Research by Click Pharmacy has revealed the most popular TikTok health trends sweeping the internet, and which you should avoid. Looking at views data on the platform, the online pharmacy revealed top health “hacks”, diet trends, and fitness trends:
75 Hard challenge
- What is it? It aims to not only improve not only your physical fitness, but your mental toughness. Users are said to have seen significant weight loss. There are five core rules and if you miss a day, you have to start the whole 75-day cycle again.
- Why is it dangerous? Intense programmes such as this recent fitness challenge lead to physical and mental exhaustion, but could also result in overtraining, leading to injuries. The extreme diet restrictions of the challenge also promote a very unhealthy relationship with food.
- What is it? An extreme trend where users are fasting, sometimes up to 14 hours! There are different types of fasting, including: fruit and vegetable fasts, intermittent fasting, juice fasting, or the most common split being an 8-hour window with a 16-hour fast.
- Why is it dangerous? Research has shown that intermittent fasting can help with improved heart health and physical performance. But it doesn’t come without risk. Fasting is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach, and should be discussed with a qualified professional since it can lead to muscle loss, hormonal imbalances, and significant impact on your mood if not carefully implemented.
- What is it? TikTok users have been ingesting sodium borate, a chemical commonly found in washing detergent and household cleaning products. Mixing the chemicals with water, users falsely claim that the concoction helps with several health conditions, from erectile dysfunction to kidney stones.
- Why is it dangerous? On the contrary, borax is strictly not for human consumption. Ingesting the substance can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea, and large amounts can even cause kidney failure.
“While the internet has always been home to unproven health fads that often lack any real evidence, the superfast trend cycle of TikTok means these fads are getting churned out faster and faster to an ever growing audience of young people,” said Jana Abelovska, superintendent pharmacist at Click Pharmacy.
Jana added: “Improving your health doesn’t have to be overcomplicated” and instead the focus should be on “implementing consistent, realistic and healthy habits into your daily and weekly routine.
“This could be drinking between 8 and 12 cups of water per day, exercising for around 150 minutes per week, eating a healthy, balanced diet consisting mainly of whole foods and getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night.” But Jana says “most importantly, make sure to balance your health and fitness goals with social plans and enjoyment so that you don’t develop an unhealthy relationship with fitness and health.”