Does The Viral TikTok 'Internal Shower' Drink Really Work?

·2 min read

"Now that it's the consistency of slimy frog eggs, you are going to drink it and it's going to help cleanse you," TikTok creator @bluegrassandlashes said in a video before gulping down a slimy drink. She is drinking the viral beverage dubbed an "internal shower" made from water, two tablespoons of chia seeds, and the juice from half a lemon. After about 15 minutes, the chia seeds absorb some of the liquid, thickening the texture.

"It's supposed to help with inflammation and, you know, get things moving," said another TikToker, @glowingwithgrace. The #internalshower hashtag has almost 80 million views, and many of these videos are followed up by the creators sharing how efficiently this drink moved their bowels.

Sound a little scary? Maybe too good to be true? We reached out to registered dietician Blair Cooley to get her thoughts on the matter.

"Chia seeds are packed with soluble fiber which can help make your stool softer, so it’s easier for you to go to the bathroom, and lemon juice is incredibly high in vitamin C," she said. "Water plays an important role in regular bowel movements because it you don't drink enough of it, your body will take that fluid from your stool and, in turn, cause hard stool, which is harder to pass."

Cooley also emphasized that if you are going to be incorporating fiber into your diet, like chia seeds, you need to be drinking enough water to accompany it. Otherwise, "it can bulk up your stool and cause constipation."

While there aren't any inherent downsides or dangers of drinking chia seeds, lemon, and water, she does recommend consulting an expert before making major diet changes.

"I think it's important to note that we should approach all social media health 'trends or hacks' with caution," she said. "Check with your doctor prior to eating, especially if you have existing medical or GI conditions. Start small, and be mindful of any changes you notice."

There are much tastier ways to get all the fiber benefits other than slurping down this slimy concoction. Cooley likes to make a chia seed jam. "I take about 1 cup of frozen berries, defrost them, mash them down with a fork, and add in about 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and about 2 tablespoons of water," she said, noting the recipe is in her cookbook Blair Cooks. "If you'd like it a little sweeter, add in a dash of maple syrup or honey to your likeness." After about an hour in the fridge, the mixture will gelatinize and you'll have a high-fiber snack to put on apple slices or in a fancy sandwich.

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