to stay hydrated. Some of the most popular add-ins include Skinny Syrups, Crystal Light packets, and MiOs.

One of the main faces of the trend is a user by the name of Tonya, @takingmylifebackat42, who has been leading the charge on #WaterTok — which has close to 100 million views at the time of publication. In her videos, Tonya shares her fitness journey alongside her water recipes for hydration during the day and workouts.

Are Water Recipes actually hydrating?

There’s been a ton of discourse about the validity of this hydration hack. But, according to Blum, this is a health trend you can definitely skip.

“I love the idea of people trying to find fun ways of staying hydrated, but this trend isn’t my favorite,” Blum tells Her Campus. “Water itself is the body’s main ingredient, and staying hydrated is super important, so that part is great. But, adding these syrups make the water composition more comparable to a diet beverage than straight-up water.”

Adding syrups and powders to your water takes it from a pure form of hydration into some kind of juice, soft drink, or any other sugary beverage. Even if you’re using the infamous Skinny Syrups, which are said to have zero sugar, it doesn’t make these drinks any healthier. “While these syrups do not contain significant amounts of calories, fat, and sugar, it does have quite a list of controversial ingredients, similar to that of a diet soda,” Blum says. “So, between the artificial sweeteners, the artificial colors, and the preservatives, once you add this to water, it starts to look more like a diet soda than water.”

Blum also adds, “If you’re trying to drink water to be healthier, adding these syrups can seemingly defeat the purpose.”

However, Blum does say that these drinks can provide some form of hydration… but kind of in the way that a tequila water can. “They do provide hydration. But, that being said, most water-based drinks will provide some level of hydration, with the exception of highly caffeinated drinks as well as alcoholic drinks.”

So how can I drink more water, even if I don’t like it?

Even though I’m a water hater, you’re not going to catch me hopping onto this trend anytime soon. However, Blum offered a few alternatives to enhance your water, without disrupting its original purpose.

“If you need some flavor in your water, the best thing to do would be to add some natural ingredients to it,” Blum says. “Some ideas can include frozen fruit (or fresh!), mint, cucumber, lemons, limes, etc.”

Blum’s go-to? Mojito water! “It’s water, lime juice, and mint, which is so refreshing!”

Additionally, Blum recommends drinking your water through a straw, or drinking it out of a specific cup or container that keeps it at your preferred temperature. Hey, don’t knock it ’till you try it!

julianna (she/her) is an associate editor at her campus where she oversees the wellness vertical and all things sex and relationships, wellness, mental health, astrology, and gen-z. during her undergraduate career at chapman university, julianna's work appeared in as if magazine and taylor magazine. additionally, her work as a screenwriter has been recognized and awarded at film festivals worldwide. when she's not writing burning hot takes and spilling way too much about her personal life online, you can find julianna anywhere books, beers, and bands are.