Social media is full of advice. You can find social media hacks on everything from organizing your kitchen to training your pets as well as health hacks and exercise tips.
But are all these social media hacks really things you should be following? In some cases, especially when it comes to your health, the answer is most certainly no.
Read on for the TikTok health hacks we want you to avoid, as well as some that aren’t so bad.
Bad TikTok Advice: Taping Your Mouth Shut While You Sleep
Mouth taping is a recent trend that’s made the rounds on TikTok, and it’s meant to help you stop snoring. Mouth taping, as the name implies, involves putting facial tape over your mouth while you sleep, forcing you to breathe through your nose.
While breathing through your nose is healthier than breathing through your mouth, there’s little evidence to suggest that mouth taping facilitates that. Not to mention, taping your mouth only blocks one of your airways which is never a wise move.
When you see this trending on TikTok, it’s more likely that the original poster is selling mouth tape.
Bad TikTok Advice: What I Eat In a Day
What I Eat In a Day videos are popular social media trends, even before Gwyneth Paltrow’s bone broth and intermittent fasting routine went viral.
In a What I Eat In a Day video, the original poster shares all the food and drink they eat in a day and at what time. It might seem harmless, but it’s important to remember that everyone is different and these videos can do more harm than good.
These videos can encourage disordered eating in vulnerable viewers as well as encouraging unhealthy comparisons between yourself and the poster you know nothing about.
Getting recipe tips from TikTok is no problem, but basing your diet off a complete stranger’s eating habits? No way.
Bad TikTok Advice: Adding Chlorophyll to Your Water
Chlorophyll is the pigment that plays a part in photosynthesis and gives plants their color. If you’re following TikTok, you might have seen videos claiming that adding a few drops of liquid chlorophyll to your water may help you lose weight and even prevent cancer.
There is no scientific evidence to support these claims at all however. Some doctors say if it’s used in moderation it won’t really hurt you, but it’s not doing any good either.
Bad TikTok Advice: Using Garlic Cloves To Relieve Congestion
Stuffed up sinuses are a major pain that no one likes dealing with, and that’s why some TikTok influencers would tell you to put garlic cloves in your nostrils for 15 or so minutes to relieve the congestion.
This one is a big no.
Even though the video ends with plenty of snot coming out of the original poster’s nostrils, it’s more because the cloves have completely blocked up the sinuses for a period of time and have irritated them, blocking the mucus that is there and building up more mucus on top of it.
Sticking a foreign object in your nostrils is never the right thing to do.
Bad TikTok Advice: Dry Scooping Protein Powder
The instructions on a jar of protein powder say to mix a scoop with a glass of water, but some TikTok hacks would have you take the dry powder all by itself before a workout instead.
Pre-workout protein powder is packed with caffeine, stimulants, vitamins, and nutrients which are all designed to give you energy for your workout. Mixing it with water helps you digest everything better and helps your body absorb all that good stuff.
Dry scooping however gives you a big jolt of stimulants all at once and can make your heart rate and blood pressure spike. Not to mention that awful chalky taste.
Mixing your pre-workout powder with a glass of water about 30 minutes before a workout is the better, safer option.
TikTok Does Have Some Useful Health Hacks
While there are plenty of wild, TikTok health hacks you don’t want to listen to, there are a handful of not-so-bad ones as well.
Nature’s cereal for one is eating a bowl of mixed berries with coconut water instead of a traditional cereal, and there’s no harm there.
On the exercise front, the 12-3-30 trend has its benefits. Hop on a treadmill, set the incline to 12% and walk at three mph for 30 minutes. Simple, low impact, and a great cardiovascular boost.
And when it comes to improving your gut health, mixing a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar with water or adding some bone broth to your diet (not basing your diet around it), can give a boost to your gut.
Bottom Line Is, Don’t Base Your Health Habits on Social Media Trends
TikTok and all of social media are full of fun, entertaining, and even helpful videos. Shopping and organizing hacks, reading lists, and even new recipes are all great things to get from social media. Not to mention cute animal videos.
But when it comes to your health, follow these trends with an air of caution. If ever a TikTok health hack catches your eye, talk with your doctor before you try it at home.
Social media has made learning more accessible to just about the entire global population, but it’s always important to check the facts first.
At the CMC Foundation, we believe that the more health education the general population has, the better off we all are. That’s why we provide advanced education and practical training to medical students as well as overall health education for the general public.
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