Another day another food and drink fad.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up, with the new superfoods and healthy drinks and juices on the market. Well, we are here to break down another one that has been around for a little over a year and hasn’t gone away yet: Activated charcoal juice.

Yes you read that correctly. Activated charcoal is officially a ‘thing,’ so we wanted to give you the lowdown on why it’s here and what it does for your body.

activated-charcoal-juiceBefore you ask ‘isn’t that the stuff that’s on my bbq after I’ve charred meat and veggies?’ We will tell you that the charcoal is processed so it becomes ultra-absorbent and safe to consume. The reason it’s reported to be a healthy agent for our bodies is that it contains small sponge-like pores that suck everything up when they hit the digestive tract. So the claim is that the drink acts as an energy booster due to ridding our bodies of toxins and oxidants.

“By heating charcoal, it activates it and gives it absorption power.” says nutritionist, Cara Busson-Clark. “The active ingredient would be the gas used to heat it, which causes the charcoal to develop pore like spaces in it to trap chemicals or toxins.”

Many people are skeptical with new trends – as they should be. It takes awhile for a product to be approved by the public. To that end it’s good to keep in mind that activated charcoal is an age old treatment for poison and other medical needs. It’s trending right now, as a detoxifier, so people are jumping on it. But it may take a while to find out the best uses for it healthwise.

Nothing is universal when it comes to clearing your system and making sure you are not getting rid of too much. “As we know now, it absorbs toxins,” says Busson-Clark. “So it’s likely to take the nutrients with it.”

What she means by this is that due to the drink’s ability to pull toxins through your system, it will most likely make you go to the bathroom. It is probably not a good idea to use it for this purpose regularly as it might upset your stomach. Charcoal helps cleanse the colon and intestines helping people debloat.

“I would suggest a food cleanse before drinking activated charcoal. The drink will help you detox,” says Busson-Clark. “But again I don’t think it’s the best way to help with detoxing.”

It could possibly, temporarily, help you to lose weight, but long term, successful weight loss always comes down to a healthy diet and exercise. That doesn’t mean that we should discount activated charcoal for any reason. “I don’t think it’s a hoax,” says Busson- Clark. “I’ve actually seen it help some of my family with skin problems, like eczema, by removing the chemicals and toxins causing the irritation” says Clark.

Some say the drink tastes like cement, before buying it, trying a sample might be a good option. If you are someone who takes prescription medications or supplements, charcoal does not know the difference between vitamins, minerals, toxins, or meds. If you need your prescribed medication to keep you safe and healthy, do not take activated charcoal without consulting your doctor.

Make sure to drink plenty of water when drinking the charcoal-infused juice; the water is necessary to help flush the toxins once the charcoal binds them. With any trend make sure you incorporate a healthy diet as it’s best not to rely solely on the product to fix weight loss – because it won’t.