This “Inner Shower Drink” Was Viral – Does It Really Work?

I hate to admit it, but I’ve officially become that girl people learn about everything from TikTok. From recipes to beauty trends to life hacks, my TikTok FYP feed is full of information I just can’t seem to get enough of. It also never goes out of style when the weirdest trends seem to get the most attention – the viral “bath drinks” are no exception.

If you haven’t joined TikTok and haven’t heard of the clear bath drink, it’s a mixture of two tablespoons of chia seeds soaked in a cup of water with the juice of one lemon. You should let the drink sit for 10-15 minutes before drinking, so the chia seeds expand with the water, and then… you chug. From what I’ve seen, it’s not a very pleasant taste or texture when ingested, but the aim is to create an “inner shower” that helps rinse your bowels. Mhm, you read that right.

Featured image of Kate Zimmerman Turpin.

Pictures of Michelle Nash

The first time I saw a TikTok creator sipping a drink from the internal shower, I didn’t give it much thought. Why not just add some chia seeds to your smoothie or take a magnesium supplement? Then it showed up on my feed again. And one more time. And one more time. So I decided it was time to do some research and find out if this bath drink is A) worth the hype and B) safe to drink.

Because of her unique expertise in the area of ​​combining food and medicine, I interviewed Linda Shiue, an internist, chef, and author of Spicebox Kitchen based in San Francisco, to dig deeper into the safety and science behind clear bath drinks.

Read on to my interview with Dr. Shiue and my personal experience trying the clear bath drink.

Picture of Dagny Piasecki

Is drinking water in the shower safe? If so, how often can you drink it?

The shower drink is simply two tablespoons of chia seeds softened in a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon. For most people, this should be safe to take daily. This will vary depending on how much fiber is already in the person’s diet, because fortifying any source of fiber can cause bloating and abdominal pain if done too quickly. Adding fiber gradually will avoid this problem, as your digestive system is used to digesting the added fiber.

The only caveat with chia seeds is to make sure that you allow them time (at least five minutes) to absorb the liquid. There is a case report in the medical literature of a patient who had a blockage in his esophagus after eating raw chia seeds, as they then expanded when he drank the liquid afterwards. Additionally, anyone with a history of bowel obstruction or bowel obstruction should consult a doctor to determine if drinks from an inside shower are safe for them.

Pictures of Michelle Nash

What are the benefits of clear bath drinks?

This drink is meant to be a laxative. But insoluble fiber can also lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels and make you feel fuller, which can help with weight loss. Chia seeds are also a good source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, especially alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

Does drinking water in the shower really work? How long does it take to feel the effect?

The drink in the shower is said to function as a laxative, and as with any treatment, the experience will vary. But theoretically (and anecdotally from people I’ve talked to who have tried it), it should work for this purpose. Shower water, like all bulk laxatives, can work within 12 hours, but more commonly within a few days.

Pictures of Michelle Nash

What are the effects of chia seeds on the body?

Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, with about 10 grams in a two-tablespoon serving. The fiber in chia seeds is mostly insoluble fiber, which turns into a gel when combined with water and helps form looser, softer and easier stools. (Oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley, and psyllium pods—as found in Metamucil—also contain soluble fiber.)

Photos of Kristen Kilpatrick

I Tried The Trending Inner Shower Beverage – Here’s My Thoughts

I watched TikTok after TikTok about the proper way to drink a drink in the shower and thought I followed directions to a tee. I leave the mixture for 15 minutes in the fridge, add a little honey to enhance the flavor, and drink it on an empty stomach (except for a cup of coffee). Honestly the taste wasn’t too bad, as it just tasted like lemonade.

Texture, however, is another story. It was chunky.

If you have a strong vomiting reflex, this is not the drink for you. Regardless, it’s not terrible and I took it down without too much struggle.

I drink it at 11:30 am, eat a balanced lunch at 1:00 pm and wait. After three hours, nothing happened. A few people on TikTok have experienced immediate results, so even though Dr. Shiue said it could take 12 hours, I was impatient. At the fifth hour there is a “movement”, but nothing crazy. Since I wasn’t constipated when I took it, the bath drink inside probably didn’t have a significant/noticeable effect on me.

Will this be something I do again? Probably not, unless I really have a need. I don’t think people with frequent bowel movements really need to incorporate drinks from the shower in their diet. Maintaining healthy fiber intake from other foods and/or adding chia seeds to other recipes should be enough. However, if you are feeling constipated or want to reset your system well, this drink will do the trick.

Have you tried the clear bath drink yet? Let us know in the comments below.

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