First For Women
Stars’ dirty little secret to slim
Hollywood is buzzing about the look-good, feel-great perks of lemonade spiked with activated charcoal. But can this sweet-tart drink really melt stubborn pounds? FIRST wellness columnist Jorge Cruise weighs in
When green juice became all the rage on the Hollywood diet scene, the headlines announced: Green is the new black! Well, just a scant 10 years later, black is the new black, with leading ladies like Eva Longoria sipping refreshing lemonade-like tonics that are made with activated charcoal.
Though it may sound a bit odd, doctors have been using activated charcoal in the ER to treat poison and drug overdoses for years because the chalky black powder can prevent chemicals from being absorbed by the stomach. How? The surface of each charcoal granule is dotted in millions of tiny holes. These holes allow the charcoal to bind with as much as 200 times its own weight in toxins, so those toxins can be easily flushed from the body. That’s good news for slimming because when the liver has
fewer toxins to process, it has more energy to fire up fat burning—in fact, some women report that sipping a charcoal-spiked lemonade daily helped them lose 11⁄2 pounds every week without making any other lifestyle changes.
Remedies featuring activated charcoal are also regularly prescribed to patients with digestive distress. That’s because charcoal binds to acids and gas-producing compounds in the stomach and colon, helping ease reflux symptoms and prevent the formation of gas that causes bloat, indigestion and cramping. As a result, it can quickly relieve GI discomfort— and flatten the belly.
Fans of charcoal lemonade note that even if the muddy color is slightly off-putting, the charcoal doesn’t add any flavor. Instead, the taste of tangy-fresh lemon juice and just a touch of sweetener shine through. And they add that it’s worth sipping through the grittiness the powder imparts to get the benefits: In addition to the slimming perks, proponents say the trendy mocktail has helped them achieve greater energy, deeper sleep, fewer cravings, clearer skin and improved mental clarity.
For all the love activated charcoal lemonade has been getting from women and on celebs’ social media channels, though, doctors caution that it should be avoided for at least two hours after taking any vitamins or medications. The reason: Activated charcoal doesn’t discriminate, so it may also bind to good-for-you nutrients and necessary medications. And because it swells so much, charcoal can also cause constipation for some women. To prevent discomfort, health-care professionals stress the importance of drinking plenty of liquid with the charcoal. This also helps flush the body of everything the charcoal has absorbed so toxins don’t get reabsorbed by the body, which would negate many of the benefits.