Gone are the days when health drinks were limited to green juices and smoothies. It’s no surprise that we keep discovering new ways of consuming food/drinks to keep ourselves healthy, as being healthy is all the rage now. The newest trend in the healthy drink or food section is something that none of us had ever thought about. It is chalky in texture and pitch dark in colour which is nothing but charcoal.

Charcoal in food & drinks? Yes, you heard that right and believe me I also had the same expression till I tasted it. Not that you can really taste the charcoal in it, but it adds good texture and interesting deep colour along with the health benefits that it has to offer.

Charcoal Drinks

It is usually paired with cold-pressed juices or drinks such as lemonade, sugar cane, the greens, and even your dairy free protein shake or latte as well. And, when it comes to food, charcoal is infused into many kinds of food such as burger buns, doughnuts, ice cream, bread, muffins, hot dog and what not?

Charcoal Burger

The activated charcoal that is used for edible purposes is from different sources such as heated coconut shell, wood or coal. It is also called activated carbon which is incredibly porous and absorbent that helps in drawing out all the toxins and chemicals from our system; one of the reasons why it is used in some of the medical as well as cosmetic treatments.

Charcoal for cosmetic treatment

Although the hype is all about glowing skin, detoxification, improved gut health and all that, there might be some downsides to this which are not yet proven fully. It is important to understand that charcoal based food & drinks have powerful binding abilities. Based on the research so far, it is still not clear what charcoal binds to and what it leaves alone which makes it difficult to know how exactly this in food would benefit us if charcoal prevents the nutrients from entering our system.

When you take the charcoal with juice, there is a pretty good chance of the vitamins and minerals from the juice not having the chance to enter your system. If it has the ability to wipe out everything from our system, then it’s pointless to even drink juices mixed with active charcoal as the nutrients from the juice will never make its way to our system although the detoxification process might take place.

This characteristic of charcoal could even result in wiping out all the essential nutrients that you get from the food.  Due to this, it’s not recommended to consume charcoal  while you are on medication as it will nullify the medicinal effects as well.

Bottled Charcoal Drinks

Therefore, if you’re going to drink charcoal for cleansing purpose then the best time to consume it is either at the beginning of the day or before bedtime if you are able to maintain several hours of gap between the meals and the drink.

Despite the lack of clarity regarding its health benefits, its growing popularity has taken the food industry by storm. Charcoal-infused food trend is brewing up in the culinary industry and the activated beverages seem to have a growing demand among the consumers. Turns out, detoxification is not always evidence-based and the trend is here to stay.