celery juice is a popular tiktok health trend
  • January 23, 2023

Viral Health Trends (IV vitamin drips, celery juice, fasting & more): Episode 23

Today we will be chatting about another 5 viral health trends that have been irritating us on social media recently. […]

Today we will be chatting about another 5 viral health trends that have been irritating us on social media recently.



1: IV Vitamin Drips

This health trend has become popular across the wellness space in social media, especially with celebrities. It involves getting different vitamins, minerals and other electrolytes infused into your body through an IV line. This may be done at home, in clinics and even at some music festivals.


There are a few different ‘health’ claims that have been made about IV vitamin drips. These include:

  • Curing hangovers
    • There’s not much evidence out supporting this, but you are likely having some water and salt added into the IV which is going to help hydrate you
    • We know that hydration is important for recovering from a hangover so chances are, this will be helping
    • However, you can also do this manually with an electrolyte drink like Hydrolyte or Gatorade
  • Increasing energy levels
    • If you have a deficiency of one of the nutrients that are added into the IV this will likely help increase your energy levels
    • But again, there are a lot of other ways to correct deficiencies through food and supplements
  • Boosting immune function
    • This claim proves that marketers don’t actually understand the immune system because if you have an over-active immune system this is actually a problem (the immune system starts to attack itself)


Some more legitimate benefits include:

  • Correcting deficiencies – there are certain instances when an IV may be the best way to increase a deficiency (this should be done in a clinical setting such as a hospital)
  • There are also rare circumstances where some individuals have compromised digestive systems and require all their nutrition through an IV. This is called TPN and should be medically controlled through a hospital not in a random clinic down the road.


Risks of IV vitamin drips:

  • The legitimacy of the clinic supplying the drips – there isn’t a great deal of regulation managing the safety of these clinics which are essentially providing a medical procedure.
  • There are risks associated with putting nutrients straight into the blood as they don’t go through your body’s natural detoxification system (liver and kidneys).
  • Risk of nutrient overdoses
  • There isn’t much research to back this




2: Celery Juice

This ‘health’ trend was first promoted by a man on social media called the Medical Medium and has since taken social medium by storm.


The Medical Medium has well over one million followers on social media.

  • He is not a doctor but claims he was born with an ability to speak to the spirit of compassion which allows him to know things other people don’t.
  • He claims celery juice has secret unknown cluster salts, unconfirmed by science, which can (just to name a few):
    • Cure acne
    • Detox the body
    • Heal the gut
    • Cure autoimmune diseases
  • He has since made a lot of money off this health claim


This trend is a good lesson in making sure you know where these health claims are coming from. If the people making them care more about the money they can make off you than your actual health, it probably isn’t great advice. Not to mention that this claim isn’t even baked by science!

This isn’t to say drinking celery juice is bad for you, it is essentially just vegetable juice. So, if anything, you will be getting hydration with a few extra trace vitamins and minerals.


But, there are some red flags here. The fact that it is being sold as a cure all is a BIG problem – there is no single food that can cure all health conditions.

This is a big problem in the wellness industry as it places the burden of healing oneself on the individual person. By telling someone that drinking celery juice can cure x, y, z, then if it doesn’t work, it makes the person feel like it must be their fault they can’t cure themselves.

Another concern we have is that celery is quite high in something called mannitol. This is a type of FODMAP which means that it can cause gut related issues for some people with IBS such as bloating gas and diahorrea.




3: Fasting

Fasting refers to having periods of time each day without food (and sometimes water also). We will specifically be taking about intermittent fasting diets where food intake is time restricted. There are a few different types of intermittent fasting diets but the most common ones we come across are:

  • 16:8 – This refers to only eating within an eight-hour period each day then fasting for sixteen hours.
  • The 5:2 diet – This diet promotes eating normally for 5 days out of the week but then only eating 500 calories or less on the other two.


Health claims include:

  • Weight loss by resetting your metabolism
  • Allowing your cells to ‘self-clean’ which can then have further benefits however so far all this research has only been done in rats/mice (NOT humans)


A big problem with these types of diets which we regularly see come up in clinic, is that it can lead to binge eating. This makes sense as we know that when we don’t eat enough food or regularly throughout the day, this is the BIGGEST trigger for binge eating and disordered eating patterns.

Intermittent fasting diets can also create a black and white mentality where you feel like a failure if you eat outside your designated eating period. This will inevitably happen as it is quite an unsustainable way of eating long term – especially with social occasions.

Finally, if you are an active individual, especially one trying to make gains in the gym, not getting protein across the day can significantly decrease your ability to increase your muscle mass and make you stronger.




4: Cayenne Pepper, honey, and lemon juice drink for weight loss

This is a daily drink made from cayenne pepper, lemon juice and honey (or maple syrup) that people have in the morning before breakfast.

It originated from the Master Cleanse Diet which Beyonce did to lose a large amount of weight quite quickly. This diet consists of only consuming liquids for 10 days or so which, as dietitians, we don’t love.


There are a few different health claims associated with it including:

  • Weight loss from the cayenne increasing your metabolic rate – however, this is only by a miniscule amount and is very short lived, so it isn’t actually going to make any difference in the long run
  • It detoxes the body – we’ve spoken about this before already, but we don’t need to consume things to help us ‘detox’ as our bodies already have their own inbuilt detoxification systems (i.e., our liver and kidneys)


But there are some negatives associated with liquid diets such as the Master Cleanse Diet we want to touch on:

  • Often with liquid diets and juice cleanses, you will often experience a quick initial bout of weight loss. However, this is mostly fluid loses not fat loss.
  • The diets also promote muscle loses as they are so low in protein. The body needs protein to function correctly and if we aren’t consuming any through the diet, it instead starts to take it from our muscles (including our heart which is also a muscle).
  • It has no macronutrients and very little energy which means you are essentially not getting any calories for the entirety of the diet (ten days). This has a range of very dangerous repercussions on the body.
  • It can lead to vitamin deficiencies.
  • All the other side effects from not eating enough – dizziness, low energy, changes in mood, poor concentration


If you genuinely enjoy this drink, consuming it every so often isn’t going to be overly harmful (within the context of a balanced diet), but it definitely isn’t going to be the miracle quick fix drink it is toted to be.


5: ‘Gut Healing’ wellness shots

Wellness shots are genuinely made from combinations of different juiced fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices.


They also come with a lot of different health claims including:

  • Concentrated source of nutrients
  • Solves bloating
  • Stimulates your digestive enzymes
  • Boosts immunity


However, there really isn’t much evidence to back up any of these claims. The only actual main benefit we can see as dietitians is that it encourages people to eat more fruits and vegetables. Plus, there aren’t really any downsides to drinking them except for the expensive price tag.

The only other downside is that when you are juicing produce, you lose all the fibre which creates extra food waste. Plus, the fibre in our fruits and vegetables have so many benefits for our gut health and overall health.

Plus, in some instances, they may actually be worse for your gut if you have IBS or reflux.

Side note: consuming fruit and veg in juice or powder sources DOES NOT replace consuming them in their whole forms.


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