I’ve seen so many photos on Instagram of companies making activated charcoal lemonade and juices. I learned about the uses of activated charcoal in my analytical chemistry classes while in college.
WHAT IS ACTIVATED CHARCOAL?
First, activated charcoal is not the same charcoal you use on your grill! Activated charcoal is similar, but it has been manufactured especially for medicinal uses. The charcoal is heated until it develops pores inside, and these pores trap chemicals and toxins. The technical term for this process is adsorption (not absorption).
WHAT DOES ACTIVATED CHARCOAL DO?
Activated charcoal can help with a number of health related issues. It’s most often used to help treat poisonings. Activated charcoal binds to most organic compounds, pesticides, fertilizer, and mercury, allowing for quicker elimination from the body. The quicker elimination can help prevent the absorption of these toxins into the body. Activated charcoal can also help reduce intestinal gas, lower cholesterol levels, whiten teeth, and may even help prevent hangovers.
WHAT DOES ACTIVATED CHARCOAL TASTE LIKE?
While researching recipes, I read an article by a juice company describing their product development. They said that the activated charcoal tastes terrible and their development process took a long time to ensure their juice tasted great. I went into my recipe development process thinking that this could take extra time to perfect a recipe worth posting. Initially, I planned to make at least 4 different batches, but was surprised when the first batch tasted great. Honestly, I found activated charcoal doesn’t have much of a taste. Yes, drinking black lemonade is a little strange, but it tastes like lemonade.
WHO SHOULDN’T USE ACTIVATED CHARCOAL?
Do not take activated charcoal when you are taking any other medications orally. While activated charcoal is amazing at flushing toxins out of your body, it is not selective on what is removed. If you are on oral medications, activated charcoal will decrease the amount of medicine your body absorbs making your medication less effective. To prevent this interaction, wait at least one hour after taking your medication(s) before using activated charcoal. Activated charcoal also interferes with your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, which is something to keep in mind the next time you reach for that expensive activated charcoal green juice.
Please consult your doctor before using activated charcoal if you have any concerns, especially if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. This post contains affiliate links. I was not paid to endorse any of these products.