Tips for better digestive health keep appearing on TikTok. The newest is a drink called the "internal shower" which is based on a well-known health pairing with an extra healthy ingredient: water, lemon and chia seeds.
Daryl Joffer, the drink's creator, told the podcast Skinny Confidential that drinking this concoction on an empty stomach is like an internal shower since it gets into the stomach's crevices and flushes out gunk. Sounds dumb, but people who have tried this say it relieves constipation, bloating and even hangovers. But is it really beneficial for digestive health?
Can the drink "increase" digestive activity?
The drink uses chia seeds which are really absorbent, rich in fiber, and swell significantly when placed in liquid to a unique gel-like texture. They're thought to promote good digestive health and nourish healthy gut bacteria.
But promoting good gut health isn't the same as boosting the body's digestive functions. For most of us, these processes work automatically in the body, and it's not possible to speed up the enzymatic processes that help break down food, or make food digest faster. Some experts have suggested that some users may have confused "increasing" digestion with relieving constipation.
@jacvanek Trying the chia seed internal shower so you don’t have to. #internalshower #constipation #ibs #travelhack ♬ Dua Lipa - Jack Harlow
- Take a glass of water
- Add two tablespoons of chia seeds and freshly squeezed lemon juice from one lemon
- You can add 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
- Mix and let the chia seeds absorb the water for up to 15 minutes
- Stir once more and drink
What could be bad?
The internal shower recipe includes a few tablespoons of chia seeds, which may actually have the opposite effect on the intestines since too much dietary fiber can interfere with digestion and cause gas and bloating. Also, slowly increase the number of chia seeds so that the body gets used to them.
@jasminerichae_ Drink this every morning before breakfast. I’ll update yall in a week! #fyp #internalshower #chiaseeds #chiaseedschallenge #lemonwater #flattummy #4u ♬ original sound - Beautique 143
Two tablespoons of chia seeds weigh about 20-25 grams and provide 9-10 grams of dietary fiber. Considering that the recommended daily intake target for adults is 30 grams daily, the indoor shower may be a little too much.
What's best to do? In general, the drink includes very healthy ingredients, but increased drinking of water with lemon or without can alone improve the activity of the digestive system. Adding lemon is certainly not harmful, and the chia can also be added, but it's recommended to do so in a smaller amount.