The viral internal shower drink is the latest TikTok trend that wellness warriors will have you believing will put you one step closer to achieving the coveted 'clean girl' aesthetic.
Rather than starting your morning with a cold-pressed clean juice or a smoothie containing your preferred choice of collagen-boosting or glow-giving powder, social media users are swearing by this three-ingredient drink that's set to give your body a refresh and reset.
Of course, the internet swearing by homemade lotions, potions and elixirs to guarantee vitality or improve your health isn't new by any means.
However, the internal shower drink has arisen from near-obscurity and is converting millions of TikTok users with it's alleged benefits.
Basically, the shower involved combining water, chia seeds and lemon juice, with the results promising (you guessed it) an internal shower.
Purveyors of this drink allege that consuming the internal shower will not only aid your gut health, but also start the digestion process.
Here's where it gets a little messy (and slightly NSFW). While the drink may be marketed as a metabolism booster, it is also said to relieve constipation.
We're guessing this instant laxative is the updated, big sister of the infamous weight loss teas.
While hearing this may be enough to set off internal alarms (no pun intended), the controversial beverage has been picked up by millions of impressionable young women as the quick-route to detoxing and combat bloating.
As we've learnt time and time again, it's best to get your health and diet advice from a professional, not the internet.
So, in order to gauge whether the internal shower drink is worth it, and if consuming something set to be a natural laxative alternative is actually beneficial, we've consulted a professional dietician to set the record straight.
Below, read on for our conversation with accredited and practicing dietitian, exercise physiologist and co-creator and CEO of Be Fit Food, Kate Save.
What Is The Internal Shower Drink?
The internal shower drink, or 'chia seed shot', is a beverage pioneered by Dr. Daryl Gioffre, a celebrity nutritionist and author.
"The drink aims to speed up the digestion process and relieve constipation, as well as boost your metabolism and improve gut health," Save tells ELLE Australia.
The beverage is very simple to create, containing only three ingredients: two table spoons of chia seeds, up to a whole lemon and water.
Does The Internal Shower Drink Work?
As Save explains to us, the ingredients in the internal shower (namly chia seeds) are a "renowned superfood proven to aid digestion".
"In fact, when carbohydrates such as chia seeds break down, they thicken and create a bulk that helps stools move smoothly through the body," Save added.
Save continues by adding that chia seeds are "rich in fibre, omega-3 fats, iron, antioxidants, minerals and protein", therefore they aid in "lowering cholesterol and stabilising blood sugar levels over time, as well as promoting gut health by feeding good bacteria and boosting the metabolism."
"Lemon juice is rich in vitamin C which aids in digestion and restoring gut health as it boosts acid secretion - helping to break down and digest food," said Save.
So, when consuming these ingredients, you're aiding in relieving constipation and restoring gut health.
However, Save warns against consuming this drink regularly, and advises that there are other, much safer, tried and tested methods for relieving symptoms of constipation.
"Drinking the 'internal shower' once is unlikely to cause any immediate problems…In saying this, eating too many chia seeds over a prolonged period can be harmful - creating more bloating, stomach pain and constipation. There are many safer and more effective ways to treat constipation!"
Is The Internal Shower Drink Good For You?
Save tells us that the internal shower drink is not as good for you as social media hypes it up to be.
"When it comes to wellness and gut health, quick fix solutions can be quite problematic," Save explains.
"While, individually, the ingredients will definitely aid in relieving constipation and restoring gut health, consuming the 'internal shower' is unlikely to relieve a backed-up digestive tract, and may even have negative effects."
"Adding chia seeds to your diet is an excellent source of fibre, but consuming half of your daily fibre intake (within two tablespoons of chia seeds) over a series of days can have the opposite effect. So, the drink itself is definitely not as good for you as social media hypes it up to be, but the ingredients alone are," she adds.
"I think it's important to approach all social media health 'hacks' or trends with caution, as they rarely come from qualified dieticians or health experts and are often unresearched and unmonitored. If you are looking for advice, turn to the experts," Save recommends.
Who Should Avoid The Internal Shower?
"I recommend people just avoid the 'internal shower' altogether and engage in a balanced, wholefood diet instead," Save suggests.
In saying this, there is a large group of people who should not try this trend for themselves.
If you suffer from IBS, Inflammatory Bowel Conditions like Crohn's, Short Bowel Syndrome, a citrus allergy or appendicitis, you should be extra cautious.
How To Improve Your Gut Health
If the internal shower has piqued your interest as a way to ensure a healthy gut or microbiome, Save recommends some holistic lifestyle adjustments that you can make to ensure a healthy gut in the long run.
"People are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of gut health and the incredible outcomes it can have in relation to boosting energy, clearing skin, and boosting the metabolism.
"People are seeking quick, rapid changes and big results because it is something they can feel proud of, and may help to restore a happy and healthy life. In saying this, when it comes to wellness and gut health, there is no quick fix - it takes time, energy, and lots of patience.
"While there are a number of quick remedies for constipation and to relieve discomfort, food can either be the best form of medicine or the slowest form of poison. So, a great remedy is incorporating nutrient-rich whole foods for long term, ongoing results and regular bowel movements."
Below, behold Save's recommend to ensuring a healthy gut and microbiome:
- Ensure you aren't dehydrated by consuming at least 2 litres of water every day.
- Eat high fibre foods such as green vegetables, whole grains, fruits such as apricots and dates, and nuts - incorporating the recommended intake of naturally fibrous foods into your diet is beneficial to restoring gut health.
- Probiotics found in yoghurt, kimchi and sauerkraut are great at balancing bacteria and helping with bowel movements.
- Engaging in moderate exercise such as brisk walking or swimming can also promote regular bowel movement.
- Getting the recommended amount of sleep each night, minimising stress where possible and reducing processed sugar intake will also help.
So, the next time you see someone trialling an elixir on TikTok, proceed with caution. Moral of the story, drinking the internal shower drink on a daily basis is a sure fire way to back yourself up, rather than relieving symptoms of bloating. While there's no harm in indulging in a green juice a day, it's always best to leave the diet and nutritional advice to the expert.