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Inside The Colorful World Of #WaterTok

With a few sprinkles of powder, boring tap water glows up into Orange Mermaid Water.

You’ve probably heard of Outfit of the Day videos on TikTok, but what about Water of the Day? Instead of deciding what cute water bottle to use that day, the new #WaterTok trend encourages people to mix and match flavored water additives to create some seriously sweet concoctions. The absurdly viral world of #WaterTok has taken the social media platform by storm, so don’t be surprised if all the flavor packs have been completely wiped from the shelves on your next grocery store run.

They say there’s a TikTok niche for everything, and the recent Water of the Day craze is no exception. Just like Get Ready with Me or Make Dinner with Me videos, #WaterTok devotees invite their followers to “make” their daily water along with them, and share the water “recipes” that want them to try next. The creators take the audience through the whole process, from filling the bottle with water and ice to adding all kinds of flavor enhancers and syrups. The end result typically creates a liquid mixture that no longer looks like water, which might be the key to staying hydrated if you’re someone that hates drinking water, or you’re just looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth.

As you can probably imagine, the comments on #WaterTok have people debating whether or not the end result is actually water, or if it’s just a glorified bottle of Kool-Aid. The conversation has even sparked controversy over whether or not the trend is another facet of diet culture working its way into the mainstream and has experts concerned that these Water of the Day videos promote more than hydration. Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, told Today.com that people with eating disorders may feel inclined to trade in their meals for a Stanley cup filled with flavored water.

It’s unclear who is responsible for bringing the fad to your FYP, but the hashtag #WaterTok has amassed over 144.1 million views as of April 19. One of the leading creators of the trend is @takingmylifebackat42, who makes a different Water of the Day flavor every day and gives each recipe a unique name like Orange Mermaid Water (which is made with the Mermaid citrus-coconut flavor enhancer from Jordan’s Skinny Syrups and a Sunkist orange flavor packet), and Grandma’s Salad Water (AKA pistachio and cherry flavored syrups from Jordan’s Skinny Syrups and Crush pineapple flavor).

The TikToker makes all her at-home creations at her designated “water bar” station that’s supplied with all kinds of flavored water and coffee syrups, including cotton candy, dragon fruit açaí, and salted caramel.

Meanwhile, TikToker and school teacher @keelylindler picks her Water of the Day flavor from an expansive collection of well-organized flavor packs every morning. Some of the creator’s flavor pack brands of choice include Sunkist, Arnold Palmer, Sonic, Gatorade, and Skittles.

One of the creator’s most viewed Water of the Day videos features Starburst’s Blue Raspberry flavoring and a spritz of Mio Lemonade, and has accrued over 1.6 million views. The teacher has also been known to take her daily drink to the next level by swapping regular water for sparkling water, which she recommends pouring in after the flavoring and the syrup.

The trend has become so popular that people have even gone viral for creating their own “hydration stations” at home, like @theamyyevelyn, whose Water of the Day setup includes flavor packets from Nerds, Wyler’s Light, and more.

This isn’t the first time flavored beverages have gone viral on TikTok. In April 2022, the Utah soda craze had a moment when users outside of the beehive state learned that Utahns are known to put all kinds of additives in their sodas, such as coffee creamer, lime juice, and even milk. Of course, not everyone was on board with the soda-enhancing trend back then, so it’s no surprise that users have some thoughts about the new #WaterTok movement as well.

The craze has already been parodied by TikTokers like @chronic.oversharer and @danjamescomedy, who created their own Water of the Day recipes that even the most devoted WaterTokers wouldn’t dare to try: beef pot roast with country vegetables and candy apple-cotton candy-lemon-lime-coconut.

Other creators seem to be coming around on the trend, though. User @averagemac perfectly summed up how easy it is to get sucked into the wormhole that is #WaterTok, while @mckennawaller may have admitted to being a member of the “TikTok made me buy it” camp.

Whether you’re looking for an incentive to drink more water, or you just want to see what other wild flavor combinations are out there, you can make your way over to #WaterTok for even more hydration inspiration.