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Tik Tok Trends: Does the "Internal Shower" Really Work Wonders?

Will mixing water with chia seeds and lemon juice actually cleanse your insides? Find out here.


Step aside, lemon water. The chia seed powered “internal shower” has just taken your place. What do we know about this Tik Tok trend?


Turns out, your liver and kidneys are usually the only “detox” you need.


Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about this chia seed “cleanse” drink.


What Is the Chia Seed “Internal Shower”?

The latest viral sensation in the nutrition community on TikTok is the “internal shower”. This drink “recipe” has been popularized and includes three ingredients:

  • A cup of water (~8 oz)

  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds

  • Juice of one lemon (~4-5 Tbsp)

The ingredients are to be mixed and left for 5-10 minutes until a gel-like combination forms. Some food bloggers and TikTok users are recommending the drink to be taken on an empty stomach.


Tons of social media users are trying this drink out with the goal of a happy gut, improved intestinal health, and more regular bowel movements.


Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.




Pros of the “Internal Shower”

The ingredients of this drink are readily available. Most people have chia seeds in their pantry, water in their fridge, and lemons or lemon juice on hand.


If you don’t have the ingredients already, they are inexpensive to purchase or order online. Chia seeds, in particular, are relatively inexpensive, can be bought in bulk, and contain fiber for promoting intestinal health.



Cons of the “Internal Shower”

The texture can be, well, less than pleasant. Adding chia seeds to water at the right ratio ultimately turns the combination into a gelatinous mixture.


The main point of concern, as with many health “cleanses” and “detoxes” popularized on the internet, the “internal shower” was inspired by advice from Dr. Daryl Gioffre — a chiropractor. He’s also a celebrity nutritionist and certified raw food chef. It’s been promoted on TikTok for the past few weeks, mainly by food bloggers and holistic health coaches.


What Do Dietitians Need To Know?

Bottom line? The “internal shower” is not approved by dietitians for gut health. One of Dr. Gioffre’s celebrity clients is Kelly Ripa, who is known for an incredibly restrictive diet (thought by many dietitians to be a form of disordered eating).


Dietitian Abbey Sharp provides great insight into Kelly’s diet and why the products (i.e. powders) of Dr. Gioffre’s that she uses are not as nutrient-rich as they claim to be.



Superfoods, Diet Detoxes, and So-Called Cleanses

While chia seeds have health benefits like omega-3 fatty acids and have earned the name “superfood” for having a powerhouse of nutrients, they are not a cure-all for digestive distress.


Dietitians everywhere are earnestly reminding their clients, readers, and consumers that the only real and sustainable “detox” is supporting the healthy function of your body’s kidneys and liver. These organs are designed to metabolize, filter, and detoxify your body —no need for special cleanses at all.




Foods to Support Your Body’s Detox Organs

Instead of focusing on just one food or drink to increase digestive health, try adding a variety of the following fiber-filled and nutrient-rich foods to your diet:

  • Beans

  • Fermented foods (i.e. sauerkraut)

  • Fruits & vegetables (i.e. apples, bananas, broccoli, pineapple)

  • Nuts

  • Seeds

  • Whole grains (i.e. oats)

Still intrigued by the concept of a drink?


In Conclusion on TikTok’s Chia Seed Drink

You don’t need a chia seed “internal shower” to promote good gut health. Instead, make sure your diet is well-balanced and includes a variety of nutritious foods, containing a proper amount of fiber and hydration.


Overall, be wary of the TikTok trends you see — it may not come from a true nutrition expert. Instead, take confusing diet claims to a dietitian for more clarity and guidance on what really improves gut health.


References


Anzlovar S. The 9 Best Foods to Help Improve Digestion. Eatingwell.com. Published July 2021.


Gioffre D. Meet Dr. Daryl Gioffre. Drdaryl.com. Accessed 2022.


Kato B. TikTok ‘interal shower’ trend promoting gut health slammed as ‘f-king bulls-t’. Nypost.com. June 2022.


Moniusko S. This ‘internal shower’ dirk went viral on TikTok. What is it? And is it safe? Usatoday.com. Published June 2022.

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