What is TikTok’s 30-day gallon water challenge?

Gallon water TikTok trendPIXABAY: Willfried Wende

The 30-day gallon water TikTok challenge is trending on the social media platform despite its health risks.

From Spa Water to treadmill workouts, TikTok has been responsible for countless of health and fitness trends. The latest one to trend on the app, however, could be dangerous for your health.

While it’s unclear who started the challenge, and when it started, it is believed to be trending now due to the current heatwave in the UK. According to Hunkemöller, a third of British social media users are taking part in the 30 day water challenge.

So what is the 30 day gallon of water challenge?

The challenge is inspiring TikTok users to drink a gallon of water everyday for 30 days. In case you didn’t know, one gallon is about 4.5 litres, which is more than double the amount of water experts recommend you to drink a day.

Users who have participated in the challenge, claim that their energy has been boosted, their skin is “glowing”, and any bloating they had is gone. Unsurprisingly, participants have also complained about constantly needing to pee.

While it’s only natural to drink more water than usual during hot weather, drinking 4.5 litres of water a day can lead to dangerous side effects.

A paper published in 2013 about the dangers of hyperhydration, reveals that water intoxication can present with symptoms such as fatigue, lethargy, disorientation, confusion, headache, nausea and vomiting.

Moreover, experts say if sodium levels fall below 135 millimoles per litre, this is classified as hyponatremia. The worst case scenario of water intoxication is seizures, brain damage, coma, and even death.

As well as health risks, some users have been criticised for the amount of plastic wasted by constantly buying bottles of water, instead of using a reusable one.

Despite these concerns, TikTok’s thegallonchallenge hashtag has over 14 million views, with numerous of users joining the trend of drinking a gallon of water everyday for a month, and challenging others to do the same.

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