Charcoal drinks are becoming trendy. American socialite, Kim Kardashian has also endorsed one such drink. What is this drink made of? What are the claims? Are they healthy?
The new year brings with it new ideas and resolutions and also new trends. And this year also has its own bag of trends in food and drink industry. Charcoal drinks are the in thing these days. Celebrities are endorsing it too. On her Instagram post, American socialite, Kim Kardashian put up a pic of her mug of grey charcoal tea. She has been a great supporter of charcoal for health since many years.
Charcoal is considered a detox. It removes toxins and impurities from the body and prevents their absorption. The charcoal comes as a powder. This is added to drinks and smoothies and seems to be a boosting ingredient. Kim’s sister Kourtney had on an earlier occasion shared a recipe of her charcoal latte on her lifestyle website, Poosh. Kourtney had mentioned that she is a great lover of charcoal and that it reduces bloating and gas and also frees her body of toxins.
The lead nutritionist at Feel Complete, Hannah Macey had stated:
“Active charcoal acts like a binder, so it essentially acts as a sponge, soaking up different chemicals from within the body and on the skin.”
“It has been used to support the recovery of people who have been tested for certain toxins such as mould. It is also used in medication to treat drug overdoses and accidental poisoning.”
“When the correct dosage is given by a professional it can bind to the drugs and poisons, and reduce how much is absorbed in the gut.”
Thus, charcoal can cleanse the body of toxins, poisons, and other impurities. It can neutralize the gases that form in the intestines due to bacterial action on certain foods. Activated charcoal is part of certain antacids and gut remedies including those given for stomach aches and pains and cramps.
But though in small doses charcoal can benefit, there are no long term studies on its chronic use.
Is charcoal healthy to have?
Nutritionists are wary about the long-term use of this substance. Taking it as a drink or in food is actually not recommended. Its long term effects on the body functions remain not studied.
Moreover, even in short term use, it can bind to some medications that the person may be on. This can lead to dilution of the effects of that particular medication. Thus oral drugs such as contraceptive pill or anti-depressants might fail to act and work along with charcoal.
In 2017, British Dietetic Association (BDA) spokesperson and dietitian Michelle McGuinness had told Metro:
“The trendy charcoal drinks are another example of the unnecessary detoxing trend.”
Also, read Easy, Healthy and Best Charcoal Lemonade Recipe (Detoxifying)
“Evidence for the benefits of activated charcoal is not substantial, and the negative effects could be detrimental to health and wellbeing. But more so the process of detoxing like this is not necessary for optimum health, we have well equipped kidneys and liver which do this for us.”