Activated Charcoal is recognized as an age-old remedy for victims of poisoning. Activated charcoal also started showing up in health-focused foods and beverages as a way of combatting the toxins that we ingest in processed foods each day. It may just be a fine black powder, but activated charcoal packs a powerful punch when it comes to promoting digestive health.
What is it, and how does it work?
Food-grade activated charcoal comes from coconut shell-based charcoal. It becomes ‘activated’ when the charcoal is brought to extreme temperatures in the presence of steam. This process produces millions of micro-pores on the surface of the carbon. Each pore is so small and complex that just one teaspoon of activated charcoal has the same surface area as half a football field. That’s crazy! It’s these microscopic pores that allow activated charcoal to do their job.
Activated charcoal is an adsorbent (not to be confused with ‘absorbent’). Adsorption is the process of molecules binding themselves to another surface (instead of chemically combining). The extreme porosity of activated charcoal means there is a ton of space for tiny toxins and pollutants to latch onto. After this adsorption takes place, the charcoal and toxins are flushed out of the body.
What are some health benefits?
- It can help minimize food-related bloating and gas. Consuming activated charcoal with a tall glass of water an hour before a gas-inducing meal can help alleviate symptoms.
- AC can help prevent hangovers. While alcohol itself does not bind to activated charcoal, other elements of your beverage do. Studies have shown that consuming activated charcoal at the same time as alcohol reduces blood alcohol content (BAC).
- Activated charcoal can also whiten teeth. Dip your tooth brush in AC powder and gently brush your teeth. Rinse thoroughly.
How do I get my hands on this stuff?
Earlier this year, The Urban Juicer launched a trio of delicious Activated Charcoal beverages:
Activated Charcoal Lemon-Aid: lemon, cayenne, maple syrup, alkaline water, activated charcoal.
Activated Charcoal Greens: apple, cucumber, parsley, spinach, activated charcoal
Activated Charcoal H2O: alkaline water, activated charcoal
Stop in to any Urban Juicer location to enjoy the delicious taste and experience the benefits that they can have on your digestive health.
*Remember, these activated charcoal can adsorb nutrients, too. It is best to leave an hour of time between a charcoal beverage and a healthy meal in order to take full advantage of the nutritional value. Also, please consult a doctor before beginning a new dietary regimen.