hydration hacks

Water Hacking: #WaterTok and Healthy Hydration Trends

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You need to drink water, around 8+ cups per day, and more if you exercise or when it’s hot outside. For some reason, it is a struggle for many people to stay hydrated or drink plain water. Sure, it doesn’t have a ton of flavor, but it is the most important nutrient in our diet (yes, I would consider it a nutrient). With the summer heat approaching, staying hydrated becomes even more important. 

Enter the water hack trend, another TikTok trend taking socials by storm. While I don’t fully understand the need to jazz up water all the time, some people really need their water to have flavor. So let’s dive into the basics of hydration and discuss the popular water-hacking trend. 

Why is hydration important?

Our bodies are 60% water. It is literally essential for our survival. You could only survive 3 days without water, but 3+ weeks without food. 

Some of the key functions of water in our body include:

  • Restoring fluids lost through sweat
  • Regulating body temperature
  • Facilitating digestion of food
  • Lubricating joints and muscle tissue

General recommendations for daily fluid intake are 2.6L (about 11 cups) for women and 3.4L (about 14 cups) for men. These recommendations are NOT just for water but for all fluids, including those found in foods like fruits and vegetables. Also, these amounts can vary based on your environment, diet, activity level, and other lifestyle factors. 

When it comes to hydration, you need to drink before you get thirsty, as the feeling of thirst is an indication that you’re already dehydrated. 

Some other symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Irritable mood
  • Dark urine
  • Headaches
  • Muscle cramps

Popular hydration hacks

If you’re struggling with meeting your daily water requirements, there are lots of options for those who want to “hack” their daily water needs by making it tastier and more convenient. 

Hydration Timing

Pacing yourself throughout the day is key to hitting your daily hydration goal. Don’t be that person who forgot to drink water all day and now has to chug a whole gallon of water at 11:59PM! In fact, it’s recommended to limit your fluid intake between dinner and bedtime to avoid waking up in the middle of the night to urinate. 

To ensure you hit your daily water intake, here are some of the best times to drink water:

  • First thing in the morning – to kickstart your fluid intake for the day and help you feel mentally refreshed to get started on tasks
  • Before a meal – a 2018 study found that drinking 300 mL before a meal promoted satiety and reduced overall calorie consumption, suggesting that drinking water before a meal can prevent overeating
  • Before, during, and after a workout – dehydration will actually negatively impact your athletic performance so you may also want to add in your electrolyte supplements at this time (and let’s be real, if you don’t feel thirsty after a workout, you’re probably not trying hard enough!)

If you struggle to keep up with proper hydration timing, you may want to consider using a timestamped water bottle. 

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We like this AQUAFIT 1 Gallon Water Bottle which comes with a convenient handle and 2-in-1 lid with a straw or chug option. The markers on the side of the bottle include the remaining quantity in both milliliters and ounces, as well as times throughout the day at every 2 hours from 7 AM to 9 PM as checkpoints for when to hit each water target. 

Hydrating Foods

On average 20-30% of our daily fluid intake comes from the foods we eat. Fruits and vegetables with high water content are a great source of fiber and micronutrients, promoting feelings of satiety for relatively low calories.

Fruits with high water content include:

  • Melons
  • Berries
  • Peaches

Vegetables with high water content include:

  • Lettuce
  • Zucchini
  • Celery

So eating the rainbow can be a great way to stay hydrated!

Infused Water

If you struggle to drink enough water because you find the taste boring, you can jazz it up by adding certain fruits and veggies that give it a bit of flavor.

Some of the most popular ingredients for infused water include:

  • Cucumber
  • Strawberries
  • Lemon
  • Mint
  • Ginger

Infused water can be a refreshing way to add flavor without lots of sugar and extra calories. This is a free and easy way to add a bit of flavor to your water and you can get creative with the taste.

#WaterTok

@josephanthonii

Water of the day! 🍇🩷🍓 #watertok #water #drinkwater #flavoredwater #wateroftheday #recipe

♬ original sound – Joseph Anthonii
#Watertok is ALL the rage. What’s your water of the day?

Alright, let’s talk about the #watertok trend. Basically, this involves adding a variety of flavor packets and sugar-free syrups to create various “water” concoctions with different flavors. There are several accounts sharing the “water of the day” recipes and ideas. 

@takingmylifebackat42

PARADISE PUNCH: The WATER I’ll be drinking ALL SUMMER LONG!☀️ #water #WATERTOK #drinkwater #flavoredwater #hydration #drink #drinks #recipe #wateroftheday #weightlosstransformation

♬ original sound – Tonya💗

While #watertok is just people getting creative with their water, some of the recipes get a little out of hand. If you have to purchase multiple ingredients just to be able to drink a simple cup of water, it seems like a lot of money and effort to spend on something that is basically free. 

The other issue is that many of these ingredients are loaded with artificial sweeteners. While I am not totally anti- the occasional use of artificial sweeteners, the jury is still out on the long-term effects of sugar substitutes. Just be mindful of excessive consumption; if you wouldn’t drink 10 cans of soda in a day, you probably shouldn’t be having 10 servings of sugar-free syrup either!

There are a few options for adding flavor to your water that we recommend. The True Lemon or True Lime Crystallized Drink Mixes are a great option. One packet is the equivalent of one lime or lemon wedge, and they don’t contain any artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners. This is a great way to prevent food waste from using an entire fruit if you’re only making a single portion of infused water. 

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07/19/2024 04:57 pm GMT

Liquid flavoring drops are another option that you can throw into your bag or pocket on-the-go. We recommend Stur Liquid Water Enhancer, flavored with real fruit and no added sugar.

Electrolytes are another way to boost the hydration power of your water. These LMNT Zero-Sugar Hydration Powder Packets are made with simple ingredients, free of added sugar and fillers. Packed with 1,000mg of sodium, 200mg of potassium and 60mg of magnesium, one serving of LMNT is dosed with a higher amount of electrolytes than the leading high-sugar sports drinks on the market. 

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07/19/2024 06:58 pm GMT

Practical tips for hydration

Now that you’ve learned some popular water hacks, here are some simple habits you can implement to take action toward your hydration goals. 

  1. Carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go. 

This water bottle with a sleeve makes a great hands-free option and even has a pocket for your phone. 

  1. Use drinkware with colors/patterns that appeal to you. 

Make drinking water a more exciting task by investing in cups with attractive designs like this Hydro Flask Tumbler that comes in over 10 colors and patterns – our favorite is Sugar Crush.

  1. Use a water-tracking app.

Water Llama is a fluid tracking app in which you unlock new characters each day that you reach your intake goal. You can also complete challenges such as caffeine-free or alcohol-free streaks for exclusive characters.

  1. Set reminders on your phone

To make sure you’re drinking water at evenly spaced intervals throughout the day, set up alerts on your phone or invest in a Smart Water Bottle that will track intake and send reminders through Bluetooth syncing. 

As you finish reading this post, here’s a friendly reminder to drink your water! We hope you took away some useful tips and feel inspired to start implementing more healthy hydration habits into your daily routine. 

Want to learn more about other food trends? Check out our 2024 Food Trends roundup post!

*This is a guest blog submitted by Lauren Moy. Learn more about Lauren here.