TikTok’s Latest Obsession With Flavored Water Is Basically Just Juice

3 minute read

In a new trend on TikTok, lifestyle content creators are making a potion-like concoction of flavor powders of different varieties, water, ice, and dubbing it “flavored water.”

The creators are sharing multiple different variations of these hydrating brews (think: Banana Split or Piña Colada) with their followers. It’s become a new way to make water more exciting. It’s been around for a couple of months, but it wasn’t until recently that these creations found a large audience on TikTok, with the flavored water hashtag having over 302 million views.

@Jayciekathleen3, a lifestyle TikToker with over 268,000 followers, uploads frequent videos of her making flavored water. The video she posted on March 29, showed her adding a Nerds flavor powder and vanilla syrup to a bright pink Stanley tumbler filled with water and ice. Her video, which currently has over one million views, is just one of many that have started taking over TikTok’s “For You Page” and forming what is known as “HydrationTok” or “WaterTok.”

The rise in popularity has the comments section confused about where the drink came from and why these people don’t just drink regular water. “Is the water in the room with us?” one person commented on her video. Another person said, “Girly is drinking a lush bath bomb.” One creator, @samislaughing, encapsulated the general confusion surrounding the flavored water boom in a TikTok he uploaded on Tuesday. “Hi, what’s going on with the water girls? What are they doing?… There are so many syrups and powders, I’m concerned.”


I am dead sober can ypu believe stanleycup

♬ original sound - samislaughing


With any trend on social media, it’s difficult to point to the first person to credit the start of a trend, and that’s especially true with this viral moment. One of the earliest adopters of this trend is a TikToker named Tonya, @takingmylifebackat42, who talks about making sugar-free flavored waters in her TikToks about her weight loss and healthy lifestyle habits. She has been making what she calls “mermaid” or “unicorn” water as far back as June 2022 and spoke about making flavored waters after gastric bypass surgery to stay hydrated. In a separate video, she used a comment on a previous video to sell people on “the mermaid water.”

In the video, using a follower’s comment saying they “gave up soda and tea” and lost “15 pounds,” Tonya justified the undeniably sugary drink. She said she shared a video of a guy on her TikTok Live who noted that his mother has dementia and had stopped drinking water, but flavored water was the solution and “saved his mother’s life.” The video ends with her passionately preaching that flavored water could be used as a substitute for other beverages that may not be the healthiest options. But some think adding sugar, sugar substitutes or syrups to water, defeats the purpose of calling it water, and it’s basically just a juice dupe.

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Write to Moises Mendez II at moises.mendez@time.com