Come to the Dark Side

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Jet-black cocktails juiced with activated charcoal are the coolest new beverages at trendsetting bars across the country. With a dark and mysterious appeal, charcoal cocktails are perfect for Halloween season – and they’re surprisingly healthy. Discover what activated charcoal can do for you and how to create DIY detox drinks.

What Is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal is a form of carbon, the second most abundant element in the human body (after oxygen) and a common element of all known lifeforms. It becomes “activated” when it is processed to have small pores. These tiny, low-volume pores increase the surface area of the carbon. A higher surface area increases the carbon’s adsorption, or its ability to attract atoms and molecules to its surface.

The activated charcoal sold in stores is usually derived from a high-quality charcoal such as bituminous (black asphalt) coal and/or lignite (brown peat) coal. Some brands may also contain other carbonized ingredients such as wood, coconut shells, and bamboo – make sure you read the label.

Why Is Activated Charcoal Healthy?

Activated charcoal is noted for its ability to remove toxins and impurities from the body. It is used to treat some poisonings and overdoses, as well as less-serious bouts of diarrhea and indigestion. Savvy globetrotters never forget to pack activated charcoal, which can alleviate the duration and severity of traveler’s diarrhea.

One note of warning: Because charcoal is ultra-absorbent, it also binds with vitamins and minerals and removes them from your body. If you’re drinking charcoal, don’t overlap your cocktail with your meal or medications – and make sure you’re eating a well-balanced diet. As with any supplement, and consult with your doctor before consuming. Activated charcoal may interact with some medications.

Charcoal Is the New Black

For most people, activated charcoal is a natural, flavorless detoxing agent – which makes it the new…

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