We all know the importance of hydrating properly with the best electrolyte drinks and fresh water available, but it’s fair to say that – despite our best intentions – some of us might not always hit the mark. Couple that with the presence of alcohol at summer social events, and things can quickly go awry if you’re not careful with your hydration habits.

In fact, ask most neighboring countries what they think about British tourists, and drunken disorderly behavior is likely to come up at some point in the conversation. This summer, that’s in high focus once again now that Euro 2024 is underway. In fact, in Gelsenkirchen, the stadium which hosted England’s opening match against Serbia only served low-percentage alcohol, as authorities deemed it a ‘high-risk’ tie. Clearly then, the boozy British lifestyle is a deep-rooted problem. However, according to new research by Harrogate Spring Water, it appears people are waking up to the social and physical downsides of uninhibited liquid courage.

What did the research find?

Despite the long-running trope still rearing its head among England’s away-day football supporters, it does appear as though change is afoot in the nation’s more general drinking habits. When asked by Harrogate Spring Water, 45% of Brits claimed that they not only planned to be more mindful with their alcohol consumption this summer, but also intended to increase their water intake. As for why that might be, 26% of those people stated that they believed they could enjoy social events more when they did a better job of keeping tabs on how much they were drinking. Interestingly, almost a third of people said that they now felt inclined to prioritize water and/or non-alcoholic soft drinks over alcohol entirely.

The problem, however, is two-fold. As well as drinking too much alcohol, many people – a whopping 72% of them, in fact – feel that they aren’t currently drinking enough water. Around 55% of the group questioned pinned the blame on simply forgetting to drink. In a similar vein, 25% put their lack of hydration down to not stocking up on water in their physical proximity. The question now is: will anything really change?

Social media is slowly changing our hydration habits.

Will the youth drive the change?

So far, the answer to that question seems to be ‘yes’. Social media is often much-maligned, but in this instance, there does seem to be evidence that platforms such as Instagram and TikTok are having a notable positive impact on widespread hydration habits. In recent times, terms like ‘sober sipping’ (opting for mocktails and other non-alcoholic alternatives) and ‘hydration hacking’ (deliberately increasing your water intake) have risen to the fore of the public psyche. As such, people now not only understand why they should monitor their drinking habits, but they also have the social encouragement to make those positive steps.

As you might have guessed, the effects of these social media movements have been seen most strongly in younger generations, particularly Gen Z. According to the same Harrogate Spring Water research, 35% of Gen Z participants had reduced their alcohol intake over the past year – that’s more than any other generation. Delve deeper into the numbers and you’ll find that 67% of 18 to 27-year-olds reduced their alcohol intake after seeing mindful drinking content on Instagram, while a total of 37% attributed their lifestyle changes to TikTok, where trends like #sobertok are gaining traction.

So, who knows, in a few tournaments’ time maybe the days of ‘high-risk’ England football matches will be over. Or maybe that’s wishful thinking. Either way, whether it’s to fuel your fitness routines or simply make the most of your social life, be sure to stay well-hydrated this summer.