VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- A growing number of people are hopping on the activated charcoal train with a goal of losing weight or detoxifying their bodies.
Amanda Preston is one person who is sold on the trend which includes drinking juices and other beverages that contain the ingredient.
“You can tell when you use it that it, like, it is pulling out impurities in your body," said the 27-year-old. "I can tell it makes a big difference when I don’t use it, than when I do."
Preston, who told 13News she had an unhealthy diet for years, admitted a sip of charcoal isn’t appealing. She constantly reminds herself its benefits outweigh the gritty taste.
“I always feel great,” said Preston, who drinks activated charcoal in a beverage about once a week, or when she may be getting sick. “I feel lighter, and I have more energy.”
Plant-based wellness coach Rebekah Ortiz said she recommends the detox drinks to several of her clients and believes it truly works.
“It’s a combination between wood, bamboo, coconut shells, and it’s activated between steam and acids. That’s how it’s processed,“ said Ortiz.
Ortiz explained properties in the activated charcoal bond with toxins and gas to detox your body.
Naturopathic doctor Carl Fusco said if the combination causes you to lose weight, it’s because you could throw up because if putrid taste.
“Number one, it doesn’t belong in the body. It will reduce your stomach acid tremendously, and you need your stomach acid,” Fusco said.
Registered dietitian Jim White said activated charcoal could detoxify your body but added that other potential effects may outweigh its use.
“Is it worth having nausea, vomiting, and stomach pains? Is it worth taking a risk and posing on the daily health?” asked White.
Although there is no evidence that activated charcoal promotes weight loss and helps detox the body, Preston said she plans to keep buying the juices, because they work for her.
“I feel comfortable taking something, and I know how I feel when I take it, and I know the benefits. That’s worth it to me, and I trust my own body over what other people think,” Preston stated.