Welcome to TikTok Debunked, a new series where Yahoo Canada digs into the truth behind popular TikTok health, beauty and food trends.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact a qualified medical professional before engaging in any physical activity, or making any changes to your diet, medication or lifestyle.
Foodies thrive on the app, sharing their favourite recipes and the hottest restaurants to book. Heck, the hashtag #FoodTok has 56.9 billion views worldwide — and counting.
One of TikTok's hottest food trends is drinking "wellness shots" in order to lose weight and detoxify the body. We're talking chugging high concentrates of supposed superfoods including apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, ginger, cayenne pepper and more.
Wondering if this claim really works? Read on for everything you need to know about this social media trend — and whether or not a health expert endorses it.
The claim — and how it started
Wellness and weight loss drinks have been on the market for decades. While they're not a new fad, social media has only taken to the trend over the last couple years.
Last month, TikTok user @mtrid posted a video of her "skinny girl shot" recipe. The video went viral, receiving over three million views and over 320,000 likes. According to the creator, drinking a shot of this concoction every day will help you get "snatched" for summer.
The recipe calls for one cup of water, one cup of apple cider vinegar, the juice of one lemon, two teaspoons of cayenne pepper, two teaspoons of turmeric, a pinch of black pepper and honey to taste.
However, there seemed to be a mix up as Sharp believed the video was asking people to drink the liquid in one sitting. Instead, @mtrid intended the batch to only be drank in small shots over a period of time.
Nonetheless, Sharp was against the drink, telling fans that you'd likely "s— yourself all day" or "dissolve the teeth right out of your mouth" if you consume the beverage daily.
As a weight loss method, Sharp did agree that it would cause you to shed pounds simply because you'd be heading to the bathroom multiple times a day. But, this is not a suitable or sustainable way to lose weight.
What TikTok users are saying
In the comments of both @mtrid and Sharp's videos, TikTok users were divided about whether or not the shot is healthy and safe to use.
On the downside, some people said the mixture would hurt their stomach and they questioned the validity of the method.
"People want too many quick fixes, not even caring they don't work," wrote someone else.
"Is there any scientific evidence that these foods even help you lose weight?" asked a fan.
On the other hand, many users swear by the mixture and say that they've seen "noticeable results."
"I've had noticeable results on this shot, I've lost like 15 pounds," penned a user.
"I don't know if I'm looking better or not but I do feel better with more energy!" said another.
"It's hard to get it down your throat but it works," another TikTok user said.
An expert weighs in
To get an expert's opinion on the trend, Yahoo Canada interviewed registered holistic nutritionist Stephanie Kay.
When asked her initial reaction to the videos and wellness shots in general, the content creator said that she was on the fence.
"These shots are made from real, whole foods that've been pressed and extracted at a high level, which is completely fine," Kay said. "But people are getting lost in the claims because they think it's some magical drink that will make you lose weight and purify your body. And that's just not factual."
The nutritionist added that if you like the taste of certain ingredients in the shots or like how they make you feel, then there's no harm in drinking them. However, people need to be aware that these shots are unlikely to reverse certain ailments.
"Drinking a shot of this won't do anything drastic. And the benefits of these ingredients (like reducing inflammation or glycemic response) don't increase by having more of it," Kay said. "So if you like apple cider vinegar or ginger or lemon, just use a bit of it in your cooking during the week and it would probably taste better too."
Additionally, Kay warns that these shots and their weight loss messaging have the potential to create disordered eating, which is something to be aware of.
"If you're drinking this to look a certain way, that creates unhealthy patterns with food and thus the shots should be avoided. There's nothing wrong with oatmeal for breakfast instead of a green drink," Kay said.
Is it debunked?
While wellness and supposed weight loss shots have been all over social media for its alleged health benefits, Kay concludes that you can drink them if you like, but they won't do anything magical.
"I'd say the shots are just unnecessary. If you drink them, know they aren't going to cure you. Instead, I'd say just enjoy food in a balanced, healthy and enjoyable way," Kay said.
As a result of the expert's opinion, Yahoo Canada has debunked this TikTok trend.
However, it's important to note that if you enjoy drinking these shots for the taste or experience, there's nothing wrong with that — as long as you know the supposed benefits aren't exactly true.