What’s an internal shower, and why is TikTok going nuts for it?

Curious about the ‘internal shower’ trend buzzing on social media? You’re not alone, so we asked our experts to weigh in on this peculiar chia seed concoction.

Keen to give your guts some love?

Then there’s every chance you’ve checked out the latest gut-loving (constipation relieving) TikTok hack, the so-called “internal shower”.

Here’s what you need to know.

What is an internal shower exactly?

We’re glad you asked. Because, peeps, we too were confused.

According to TikTok, to give your inners a shower, simply add two tablespoons of chia seeds to three-quarters of a cup of water and follow with the juice of half a lemon.

Then, and here’s the rub, leave the concoction to rest for five to 10 minutes to allow the chia seeds to expand.

If TikTok’s many fans are to be believed (the initial video has amassed an astonishing 72.4 million plus views), you’ll be heading to the bathroom fairly soon after — as the drink “showers” down your digestive tract, getting things moving right along.

How our experts weigh in on internal showers

According to nutritionist and chef Zoe Bingley-Pullin, the super-healthy chia seeds are the drink’s star ingredient when it comes to aiding digestion.

“They might be tiny, but chia seeds are full of nutrients and packed with fibre, about 4.9 grams per tablespoon, and the type of fibre they contain is soluble, meaning they absorb water and swell,” Zoe explains.

“It’s that gel-like substance that can help loosen up your digestive tract, so that your stools pass more smoothly.

“Chia seeds can also support gut health by decreasing inflammation, they’re quite nourishing.”

Zoe says the lemon juice can also help stimulate digestion because the citric acid interacts with digestive enzymes and help increase the production of gastric juices which help break down food.

With many Aussie adults not getting the recommended 25 to 30 grams of fibre a day, an “internal shower” is good news, according to The Nutrition Guy, aka dietitian Joel Feren.

“The evidence is clear that we should be striving to include more fibre in our diet, so this is somewhat a welcome trend,” Joel says.

You don’t need an internal shower to get things moving

While chia seeds and lemon juice are both healthy ingredients, they don’t need to be taken together to realise their benefits, according to Zoe and Joel.

“Drinking lemon juice and water and having your chia seeds in a yoghurt or sprinkled on a salad works just as well,” Zoe says.

“And I would never give a drink like this to children.”

Joel says it’s important not to slowly build up your fibre intake.

“Increasing your fibre intake too quickly can back you up, the not-so-desired consequence of the internal shower,” he warns.

“So, take baby steps and build up your dose incrementally.”

If you are struggling to poop, there are other ways to aid bowel movement, Zoe says.

“I’m a big fan of something like slippery elm powder, but while short term fixes can help alleviate symptoms, you need to look at why you’re constipated.”

Tread carefully with social media buzz

Social media isn’t a substitute for getting the right advice from a qualified health professional, Zoe says.

“Long-term constipation can cause some longer term gastrointestinal issues, so always get it checked out,” she recommends.

We’ll leave the last word to Joel, with this plea

“Can we please stop using wanky terms like an internal shower, it’s just unnecessary,” he says.

“Why not just call it chia water with a hint of lemon?”

Sounds good to us!

Written by Liz McGrath.