Overnight shortcuts to better digestive health come and go at the speed of knots on TikTok — but the ongoing feed of quick-fix DIY health trends has been dominated lately by one particular hack: the “internal shower drink.”
With just three ingredients – water, chia seeds, and lemon juice – devotees of the refreshing Guttok believe the detoxifying blend is more than the sum of its parts.
“When you drink this on an empty stomach, it’s literally like an internal douche — it gets into every nook and cranny of your gut like an internal wash,” said Daryl Gioffre, the drink’s creator skinny confidential podcast.
The social media platform was full of videos of those who have tasted the drink, testifying to its purported ability to relieve constipation, bloating and even hangovers. But is it really good for your gut health?
What is the internal shower drink?
The recipe for the drink is as follows:
Add 2 tablespoons of chia seeds to a full glass of water
Add freshly squeezed lemon juice, up to a whole lemon
Optionally add 1/8 tsp sea salt
Stir and allow the chia seeds to absorb the water for up to 15 minutes
Stir again and drink
Can it “boost” digestion?
TikTokers have touted the “internal shower” drink as a digestive booster — but is that true, or even possible?
The drink uses chia seeds — extremely absorbent, fiber-rich seeds that swell profusely when placed in liquid, taking on a distinctive gel-like texture.
They are widely believed to promote good digestive health and nourish healthy gut bacteria.
But promoting good gut health is not the same as “boosting” or overloading the body’s digestive functions.
In most cases, these processes are automatic in the body and it is not possible to speed up the enzymatic processes that help break down food or keep digestion and absorption going.
Can it relieve constipation?
Some experts have suggested that TikTok users may have confused the concept of “boosting” digestion for relieving constipation.
In fact, some of the drink’s online admirers claimed to have gotten this benefit from the drink.
Amy Fischer, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian with the Good Housekeeping Institute, told the affiliated journal that chia seeds can be beneficial in treating constipation, but only if introduced slowly and in smaller amounts.
The “internal douche,” which requires the consumer to drink multiple, two-tablespoon servings daily, may actually have the opposite effect on the gut.
“As with any fiber source, too much too soon can have the opposite effect and lead to constipation or diarrhea, bloating and/or gas, which would be the negative,” she explained.
Two tablespoons of chia seeds weigh about 20-25 grams and provide 9-10 grams of fiber. Considering the recommended daily dose for adults is 30 grams per day, the NHS says the “douche inside” might be a bit overzealous.
“If your diet is fiber-free and you suddenly add a large amount that your body isn’t used to, you may experience digestive issues,” she adds.
Instead, she recommends halving the amount of chia seeds listed in the recipe and drinking plenty of water alongside to aid absorption.
“Slow and steady is the best way to add chia to your diet and reap the benefits,” she said.
The bottom line is that the “internal shower” is not a quick fix for gut health.
A steady, consistent and varied diet with a wide range of high-fiber foods such as fruit, vegetables or whole grain bread – including chia seeds – brings the best results for your intestines.
https://www.independent.ie/life/health-wellbeing/is-tiktoks-internal-shower-drink-actually-good-for-your-gut-health-41940983.html Is TikTok’s “Inner Shower” drink actually good for gut health?