Should You Try TikTok’s Internal Shower Drink?
Here’s what a registered dietitian had to say.
Some TikTok food trends sound delicious. Then there’s the ‘Internal Shower Drink.’
Currently going viral on the social media video platform, with a collective 182 million views and counting, the drink consists of two tablespoons of chia seeds mixed into six ounces of water, with the addition of fresh lemon juice — and time.
You can find multiple takes on the drink, which is purported to prompt “elimination,” combat constipation and reduce bloating, on TikTok: some wordlessly set to music, some with a great deal of explanation.
Many of the videos credit the recipe to Dr. Daryl Gioffre, a chiropractor whose website describes him as “an anti-inflammation expert” and who shared his recipe for the drink during a recent appearance on The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast.
“I have something called the ‘constipation reliever shot,’” Gioffre said on the podcast. “This one is very easy to do: You take six ounces of water … two tablespoons of chia seeds, and one slice of organic lemon juice — ideally organic — and then you put the chia seeds into the water [and] squeeze the lemon — but you have to let the chia seeds sit there for about five minutes.”
After the chia seeds get plump, you drink the mixture “on an empty stomach,” Gioffe instructs.
“It’s like an internal shower. It goes into all those nooks and crannies of the gut, and it’s just going to give you an internal washing,” he said.
Rather than spark a panic-run to the bathroom, Gioffre says, the drink will prompt a “natural elimination.”
@kellybaums But the bullet so you didn’t have to. #internalshower #chiaseedwater #humor ♬ original sound - Kelly B
Among the most compelling TikTok takes is this one, with 2.8 million views, from @kellybaums, who says she is biting “the bullet so you [don’t] have to.” Although Baums messes up the measurements (“didn’t really pay very close attention to the recipe,” she notes) and deviates from Gioffe’s timing (she waits 15 minutes to drink, rather than five), she is spot-on in the humor department.
“It is coagulating,” she narrates, deadpan, over a close-up shot of the plumping chia seeds.
“Much to my dismay, 15 minutes has passed and it is now time to drink it,” Baums shares, gazing deep into the thick, mud-colored liquid. Then she starts to sip: “It’s chunky,” she says.
In the end, Baums gives the drink a 10 for taste (“not as bad as you would think”), a 10 for texture (“alien slime”) and notes that the jury is still out as to the internal shower effect. In a follow-up video, though, she declares the experiment “a success” and says she has “decided to keep doing it.”
@kellybaums Reply to @kordite23 if you know me no you don’t. #internalshower #results #benefits #chiadrink ♬ original sound - Kelly B
So … should the rest of us start hosing down our insides with Gioffre’s “chunky” viral chia seed concoction? We solicited the opinion of Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND, registered dietitian, award-winning nutrition expert and author of Diabetes Create Your Plate Meal Prep Cookbook.
Amidor says she’s pleased that TikTok users are embracing soluble fiber, noting that most of us don’t get enough of it, but adds that “there is a correct and incorrect way to consume it.”
“Chia seeds are a type of soluble fiber that help bulk up the stool so you can go to the bathroom — they can help keep you regular and may help alleviate constipation,” she notes. “Chia seeds have quite a bit of fiber.”
The most important thing with chia seeds, though, is to consume them with water or fluids. Amidor says that’s “the trick” to making sure they “work properly.”
“Taking in lots of chia seeds without the fluids can actually constipate and lead to tummy trouble,” she cautions. “Also, if someone is not used to taking in so many chia seeds at once, it can cause tummy aches for the person as well.”
Amidor expresses some concern that rookie “Internal Shower Drinks”-guzzling TikTokers may be overdoing the amount of chia seeds they are consuming in one sitting.
Moderation is key. “I recommend starting chia seeds in a much smaller volume with water and working your way up,” she advises.
You can also get soluble fiber from sources other than chia seeds, Amidor says. “Oats, beans, avocados, sweet potatoes, carrots, apples and flax seeds are other sources of soluble fiber,” she counsels. “Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, beans and seeds can help ensure you’re getting enough soluble fiber throughout your day – and don't forget to pair it with plenty of water or fluids.”