There seems to be no end to the TikTok trends that promise to completely change your skin, hair, body and, well… life. The latest viral health hack that people are swearing by? The “internal shower,” which claims to instantly relieve digestive symptoms like bloating and constipation.
How popular is it? Well, the hashtag #internalshower has more than 70 million posts with 228 million views on TikTok. Videos range from people trying the trend to registered dieticians weighing in on its effectiveness.
So, what is an internal shower and can it actually relieve digestive symptoms like bloating and constipation? And, most importantly, is the trend safe? Here’s everything that you need to know.
What is an internal shower?
The trend can be traced back to Dr Daryl Gioffre, a celebrity chiropractor nutritionist and author of Get Off Your Acid and Get Off Your Sugar.
An internal shower involves mixing two tablespoons of chia seeds, the juice of half a lemon and a cup of water before leaving the mixture to sit for 10 to 15 minutes, allowing the chia seeds absorb some of the liquid, thickening the texture. The next step is to drink the gelatinous mixture and then wait for nature to take its, err, course…
People claim that drinking the internal shower concoction has helped them battle constipation and reduce bloating, and that it subdues hunger, filling them up for hours after drinking it. One user said it feels like “it’s cleaning you out from the inside.” But others say the texture is weird, and it’s a bit hard to “choke down.”
Does the internal shower really live up to the hype?
Theoretically, yes. The benefits of all three ingredients are well documented for overall health and gut health… So it’s not far-fetched that mixing the three together would deliver a health punch in a glass.
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. Lemons have antibacterial properties that can help prevent diarrhea and lemon juice is incredibly high in vitamin C. Finally, water plays an important role in regular bowel movements because when you don’t drink enough water, your body borrows it from your stool to make up for the insufficiency. That creates hard stool that’s difficult to pass. But sufficient water intake can help keep bowel movements soft and may help relieve constipation.
Is the internal shower trend safe?
For most people, there aren’t any inherent downsides or specific dangers of drinking chia seeds, lemon, and water. However, it is a good idea to start slowly and see how you do. Especially if you’re new to this much fiber. Adjust the chia seeds so you’re starting with one teaspoons and then you can increase from there being mindful of any changes you notice.
If you are going to be incorporating fiber into your diet, like chia seeds, you need to be drinking enough water to accompany it.
If you are using the internal shower to produce a bowel movement from occasional constipation, you may only need to drink it once. If you are looking to reap the anti-inflammatory benefits, you would need to drink it consistently, at least several times per week.
Finally, remember a healthy lifestyle doesn’t boil down to one trendy drink and you should never expect miracles to happen overnight. We should alway approach all social media health trends or hacks with caution and alway consult an expert before making major diet changes or lifestyle changes.