This charcoal lemonade is a super healthy, detoxifying twist on a classic drink, and it only takes about 3 minutes to make. The activated charcoal gives the lemonade its super black hue, as well as all of its amazing health benefits.
Uh, yeah. I know this charcoal lemonade looks super weird. Gross even? Or maybe like I’m early for Halloween?
But I am positively in love with this healthy detox drink. Because a) it doesn’t taste healthy and b) it definitely doesn’t taste “black,” like it’s charred or burnt. I’m all about the holistic living, but could not drink something that tastes blackened, like when I leave something in the broiler too long. Woops.
Oh, and let me tell you straight away!
What does charcoal lemonade taste like?
Charcoal lemonade tastes like lemonade. That’s it! It doesn’t taste gritty or black or charcoal-y or smoky or burnt whatsoever.
Activated charcoal is different from regular charcoal or char. The latter are carcinogens, whereas activated charcoal helps with everything from detoxification to digestion to even seriously curing my stomach flu. Really! My very own! I couldn’t believe it.
Activated charcoal is made from everything from bone char to coconuts or olive pits. It’s processed at a very high temperature to “activate” it, changing its structure and giving it those amazing benefits that make people drink black lemonade.
The best part (Maybe?) is that it really doesn’t taste at all, and the powder is so fine that it blends in easily to most liquids. Enter… charcoal lemonade!
Why This Charcoal Lemonade Is So Good
- This recipe only takes 4 ingredients and 3 minutes to make.
- The activated charcoal gives this lemonade a super healthy and aids in everything from digestion to heart health, anti-aging to stomach viruses and hangovers (Really!).
- This charcoal lemonade is sweetened with maple syrup, making it naturally paleo and vegan.
- There’s a simple keto option, thanks to liquid keto sweeteners like monkfruit or stevia.
The Benefits of Activated Charcoal
I’m positively in love with activated charcoal on its own. And here’s a fun story: I came down with the stomach flu a while back and read, whilst bemoaning my own imminent death, that activated charcoal could actually absorb the stomach bug. It has been used for thousands of years to bind toxins, heavy metals, even poisons, and flush them from your body.
So after a few rounds of vomiting, I took a couple capsules. And that was it! I stopped throwing up. Amazing, right? I was sort of amazed. Like completely and totally amazed.
Other benefits of activated charcoal are:
- Absorbing toxins, drugs, heavy metals, and poisons, and flushing them from the body
- Improved digestion
- Hangover help! Really!
- Better heart health
- Improved kidney function
- Reduces fish odor syndrome
- Can reduce cholesterol levels
- Skin improvement, when used topically
Read more about the benefits of activated charcoal here.
Is charcoal lemonade good for you?
Hell yeah! Read about the benefits of activated charcoal above. When the activated charcoal combines with the detoxification powers of lemon juice, this charcoal lemonade becomes a super health refresher.
Read more about the benefits of lemons and lemon juice here.
How to Make Charcoal Lemonade
It’s really super easy. Start by stirring together all the ingredients except the water: the lemon juice, maple syrup, and charcoal powder. Whisk well.
Add in water and taste; add more maple syrup or lemon juice to taste. Serve over ice.
If you make this charcoal lemonade to drink later, simply stir it before serving to reintegrate the charcoal powder.
How to Use Charcoal Powder
You can either use bulk charcoal powder (not in capsules), in which case you’ll use 1/2 teaspoon.
Or, to use charcoal capsules, carefully open the capsules over the drink container or pitcher. Be careful to do this slowly and gently, as charcoal is, obviously, very black!
Make It Keto / Low Carb / Sugar Free
To turn this charcoal lemonade keto, low carb, or sugar free, simply replace the maple syrup with the sugar-free sweetener of your choice. I like using liquid monkfruit or stevia, and I’ve used about 1 teaspoon liquid monkfruit when I’ve made this charcoal lemonade keto-friendly.
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- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup see Note for keto/low carb
- 3 capsules activated charcoal about 1/2 teaspoon
- 4 cups water
- Whisk together all ingredients in a pitcher. Pour over ice and serve.
Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.