There’s a new TikTok trend taking over everyone’s feeds lately, where users film themselves experimenting with different types of water flavoring in an attempt to create what is being coined as water-cocktails. That’s right, we’re talking about WaterTok.
I’m sure many of us didn’t think we’d ever see a water trend, but it’s been blowing up this past month with the hashtag #WaterTok gaining over 13,000 unique posts and millions of views.
Nevertheless, the trend has become somewhat controversial with many questioning whether water filled with chemicals and food coloring should even be considered “water”, and experts sparking concern over the health risks associated with this viral trend.
What Is WaterTok?
We’re sure you’re probably wondering how boring’old water could become such a massive trend on TikTok. Well, it’s probably because it’s not just water, in fact, according to many creators it’s much more than that.
TikTokers are loving this trend and are enjoying posting videos of themselves flavoring their everyday water with packets of flavoring, syrups, and other questionable elements. They’re doing so, in the hopes of making water taste better in order to help them meet their daily intake goals and stay hydrated.
Many influencers have been seen posting videos named “water of the day” where they encourage their audience to share similar content showcasing their own unique recipes and hydration goals.
If you’re someone who doesn’t have a problem drinking plain water then all of this might seem a little alien, but it’s a well-known fact that only 20% of the U.S. population meets the daily recommended amount of water consumption.
So, bearing that in mind, it makes sense why people who are struggling to drink water are attracted to this fun trend and are testing out whether or not adding flavoring agents will help them meet those daily quotas.
The controversy this trend has created is primarily due to the fact that it originated from a popular bariatric patient Tonya Spanglo who shared about the ways she spices up her water when she needs to up her intake during post and pre-operative days. Meaning that there’s a reason why she’s upping her water intake and following a liquid diet, it’s not just random.
Tonya has a TikTok audience of 800 thousand plus, and is popular on the platform for being a bariatric advocate. Her TikTok account is takingmylifeback42.
Spanglo, known on TikTok as takingmylifeback42, is a bariatric patient with almost 800,000 TikTok followers.
One of Tonya’s posts went viral and that’s what created the trend. She has different recipes posted on her account including salted caramel water, orange water, and cotton candy water.
Most of the recipes follow the same format. Fill the bottle, vessel, cup, or Stanley tumbler with bottled or filtered water. Pair the water with tons of ice, and then add in your desired flavoring agents such as cordials, powered flavorings, and syrups. Then give the water a good shake, and voila! You’re now a graduate student of WaterTok.
How Did The Trend Originate?
As mentioned previously one of the pioneers of this trend is Tonya Spanglo who inspires her followers to try new methods to reach their recommended daily water intake targets. In one of her videos, she can be seen saying “We’ve got water goals to reach!” talking to her audience and motivating them to keep reaching their goals.
We’re not sure if these water cocktails really fall under the type of water intake the USDA recommends, but that’s a topic for another day.
It seems like it’s all meant as a little bit of fun and entertainment, something TikTok is known for.
Taylor Pullan is another influencer considered one of the WaterTok “founders” after she shared a video to TikTok where she showcased her recipe coined the “Oklahoma sunset snowcone fun water”.
The water cocktail included various packets of orange and strawberry flavoring and tropical fruit syrup. She insisted that the drink needed to be consumed from her leopard-print tumbler.
Now, I’m sure we can agree that having to drink plain water is a boring task that humans must endure, but do we really need all of the fancy flavoring agents? Especially seeing as all of these packets of powder and syrups lessen the hydration benefits we receive from water. Should it still be considered water even after adding all these additives?
And even if you’re planning on using sugar-free flavoring agents – which are harder to come by – they’re not necessarily healthy either. In fact, experts have always recommended using cut fresh fruit as a water addition for people who struggle with consuming their recommended amount.
Another point to mention is that the controversial trend uses hashtags such as #skinnymixes which ultimately feed into diet culture, something that as a society we’ve been working hard to combat over the last couple of years.
Other WaterTok videos are also tagged with weight loss hashtags, though the trend is not at all related to weight loss except for the bariatric surgery pre and post-operation requirements.
The craziest part about watertok is that creators and audiences are seriously defending the trend by insisting that these sugar-packed cocktails still count as water. Which is a highly questionable claim.
But, we shouldn’t be at all surprised seeing as this isn’t the first time that TikTok has created a viral trend around beverages. Back in 2022, the Utah soda craze trend was in full force – the trend consisted in showcasing how Utahns are known for putting all kinds of crazy drinks in there — you guessed it — drinks!
Milk, coffee creamer, and lime juice are all fun additions that Utahns mix in with their sodas. Last year, many people disagreed with the Utah soda craze trend, so it should come as no surprise that the same rift has appeared for #watertok.
Most Viral WaterTok Videos
Here are some of the most viral #WaterTok videos.
One of the most viewed watertok TikTok is Keely Lindler’s video which has over 1.6 million views.
Keely is also known for making her water sparkle by adding glitter. She made a point to let her audience know to add the glitter after mixing the flavoring agent into the water.
The trend has gone so viral that people are setting up their own “hydration stations” at home. Such is the case with the @theamyyevelyn who posted a video showcasing her setup and color-coordinated starburst flavor packets.
Or how about candy apple-cotton candy-lemon-lime-coconut?
Lastly, creators are now sharing videos about how easy it is to get sucked into the trend, blaming TikTok with the famous “TikTok made me buy it” a phrase that soared to popularity due to the high virality of the platform.
If you’re looking for a way to drink more water, especially during the hotter months or if you just want to test out what the viral trend is all about then definitely head over to #WaterTok where you can find hundreds of recipe ideas as flavor inspiration.
Just remember, consuming sugary drinks every day isn’t healthy or hydrating.