Activated Charcoal Drinks- Boon or Bane?

By      20-Oct 2019       Reading Time: 4 Mins

Activated Charcoal Drinks- Boon or Bane?

Charcoal is a powerful detoxification agent. There came a trend where activated charcoal came to be beneficial and became a part of our skin care routine. The trend has changed again and this time, it has come to be a part of our dietary routine.

You heard that right! People are drinking activated charcoal. The activated variety (different than what we use in the grilling process) is processed so, it becomes ultra-absorbent and safe to consume. It contains many tiny little sponge-like pores that suck up everything in sight as soon as it hits the digestive tract.

How does it help?

  1.  It gives some of the detoxifying effects while also consuming essential nutrients that
    will support and improve the body’s digestion, immune system, organs and cardiovascular system.
  2.  Activated charcoal may be able to assist in enhanced kidney functioning by filtering
    out undigested toxins and drugs.

How can it cause harm?

Words like flushing and fat in the same sentence may sound good but not here.
Studies show that activated charcoal can bind to as much as 100 times its own weight,
and hence large doses can cause the detox process to become too harsh, flushing vital
nutrients that are stored in fat tissues in the body.

Where to be careful?
Others who are advised to skip out on the trend include those who are taking prescription medications or supplements. Charcoal doesn’t know the difference between toxins, medicines, vitamins, and minerals.
Timing of your charcoal drink is important. Ideally, you are advised to sip it three or four hours after your last meal. Since activated charcoal is so absorbent, drinking it during the day or too close to a meal can interfere with the absorption of these nutrients and hence it’s vital to fuel the body with fruits and veggies throughout the day which have the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients the body needs to stay healthy.

Word of Caution
This type of charcoal can interfere with the body’s absorption process. Charcoal shouldn’t be consumed every day or less than 90 minutes before or after nutrient-dense meals, prescription medications, or vitamins.

Avoid taking medications or supplements at least one hour (or preferably longer) before you enjoy this drink. Since activated charcoal is so potent, it may negate the benefits you would get from supplements/treatments.

Despite charcoal carrying certain benefits, it can be considered as a bane as it is not meant for all and comes with certain guidelines and few harmful effects when to be used. So, do not fall for every fad trend out there- a nutritionist is your best bet whenever you want to include something fancy in your diet.

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