5 things you need to know about black lemonade

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Have you seen Black Lemonade around the internet or in stores? Fitness fanatics and health-conscious people share thousands of posts and photos about this inky drink. Some people make their own, while others buy it by the bottle. Or, in some instances, by the case.

Sounds dark, mysterious and pretty cool, right? We wanted to take a closer look at the beverage getting so much hype. Before you pour yourself or someone else a glass, here are five things you should know about black lemonade.

1. Black Lemonade Gets Its Color From Charcoal

Black Lemonade is not made from black lemons (eww.) The drink’s inky color comes from activated charcoal powder mixed in with regular lemonade. According to RxList:

“Common charcoal is made from peat, coal, wood, coconut shell, or petroleum. Activated charcoal is similar to common charcoal, but is made especially for use as a medicine. To make activated charcoal, manufacturers heat common charcoal in the presence of a gas that causes the charcoal to develop lots of internal spaces or pores. These pores help activated charcoal ‘trap’ chemicals.”

charcoal photo
Flickr | Anton Novojilov

MORE: Is charcoal toothpaste good or bad for your teeth? Dentists weigh in

2. Black Lemonade Is A Popular Detox Drink

The activated charcoal in black lemonade can reportedly help rid the body of unwanted chemicals. Many people drink black lemonade to help with lowering cholesterol, preventing hangovers and improving bile flow in the body. Mostly though, healthy people consume the drink as a cleanse or detox as part of their juicing regimen.

“I am hoping that any toxins or undigested food particles residing in my digestive tract are absorbed via the charcoal,” health blogger Whitney Benjamin told BuzzFeed.

4. But Does It Work?

Doctors prescribe charcoal to certain patients for certain conditions.

Emergency rooms use it to treat alcohol poisoning. Some doctors give charcoal pills to patients exposed to mold or athletes who get diarrhea when running marathons. In these situations, the charcoal adheres to problematic particles, moving with them out of the gastrointestinal tract.

But, what does this mean for Black Lemonade?

“Not everybody needs a lemonade charcoal Slurpee, but for different situations, charcoal can be extremely helpful,” said Judy Fulop, a naturopathic physician at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

5. Be Careful With Black Lemonade

The charcoal in Black Lemonade may cause problems for people on medications, though. The porous makeup of charcoal can absorb the beneficial chemicals in many medications. Therefore, Fulop recommends waiting at least two hours after taking medication before drinking black lemonade. And that means you should never serve it to someone without asking about their medications.

Also, charcoal can absorb healthy nutrients from fruits and vegetables. So, consider drinking something else with your salad or piece of fresh fruit.

MORE: Starbucks Japan is going goth with an all-black Frappuccino

Curiosity, Food

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About the Author
Marie Rossiter
Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World. Visit Scripps News to see more of Marie's work.

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