Many online influencers claim that drinking more water is how they solved all their problems, from weight loss to acne. While many of these social media influences are not doctors, why are they so popular? And is there truth to their claims?
In an age that is dominated by social media, false information has been spreading like a wildfire. An increasing amount of body dissatisfaction in teen girls due to social media has been seen on a rise. Author Richard M. Perloff reports in his article, “Social Media Effects on Young Women’s Body Image Concerns,” that following of social trends to the detriment of women’s health has been at a constant rise since the production of the Barbie doll in 1959.
Perloff writes that the following of lifestyle trends is due to an individual not wanting to stick out, and instead assimilate into mainstream society. In a society where social media influencers’ lifestyles are seen as a social norm, their misinformation is seen by everyone. A 2019 research article, “Trends in the diffusion of misinformation on social media,” found that major social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook produce the most false information, now most commonly seen in self-help trends.
Many studies have shown that while drinking water can help moisturize the skin, it is not the end-all cure for acne. In an article for FacingAcne.com, “The Secret Cure for Your Acne,” author Megan Griffin states that dry skin can be a major problem with acne.
“Dry skin is usually tighter skin that locks bacteria inside pores that form tiny red pimples,” Griffin said. “Moisturizing dry skin opens pores and lets them drain, minimizing the formation of pimples. Moisture, however, is not necessarily the same thing as water.”
The same can be said when social media influencers state how just drinking water helped them lose a few pounds. Not only have influential Twitter users been reported tweeting about water, but major new sources too. CNN’s “Trying to lose weight? Drink more water” received major backlash from readers for its claims. Nutrition expert Adda Bjarnadottir, M.S., said while it is important to regularly drink water throughout the day, it’s not the magic bullet for weight loss.
If losing weight is the goal, a study done by Harvard Medical School found that long-running weight management programs gave the participants the results wanted. Another Harvard Medical study, titled “How much water should you drink,” concludes that many Americans are actually not drinking enough water. Key signs of dehydration are weakness, low blood pressure, dizziness, confusion or urine that is dark in color. They advise that a good rule of thumb is to drink 32–48 ounces a day. Drinking water is crucial for the human body, as it ensures that all critical organs are working in tip-top shape.
If you are concerned about acne or weight management, consult a professional who can safely guide you to your goals.