Have you tried #WaterTok? It’s one of the biggest trends on TikTok with HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of views. And every media outlet is covering it like BuzzFeed, Forbes, Time, Eater, and Bon Appetit.

#WaterTok= Water recipes (on TikTok). People on TikTok are posting creative ways to flavor water to make it more fun & tastier. A trend that encourages hydration sounds good but it’s encouraging people to load up their water with chemicals and dyes and fake sweeteners, which is not healthy.

#WaterTok: Healthy or Unhealthy?

Videos of flavored water recipes have gone viral recently on TikTok. Creators are claiming that adding zero-calorie flavor packets and syrups to their water helps them avoid soda and stay hydrated throughout the day.

In these videos, WaterTok creators mix zero-calorie and zero-sugar syrups and flavor packets into their water in order to get a sweet but “healthy” beverage. Though it seems to be a trend with good intentions of encouraging water consumption, the actual health benefits may be lacking and even potentially harmful due to the chemicals that are in these flavoring products.

Besides the aesthetic appeal, making flavored waters has blown up on TikTok specifically as a mode of weight loss or weight management because it helps them avoid sodas or other high-sugar beverages.

So, these flavored waters are zero-calorie and zero-sugar, which means that they get their sweetness from an artificial sweetener. Here is where the unhealthy part of this trend kicks in. Then the unhealthy aspect increases with all the dyes that are part of the syrups especially.

The unicorn Skinny Syrup, which is currently sold out online thanks to its TikTok popularity, has both red dye number 40 and acesulfame potassium. Research is still being published about these types of chemical additives to food products. But some reports found that red dye no. 40 may be contaminated with carcinogens, cause colitis, or even prompt hyperactivity in children with sensitivities. Acesulfame potassium, another artificial sweetener, has been shown to cause cognitive issues in mice. It also may contain minuscule amounts of methylene chloride, which is a carcinogen. But the FDA said they had “reasonable certainty that no harm will result.”

No one has all the answers about the safety of these flavored water products, and experts themselves are even divided. Despite the varying opinions on this, the CDC also quotes the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, noting that “replacing added sugars with high-intensity sweeteners may reduce calorie intake in the short-term…yet questions remain about their effectiveness as a long-term weight management strategy.”

We can all agree that eliminating sodas is a great step in a healthy direction, it’s just important to make sure you are going about it in the most effective way for long term success.

Research shows that people who stay well HYDRATED may help play a role in weight loss, may be metabolically “younger” than their actual age, develop fewer chronic diseases, and live longer! A HYDRATION STUDY from the National Institutes of Health study published in eBioMedicine analyzed data from more than 11,000 people over 25 years and found…

People who stay well-hydrated may be:

  1. A key for many factors that play a role in weight loss
  2. Metabolically *younger* than their actual age
  3. Develop fewer chronic diseases such as heart failure, dementia, lung disease, stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure
  4. Live longer compared to people who aren’t staying well-hydrated


DO THE COLOR TEST. There’s one simple way to tell if you are well-hydrated, and that’s the color of your urine. Your urine should be light yellow, which is a high-five from your body thanking you for drinking enough.

If you see dark yellow urine, it’s a signal your body is giving you to drink more water right away.

BOTTOM LINE: Participate in this #WaterTok trend, but in a smarter way. Instead of making artificial water concoctions, make flavorful water recipes with nourishing, real food!

3 Healthy Flavored Water Recipes to Try this Summer

If you’re trying to kick your soda habit to the curb, skip the “WaterTok” flavored water recipes and try these flavored water recipes for a better alternative to this viral trend. Check out these healthy fruit infused water recipes to achieve the same goal as the #WaterTok trend but avoid all the chemicals & dyes. For other tips on how to up your water intake throughout the day checkout this blog post: Easy ways to drink more water.

Strawberry-Lavender Infused Water
A little bit of lavender goes a long way, so be sure not to overdo it! This pretty combo screams summer, but you can also dry out the lavender and enjoy this anytime.

Combine all ingredients below in a large glass carafe or pitcher. Cover and refrigerate 12-24 hours.

  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 3 fresh lavender sprigs or 1 tsp. dried culinary lavender
  • 2 quarts water

Nectarine, Basil and Clementine Infused Water

Nectarine and basil may sound a little strange, but trust us, this combination is a real winner. A few slices of clementine seal the deal.

Combine all ingredients in a large glass carafe or pitcher. Cover and refrigerate 12-24 hours.

  • 1 medium nectarines, sliced
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 mandarin oranges, sliced
  • 2 quarts water

Raspberry and Lemon Infused Water

If you’re craving raspberry lemonade but are trying to cut back on your sugar intake, this infused water is the perfect substitute.

Combine all ingredients in a large glass carafe or pitcher. Cover and refrigerate 12-24 hours. Strain before serving.

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 3 lemon slices

Unsweetened tea or sparkling water are other good choices for people who don’t like the taste of plain water.

Need help navigating your weightloss journey, schedule a Free Consultation Call with me, a Vegan Registered Dietitian.

Carol Aguirre MS, RD/LDN