Contrary to what it may sound like, black lemonade is not the name of a high school emo band but is actually a type of liquid detox that combines activated charcoal, water and lemon juice.
You can find it next to the green varieties at many juice bars and natural food stores or you can just make it at home (the ingredient list is obviously quite simple!).
As we have noted previously, activated charcoal has myriad powerful detoxing benefits because of the way it’s created.
Activated charcoal is just regular charcoal heated in the presence of gas; as it heats up, it expands to become porous with lots of tiny air pockets comprising its interior. It is those tiny pores that make activated charcoal such an amazing natural detoxifier.
They are able to trap and neutralize environmental and ingested toxins inside our bodies; this is why hospitals use activated charcoal in conjunction with stomach pumping to treat poisoning cases.
So, it comes as no surprise that on a significantly less intense level, drinking activated charcoal regularly for general detoxing benefits has become increasingly popular.
Truthfully, I'm on the fence about whether it makes a lot of sense to use activated charcoal as a long term detox. After eating low quality food? Absolutely. But as a long term detox plan - I'll leave that for you to decide.
The ebony hue of black lemonade may make the drink hard to swallow (literally!) for some, though it honestly has a pleasantly mild taste with the bright lemon coming through on the flavor profile most dramatically.
Adding a bit of cayenne to the mix is a great way to ramp up the flavor and also help kick up the drink’s metabolic properties. The activated charcoal doesn’t have much flavor at all!
Those who swear by drinking a black lemonade say it will help keep your metabolism up and will also assist your body in neutralizing any chemicals or additives you may have in your system from your environment or food that’s not beneficial to your nutrition.
Aside from those general detoxing benefits, many people swear by black lemonade as a hangover cure.
To be clear, there’s no scientific evidence that activated charcoal has any adsorptive properties when it comes to alcohol but it does help rid your body of all the sugar and additives that most likely came along with the booze, curbing the awful headache and helping dissipate the nausea. Similarly, a glass of black lemonade will help cure you of uncomfortable gas and bloating after a particularly indulgent meal.
While there aren’t any major side-effects associated with drinking activated charcoal, there are some important concerns to keep in mind. First, activated charcoal is not discerning when its doing its detoxing.
So, though it may help clear your digestive system of harmful toxins, it may also be taking necessary nutrients and any helpful medications or vitamins with it.
To avoid this, be sure to only drink your black lemonade (or any drink including activated charcoal as an ingredient!) before you’ve taken any medication or eaten and let it process in your system for a few hours. It’s also advisable to drink a few glasses of water right before and after your juice to help flush the charcoal through your system quickly.
So if you’d like to switch up your green juice routine (and also freak out your co-workers!) give black lemonade a try. You can purchase activated charcoal powder here. Just mix a tablespoon with water, a squeeze of lemon and a dash of cayenne— and bottom’s up!