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I Tried the Viral Air Up Water Bottle To See if It Deserves the Hype

Staying hydrated no longer feels like a chore.
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If you've been on TikTok lately, you've likely seen the Air Up water bottle people are obsessed with. This particular water bottle has gone viral—and for good reason. Whether you don't drink enough water during the day or want to switch up the bland taste of H2O, you may fall in love with the Air Up water bottle like so many others have. I tried the Air Up water bottle for 30 days and am here to tell you all about it. Keep reading to learn more, and when you're done, be sure to check out I Drank Cucumber Water for 30 Days & Experienced 4 Life-Changing Benefits.

How does the Air Up water bottle work?

Air Up water bottle with pods
Air Up

As with many TikTok trends, before testing out the Air Up water bottle for myself, I was very suspicious as to whether or not it would live up to the hype. The water bottle works like this. You're not actually drinking flavored water; you simply feel as though you are. According to the brand's press release, Air Up "harnesses retronasal smell" by way of flavor pods, which you insert at the top of the bottle's spout. Essentially, as you take a sip of water, you breathe in the flavored air the pod gives off. The pod's aromatized air molecules permeate your sense of smell each time you take a sip, which makes you think you're drinking flavored water, but you're really just smelling it as you sip plain old H2O!

You heard that right—your olfactory system (sense of smell) kicks into high gear and plays a little trick on you. You're getting the benefits of fresh, healthy H2O, but with the added fun and variety of your favorite "flavors."

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My Air Up routine:

First thing each morning, I typically head over to my filtered water to grab a glass of H2O. While using the Air Up, I filled the bottle all the way to the top and selected a new flavor pod. After putting my bottle together, I kept it on my desk and refilled it when necessary. Nighttime was reserved for cleaning the water bottle before heading to bed, as I don't normally drink fluids after 7 p.m.

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What I liked about the Air Up water bottle:

Air Up water bottle
Alexa Mellardo

1. The size worked perfectly for my work-from-home setup.

I tried the 28-ounce Silver Steel Bottle, one of the brand's newest designs, and it was the perfect size to last me a good part of my morning before heading for a refill. This particular size is not one I'd take on a walk or hike since it's relatively cumbersome; I work from home, though, so this is an ideal staple to fill up in the morning and have handy at my desk during the day.

2. The flavors aren't super intense.

Flavored waters can be a hit or miss; I find some of them to have almost too much flavor. During my Air Up testing, I tried the strawberry lemongrass, cucumber, wild berry, iced tea peach, passionfruit, peach, and raspberry lemon. My top favorite "flavors" include cucumber and iced tea peach, and they offered just the right amount of "flavor" without overpowering my senses.

It was honestly mind-blowing to me that I could drink unflavored water, but feel like I'm drinking something that's much more exciting—all thanks to my senses (and the flavor pods, of course)!

3. It helped me drink more water.

I love the idea of drinking a lot of water each day, and I try to refill my glass as often as possible. But alas, it can be challenging to keep up with during busy workdays. Having the large Air Up water bottle on the ready assured me that I had 28 ounces of water at my fingertips at all times to drink up. On a typical day, I filled up my water bottle four to five times, which surpassed the recommended daily amount of water for healthy women (91 ounces). Plus, the "flavors" made drinking water feel less mundane and enticed me to hydrate more than I normally do.

4. It kept my water cold.

There's nothing worse than drinking room-temperature water in my book. The double-wall insulation feature in my stainless steel bottle helped keep my water cool all day long without refrigeration.

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What I didn't like:

1. It's time-consuming to clean.

I'm an "everything goes in the dishwasher" kind of gal, and the brand specifically recommends hand washing this item with lukewarm water and mild soap. There are several parts to the water bottle (including the bottle itself, lid, straw, and mouthpiece) that have to be completely dismantled to be cleaned properly, which I found to be time-consuming. I'm a total germophobe, so naturally, I cleaned my water bottle after every day of use.

2. It can be a costly routine to keep up with.

When adopting healthy habits, sustainability is key for me. The cost of purchasing more flavor pods on the regular can really add up if you're on a budget. On the Air Up website, you can buy a Favorite Five Variety Pack for $15, which comes with five pods and can last you for about 23 refills/approximately 16 days. A smaller pack, like the Cherry Cola Pods, which contains three pods, is $10 and can last you up to 10 days. So of course, this makes the Air Up water bottle a real wellness treat you're giving yourself.

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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