We’ve all heard of green juice, but what about black juice? When it comes to health drinks, black is the new black, with many brands incorporating activated charcoal into their health-promoting concoctions.
Charcoal lemonade combines two popular detoxifying ingredients that have been used for centuries or even millennia, into an intriguing modern concept befitting the trendiest juice bars.
First, we have activated charcoal, which is known to remove toxins from the body, improve digestion, promote clear skin and increase energy.
Then we have lemon, which is a go-to for many of the same benefits as above, plus weight loss and improved immunity.
Together they pack a powerful punch that will leave you looking and feeling great. So what exactly is behind this murky elixir?
The benefits of activated charcoal
Activated charcoal is the name given to a particular type of charcoal — not the same kind you’d use to grill up some burgers. It is a pure, food-grade form, made at an extremely high heat from materials such as wood or coconut shells.
The special processing creates a charcoal that is particularly porous, and combined with the negative electrical charge carried by the substance, these pores are very good at picking up foreign matter in the body.
For example, doctors in emergency rooms have historically used activated charcoal to help those who have ingested poisons or toxins, and still do today.
Scientific research has found that activated charcoal can remove harmful bacteria from the digestive system while leaving beneficial bacteria alone. This makes it a powerful remedy for gut bugs and food poisoning.
Studies show it can also improve cholesterol profiles, reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol while increasing its “good” HDL counterpart.
Although there isn’t much scientific research to back them up, there are many other anecdotal benefits of activated charcoal. Many swear by the stuff for whitening their teeth, since the porous quality can pick up substances that stain teeth. Others say it helps alleviate gas and bloating, and helps prevent hangovers. And since the body is being detoxified and digestion enhanced, the carry-on benefits of activated charcoal include clearer skin, better organ function, decreased signs of aging, and more energy.
Lose weight, remove toxins and more with lemon
Activated charcoal has an impressive portfolio of talents, but lemon is no slouch either.
Just the scent of a fresh lemon can boost your energy and lift your mood, which is very helpful if you’re feeling sluggish, sick or hungover.
It can also boost digestion, promote bile production, and support liver function, which has an overall effect of detoxifying the body and helping you lose weight.
Lemon helps you lose weight in more ways than one. It also helps you feel full longer thanks to its pectin content. Pectin is a type of fiber found in fruits which might help you be less tempted to snack throughout the day.
And finally, you’ll enjoy better immunity and younger-looking skin as a result of the vitamin C from lemons. This helps the immune system function at its best and supports the production of collagen which keeps skin smooth and firm.
Now that you’re well-versed in the benefits of activated charcoal and lemon water, let’s look at how to combine these powerful ingredients into a detoxifying elixir.
How to make charcoal lemonade
While many choose to buy a ready-made charcoal lemonade, you can also make it at home. Making your own is definitely the best way to save a few bucks if you’re on a budget.
Don’t worry about ending up with a foul-tasting brew — activated charcoal has negligible odor or taste. So while your drink might look mighty strange, it should taste much like your regular lemonade.
- 2 lemons, organic
- 2 tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar
- 1 tsp activated charcoal
- 4 cups filtered water
- Start by rolling the lemons firmly back and forth on the countertop to make them easier to juice. Then cut the lemons in half and juice them. Pour the juice into a bottle, pitcher or jar.
- Stir the maple syrup or agave nectar into the lemon juice.
- Add the activated charcoal, then top up the container with water.
- Stir or shake to combine.
Drink this amount of charcoal lemonade over a couple of hours to get the most benefit. If you can’t finish it, it will stay fresh in the fridge for a few days.
Experts suggest you shouldn’t drink charcoal lemonade more frequently than once or twice a week on a regular basis. Alternatively, if you are doing a cleanse, don’t drink it for longer than seven days.
Warnings about charcoal lemonade
There are a few things to take into account when drinking charcoal lemonade. Probably the most important is that activated charcoal is known to absorb not just unwanted toxins, but also other foreign substances like prescription medications. Consult your health professional to ensure you’re not endangering the activity of any medications you take by using activated charcoal.
Activated charcoal may also absorb nutrients from healthy food that you eat, so for this reason, drink your black lemonade away from other foods.
And finally, be sure to shake your drink well before and during consumption, as some anecdotal evidence indicates you may have stomach discomfort if the ingredients aren’t evenly distributed.
So what do you think, will you test out this trendy new detox drink? Are you brave enough to put your forebodings aside and take a sip of inky black lemonade? You might be pleasantly surprised by the wide range of benefits from this easy to make and affordable recipe. At the very least, you might be able to freak out your friends or colleagues.
— Liivi Hess