Why These Celebrities Are Drinking Cups of Clay

The clay cleanse is the latest celeb-endorsed health trend gaining popularity as it claims to shed weight, curb hunger pangs and detox the body.

Shailene Woodley. Photo: Keystone Press

Shailene Woodley Photo: Keystone Press

And you thought kale tasted like dirt.

The clay cleanse is the latest celeb-endorsed health trend gaining attention, and it’s being sold as a triple threat that reportedly works to shed weight, curb hunger pangs and detox the body of parasites and pathogens.

Divergent star Shailene Woodley is perhaps the most enthusiastic celeb ambassador for drinking clay. Perhaps unaware of the existence of the cronut, Woodley told Into The Gloss: “[C]lay is one of the best things you can put in your body,” back in March.

Drinking clay is easier than you think. Simply blend a powder, capsule or liquid into water or juice, and enjoy. Once ingested, it swells in your stomach, reportedly making you feel full when you’re not, which aids weight loss by curbing hunger pangs. Additionally, the clay is believed to act favourably on your digestive system by absorbing toxins.

Actress Zoe Kravitz turned to the clay cleanse to lose 20 pounds for an upcoming role as an anorexic. “I ended up drinking clay, because it cleans out your body and fills you up. I was eating like a Mason jar of pureed vegetables a day and running,” she told Us Weekly.

Kravitz isn’t a fan, though. She claims it made her feel “awful.”

Julie Daniluk, a Toronto based nutritionist and author of Meals that Heal, has done the clay cleanse “four or five times.” She says clay is an excellent source of helpful minerals that can help clean the digestive tract of parasites; additionally it can help you lose weight by making you feel full. But she has some “reservations” about the cleanse, which she calls “full-on.”

Her main reservation is the kind of powder people ingest. She says to opt for liquid clay at all costs, the powdered stuff is apparently “terrible for your respiratory system.” Most importantly, she says, choose a brand that’s proven free of harmful chemicals like arsenic and lead.

The cleanse “is good as long as you stay well hydrated, consume clay in liquid form, and check with the brand to ensure its product is free of heavy chemicals.”

Others are more skeptical of clay cleansing.

Dr. Aaron Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine, told the Today Show that our organs are pretty effective detoxers all on their own. “Your body is built to get rid of the stuff that harms you and keep the stuff that you need,” he said.