Kim Kardashian is a big fan of a health kick and her latest go-to is charcoal tea.
The reality TV star and business mogul posted an image of her cup of charcoal tea to Instagram this week, showing her 342 million followers the integral part of her morning routine.
It’s not the first time the 42-year-old has sung the praises of the wellness powder – as she’s been known to have charcoal-flavoured drinks on hand for nearly a decade.
In 2016, Kardashian revealed on her app that she kept charcoal lemonade stocked in her fridge.
“I swear, when I drink it, I feel cleansed and energised throughout the day,” she said at the time.
What is charcoal tea?
Charcoal tea is made from activated charcoal powder and it can be added to any drink such as tea or coffee.
According to Hannah Macey, lead nutritionist at Feel Complete, there are claims that the powder can rid the body of toxins. “Most have commented on it tasting like normal tea with a slight underlying aftertaste,” she tells Yahoo.
Are there any health benefits to drinking charcoal tea?
“Active charcoal acts like a binder, so it essentially acts as a sponge, soaking up different chemicals from within the body and on the skin,” Macey explains.
“It has been used to support the recovery of people who have been tested for certain toxins such as mould. It is also used in medication to treat drug overdoses and accidental poisoning. When the correct dosage is given by a professional it can bind to the drugs and poisons, and reduce how much is absorbed in the gut.”
Charcoal powder can also be used as a supplement to take after a big night of drinking alcohol, Macey says, or if you have symptoms such as bloating or flatulence.
“It is important to know that certain substances like charcoal need to be used for the correct reasons, in the right doses and there are limited teas currently on sale that include sufficient amounts being put into the tea bag or powder,” she adds.
Should you drink charcoal tea long-term?
“Small amounts should not cause any harm or side effects. However, the long-term impacts of higher doses have yet to be studied,” Macey says.
“If you are working with a professional, who understands why you may need an activated charcoal supplement as a binder for toxin overload or another condition or symptom then this would be appropriate. If you do decide to take it, make sure it's not taken with any medication you may be on.”
Overall, Macey would advise against drinking charcoal tea where possible. “We have very little scientific research to support all of the claims that are associated with it, unless used by a professional in the correct dosage.”
What are good substitutes for charcoal tea?
Instead of charcoal tea, Macey recommends drinking fresh herbal teas such as “liver-supporting” beverages like nettle and dandelion tea, and chicory coffee as an alternative to regular coffee.
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