“Hi, Can I please get a glass of Activated Charcoal?”

“Hi, Can I please get a glass of Activated Charcoal?”

You may have noticed the obscure black liquid people have been sipping on lately. You may have already consumed a glass of this obscure black liquid without even really knowing what it is. It’s okay – I get it. I’m a sucker for the whole “cleansing” and “detoxing” idea, though I’ve developed more of a critical eye for such gimmicks over the past few years. But when an Activated Charcoal Tea/Water/Juice trend came to surface, I knew I wanted to investigate this one a bit further. Naturally, I headed over to Anti-Vice Juicery, where the charcoal-infused cocktail flows like water. I met with the owner Joe Gagliano, former real estate professional turned somewhat-health-nut.

Blindly trusting the unusual emerging health trend, I took a sip of the jet black liquid.

My initial thoughts?

– “It tastes like nothing”
– “Is my tongue black?”
– “Will this turn my stool black too?”
– “What the HECK is this doing inside me right now?”

Here’s the scoop:

Activated Charcoal is charcoal that has been processed in a specific way to create pores onto it, which causes materials in the body to bind to them. This occurs through a process called “adsorption” in which atoms and molecules bind to the top layer of a material, whereas the more well known term “absorption” involves the filling of pores or holes in a substance. You’ve likely heard of charcoal being used in hospitals to aid in drug overdose or poisoning cases, due to the adsorbing factor. The idea is that the toxic substance attaches to the surface of the charcoal before it has the chance to enter your GI tract, which is when you will excrete them and have “beautiful black poo,” as Joe says, charmingly of course. However, it will only attach to substances that are still in the stomach or intestines.

Though “black is on trend” (another one of Joe’s witty lines), you’ll want to refrain from consuming Activated Charcoal too often. As much as it’s great for adsorbing toxic materials in your body, it can also adsorb the goodness you’ve put into it – the nutrients, vitamins and minerals. However, the nature of living in a major city is that we’re exposed to so many pollutants and chemicals in what we eat, drink and breathe that we’re always looking for ways to counteract those toxic effects. It’s no wonder that we’re always on the hunt for the next best “cleanse” or “detox”, though it’s best to steer clear of the quick-fix-detoxes, as detoxing is a process that is strictly reserved for your bodily organs (and they do it all on their own if you support them anyway!)

Whether you feel you’ve got enough hairs on your chest (or hiding elsewhere) to slurp back the ink-like beverage, I promise you’ll be happy you walked through the doors of Anti-Vice Juicery to have a chat and a sip of some delicious juices with Joe.

The Anti-Vice Juicery Fast Facts:

1. Joe owns it and runs it on his own (Surprise!)
2. Anti-Vice Juicery opened in March 2015 out of the desire to open a juice shop.
3. Joe worked in real estate 8 years prior until he got extremely unmotivated by office life (Join the club!)
4. Continued from #3 “Life is far too short to be doing something I don’t want to be doing. I would rather fail at doing something I want to do than succeed in an environment that makes me unhappy.” – Joe
5. The name “Anti-Vice” came about one hungover morning, where Joe was thinking how he needed the opposite of indulgence at that moment. Almost like, the Anti-Vice (Cue: Visions of logo and new dreams flourishing)

Have you tried activated charcoal? What did you think?

Originally published on The Youth Society.

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