TikTok is known for mass-producing trends about every week. It still astonishes me how fast a trend can start and end in such a short amount of time on that app. For instance, just recently, there was a meme trend that started after the Barbie film promotion pictures were posted on the film’s Instagram account

These pictures are of the film’s cast photoshopped into a bright, colorful background with a short phrase describing the character. For example, Ryan Gosling, who plays Ken, has a phrase that reads “He’s just Ken” on his picture. People started recreating these promotional pictures with other celebrities, characters or themselves. Even our own Stags Hospitality team posted their own rendition of the trend to their Instagram. However, the trend fizzled out within a few days.

For the past few weeks, a new trend has been taking over the “For You page” of TikTok. “Watertok” is sweeping the nation’s millennials and Gen Xers. Yes, it is true. This is one of the only popular trends Gen Z is not front-running. Flavored water is the newest way for people to receive their daily hydration. 

Let me briefly explain how a typical “Watertok” video goes. First, the creator fills their 40 ounce sustainable cup of choice, usually a Stanley cup, with regular water and ice. Then, they will usually put in an artificially flavored packet mixed with a couple of pumps of zero-sugar, zero-calorie artificial syrup. Finally, they mix it all up and enjoy their overly sweet “water.” Typically they have at least two more of these concoctions throughout the day. 

Now I completely understand wanting to have a flavored beverage throughout the course of the day. I love having the occasional lemonade with my dinner. My annoyance is geared toward the fact that these creators still call it water because it is not. 

Flavored water has been around for ages. I used to squeeze MiO into my water sometimes as a kid. The difference is that I never drank that regularly for my everyday water intake. These “waters” are not actually water, and drinking them is not the healthiest of choices. It is like drinking a non-carbonated diet soda. Yes, the packets and syrups have no sugar, but they are still artificial. Drinking them regularly is not healthy. Even dietitians are saying this!

I was on TikTok right before writing this, and I was watching a video of a user named @abbeyskitchen, who is a dietician. She voiced her concerns about constantly drinking these flavored water beverages because the artificial sweeteners in these packets and syrups can have long-lasting effects on the body: including intestinal issues and teeth staining. 

These artificial sweeteners are also not helping your body receive proper hydration. She suggests that these drinks should be enjoyed in moderation, and I (in my non-professional opinion) agree with her. She also talks about how we should reduce our reliance on artificial sweeteners and focus on the natural sweeteners of fruits and vegetables. At the end of the video, she suggests just adding fruit to water to make it sweet and healthy at the same time. 

I have never tried these flavored waters, and to be honest I have no inclination to try them. I know they will be overpowered with artificial flavor, and frankly, I enjoy drinking regular ice-cold water. It is more refreshing, in my opinion. However, if you like drinking these flavored waters I cannot stop you. It’s your life! I do have to say I find it funny that in retaliation to people with opinions like mine, these TikTok creators are calling their beverage potions. It’s very creative. In the grand scheme of things, enjoy your water however you like, but I will be sticking with my regular H2O.

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