OPINION | The good, the bad in the internet’s favorite health trends

Social media has become a home for new health fads that can be considered extreme and sometimes, dangerous. People can fall victim to these trends that are physically and mentally threatening from skincare that leads to rashes to diets that promote unhealthy eating habits and unrealistic body image expectations. Mason Britton | Sun News Daily

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We all know that you can’t always believe what you read online, but many of us also slide into the temptation of trying the health trends or fads that we see out of pure curiosity. 

A big reason we try trends that we see is because not everyone’s body is the same. We think that just because it doesn’t work for them doesn’t mean it won’t work for us. This can lead to a darker path such as eating disorders or body dysmorphia.

Some of these trends do work, but only if they are used the proper way or in a way that fits your specific body and lifestyle. I’ve seen and tried some trends that actually do work and some that don’t. Here is a look at some of the top trends and whether they are beneficial or not.

12-3-30 workout

This is a great example of a trend that does work but is being advertised in an incorrect way that is essentially lying to people online.

The videos or promotional posts we see online of this workout say that it is life-changing and has fast results. The reality of this is that it is not magic and does not generate immediate results. Just like every workout, it takes time to see change. It does not happen in a week, let alone overnight. 

I have tried this trend and often go back to doing it when I get bored of other types of cardio. It is a good workout if you want a low-impact workout but one that still makes it feel worth the work. A few years ago I tried this every day for a few weeks and I did see a difference. My endurance was up, my calves felt stronger and so did my core strength. But these were the small differences that I saw after multiple weeks.

There are many different aspects that go into workouts and some things work better than others. It depends on your journey and how you are able to be successful.

Dry scooping

Dry scooping is when you take a scoop of pre-workout and swallow it directly. You take a drink of water with the powder in your mouth, swish the mix around and then swallow it. 

This has been a trend that has been used by gymgoers for a few years now. Some prefer it because when you mix pre-workout with water and drink it like a full drink, it takes the substances longer to kick in. 

While this is true in some cases, it can also be dangerous. The most common dangers are heart palpitations that stem from the sudden intake of caffeine and choking from trying to swallow dry powder. 

For those who are taking pre with caffeine, this is a responsibility you need to take on. Knowing how much caffeine you consume at one time as well as knowing what your body can handle is a key point to dry scooping. Knowing your limits and understanding how caffeine affects you personally can change how you take it.

Know the dangers and risks of what you’re doing before you do it. That goes for pretty much anything in life though, not just dry scooping.


Slugging is the act of covering your face or skin in thick layers of occlusive ointments like Vaseline or Aquaphor. You then let it soak into your skin overnight, hoping for the result of healthy and hydrated skin.

This can cause some people to break out even more than normal. While some sources say that Vaseline and Aquaphor can’t clog your pours, others say otherwise

Those with dryer skin could really benefit from trying this trend as it has the potential to help. But those with more oily skin should be careful. We have all had breakouts on our skin and that is widely known to be uncomfortable or painful. Slugging increases the risks of that happening. Don’t participate in this trend just to be a part of the majority. Do it because you feel you could benefit from it.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar has been said to be able to boost your metabolism as well as help to lose weight. It can also help with boosting blood sugar and cholesterol levels. But even with those pros, there are also some pretty big cons such as skin irritation or weakening tooth enamel if it is used topically for breakouts or teeth whitening. 

The idea is to take one or two tablespoons of the vinegar every day. Studies show that in an experiment of 175 people, those who drank the vinegar every day for 3 months had roughly 2 to 4 pounds of weight loss.

No matter what kind of treatment you are doing to lose weight, you must still be relatively active. Sitting on your couch and taking a drink of vinegar daily isn’t going to do anything for you other than gross you out. You have to find the balance between being healthy with your actions as well as being healthy with what you put into your body. There are more factors in play here than just consuming vinegar. 

75 hard

This two-and-a-half-month challenge really puts participant to their limits. The challenge consists of following a diet of your choice, doing two 45-minute workouts every day, drinking a gallon of water, not drinking alcohol, reading 10 pages of a non-fiction book and taking progress pictures. This goes on for 75 days at any part of the year.

There are versions of this challenge where some of the factors are adjusted to make it a little less intense. These adaptations are per preference for each person, but participating in any way is impressive. 

This challenge is beneficial, especially for those who want to push themselves to get into fitness and a healthy lifestyle. Many people continue with some of the habits they form from those few months even after the challenge has ended. 

There have been and always will be new health trends and fads on the internet. Whether they work or not depends on you as a person. Everyone is different and that is incredibly important not only in health but in life. 

Just because it is a trend and many people are doing it doesn’t mean it works or that it is the smart thing to do. There are many trends out there that could be just as harmful as they could be helpful.