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Health tips are everywhere, and TikTok is no exception. While viral posts about the latest craze are alluring, they can also be potentially dangerous. So how do you tell the difference?

From the “12-3-30” method to liquid chlorophyll drops, I’ll take a closer look at some of TikTok’s most popular health trends and find out if they’re safe and if they work.

If you’re interested in trying any of these health trends, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor first, especially if you’re on medication or have any underlying health conditions. When it comes to your health, the best way to protect yourself is to be an informed consumer.

TWO THUMBS UP

“professed”

This combo is what it sounds like: protein powder plus coffee. Whether you add a scoop of protein powder to your coffee or add a shot of espresso to your protein shake, this protein and caffeine blend can be a healthy pre-workout boost or a healthier start. nutrients. day your breakfast is “coffee only”. One major caveat: Use a protein powder without caffeine or other additives. If your protein shake or powder contains caffeine, aim for no more than 300mg of caffeine for the total combo (and half that if you’re caffeine sensitive).

Nature’s Cereal

Basically a big bowl of fresh fruit, Nature’s Cereal is a blend of berries and coconut water. The recipe is half a cup, each, of blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries with six ounces of coconut water. Any combination of fruit counts – just get up to a cup and a half. And be sure to skip the sweet coconut waters. Remember to add a little crushed ice to keep it cool. Take out your cereal scoop and voila!

Think of Nature’s Cereal as a healthy snack or part of a meal. It is not high enough in nutrients or calories for the energy boost of a full meal. It’s also a great way to tame your sweet tooth.

“12-3-30”

A fairly simple sound activity, these numbers represent the settings on a treadmill. You set the incline to 12, the speed to 3 miles per hour, and the time to 30 minutes.

But like any other fitness routine, it’s important to get into it and not jump right in. This is especially true if you are sedentary, as you want to avoid an overuse injury. For example, if you’re new to fitness (especially on a treadmill), start with no incline and walk for 15 minutes. You can gradually increase the incline and duration for your own comfort.

Why does “12-3-30” work? Your muscles work harder on an incline, providing a shorter, more effective workout. It is also ideal for an energy boost and muscle building. But remember that any treadmill use counts as “high impact” – a hard surface – so you’ll want to alternate this activity with low-impact cardio activities (like riding a bike or elliptical).

DON’T DO THIS

Dry pick up

Dry scooping, which involves swallowing a scoop of dry protein powder, is becoming popular. But that’s not a good idea. There is no benefit and the risks can be significant. For example:

  • Accidentally inhaling the powder into your lungs can cause lung irritation or possibly infection
  • Heart problems may occur, such as rapid heartbeat, palpitations or irregular heartbeat which can lead to a heart attack (especially if there are different “energy boosters” in the protein powder).

Garlic cloves in your nose

Do you feel a cold coming on? Ignore the advice to stick garlic cloves in your nose to relieve congestion. It won’t help you and may even make you feel worse.

Some people mistakenly believe that when the clove is removed, a lot of mucus comes out. What is actually happening is that the garlic clove causes increased mucus buildup. So when you pull it out, that extra mucus is released.

Garlic is strong and pungent and can irritate the lining of the nose. Also, anything stuck in your nose is likely to get stuck, break, and cause general trauma to your nose (like bleeding or broken skin).

PROCEED WITH CAUTION

frozen honey

While this sounds like a great way to tame your sweet tooth, you’re still giving your body another name for “sugar.”

Although honey is not sucrose (white sugar), it is pure fructose (half the type of sugar found in sucrose). And while fructose is the type of sugar found in fruit, it’s not at all like fruit, which is loaded with water and fiber to slow down the digestion of this natural sugar. Depending on how much you eat, frozen honey can lead to digestive issues, like stomach cramps, bloating, or diarrhea.

And frozen honey goes down very easily, so your serving is probably a lot bigger than you think. A single tablespoon of honey contains 17 grams of sugar! Compare that to the USDA guidelines for added sugar intake (24 grams per day for women and 32 for men) and you’re closer to your limit than you might think. This sugar load can cause blood sugar to fluctuate wildly, especially in people with diabetes or prediabetes. Most healthy people can probably handle a small serving of frozen honey (about a tablespoon) without a problem.

Your best bet is to stick with honey with food, adding it as a drizzle.

Liquid chlorophyll

Chlorophyll is a naturally occurring pigment in plants (it’s what makes them green) and has been used as a health promoter since the 1950s. But there’s no compelling evidence of health benefits for people. . A few studies claim that it can help ailments from bad breath and constipation to cancer prevention and weight loss.

So what’s the downside? First, there are no dosage recommendations, so you are on your own on the “right” amount to support health. Then what you get in chlorophyll drops isn’t pure – it’s a semi-synthetic, water-soluble form of chlorophyll called ‘chlorophyllin’.

Cases of skin rashes or risk of sunburn have been reported. And some people have minor digestive issues.

Although chlorophyll drops seem safe enough for some people, beware of any negative effects that may occur. Plants need it more than we do! And fresh or frozen products are much cheaper and safer.

Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D. is NBC News’ health editor. Follow her on Twitter @drfernstrom.