How do you like your tea? You might be a herbal tea afficianado, opting for camomile, green or peppermint. Or maybe you’re more into breakfast tea.
Well, it seems Kim Kardashian likes her tea charcoal black.
The reality TV star reportedly shared a photo of a cup of charcoal tea to Instagram this week, as she revealed her morning routine.
It’s since inspired a new charcoal latte recipe on her sister Kourtney Kardashian’s lifestyle website Poosh. According to the post, Kourtney is also a “longtime lover” of charcoal, because of its “powerful binding properties”.
So are charcoal hot drinks good for you?
“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,” Hannah Macey, lead nutritionist at Feel Complete, told Yahoo.
“It has been used to support the recovery of people who have been tested for certain toxins such as mould.”
She explained it’s been used to treat drug overdoses and accidental poisoning, as “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”.
That said, Macey advised against drinking charcoal tea because there is little scientific research to support the claims associated with it.
Michelle McGuinness, a dietitian and British Dietetic Association (BDA) spokesperson, is also less than convinced by the supposed health benefits of these trendy drinks.
Discussing charcoal lattes specifically, she previously told Metro they are “another example of the unnecessary detoxing trend”.
She said that while activated charcoal “plays a significant role in the treatment of drug overdose and poisoning, by binding to the chemical and removing these from the gut,” it is also “non-discriminative and therefore can remove beneficial nutrients or even, more critically, medications”.
As such, she warned anyone who takes medication to avoid the consumption of activated charcoal.
“Evidence for the benefits of activated charcoal is not substantial, and the negative effects could be detrimental to health and wellbeing,” she concluded.