Drinking a juice made from activated charcoal and greens has become the latest crazy cleansing trend. Activated charcoal is made from burnt organic matter.
Beauty blogger Annie Atkinson said that the juice really affects your skin. Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop recently highlighted 'charcoal lemonade' as one of the best juice cleanses. In November 2014, popular NYC chain Juice Generation launched a line of drinks packed with activated charcoal, like Activated Greens (nearly black in color), Activated Lemonade (gray) and Activated Protein (creamy slate), at 9.95 dollars a pop. Juice Generation founder Eric Helms said, "It's one of the most popular products that we've ever introduced and the taste was a big challenge, requiring months of testing to make its grit palatable." At Juice Generation coconut hulls are processed to have a negative electrical charge, which allows it to bind to toxins in the body and help aid detoxification.
Jeffrey A. Morrison, a Manhattan-based family practice physician and certified nutritional specialist, said, "It's very safe if used correctly, though I wouldn't recommend consuming it daily because activated charcoal will bind to medications and nutritional supplements, not just toxins, rendering them ineffective. Most people are going to be quite capable of eliminating toxins on their own, but after a night of heavy drinking or a fried-food binge, it's not a bad idea."
Beth Warren, a registered dietician-nutritionist based in Brooklyn, is less positive about the trend and said, "Adding charcoal to vegetable juice doesn't make sense because the charcoal, not the drinker's body, will absorb the juice's nutrients."