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What is the 30 day water challenge on TikTok?

Jen Thomas

| Last updated 

What is the 30 day water challenge on TikTok?

With the heatwave continuing you’re probably reaching for an extra glass of water as the temperature climbs, but a new TikTok trend is making users guzzle gallons of the stuff.

Previous health and beauty trends have included buying a standing treadmill to walk while you work, trying impossible ab workouts, drinking 'spa water' or slugging Vaseline all over your face.

So what exactly is the 30 day water challenge, and why are experts worried?

The 30 day gallon challenge is inspiring people to knock back a gallon of water every single day, for thirty days.

A gallon of water works out to be around 4.5 litres, an amount far higher than the NHS recommended intake of two litres a day. Fans of the challenge claim their skin is glowing, their energy levels are boosted, and bloating is gone. Funnily enough, most off the videos that went viral came from people complaining about how frequently they had to pee.

When the temperature rises, it’s natural to drink more water than you usually would due to sweating more, especially if you’re exercising in hot weather. However, as with most things, moderation is key. By drinking so much water you run the risk of health problems, due to electrolytes.

If people are tempted to down the gallon in a short time, it’s even more dangerous. A paper was published in 2013 about the dangers of “hyperhydration (i.e., “water intoxication”) can present with symptoms such as fatigue, lethargy, disorientation, confusion, headache, nausea and vomiting”.

Experts say if sodium levels fall below 135 millimoles per litre (mmol/l), this is classified as hyponatremia. The worst case scenario of water intoxication is seizures, brain damage, coma, and even death.

One of the most important things is to top up any lost electrolytes with your water to prevent the loss causing serious health problems. People are often confused by how to achieve the recommended daily allowance, not realising that water in food, tea and coffee also counts.

As well as the health concerns of drinking an extra gallon on top of what you need, some users have been criticised for the amount of single-use plastic they were wasting by constantly buying bottles of water instead of drinking tap water or using a reusable bottle. It might be trending on TikTok, but proceed with caution before downing a gallon of water daily, or your kidneys won’t thank you.

Featured Image Credit: TikTok

Topics: Health, TikTok, Viral

Jen Thomas
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