Activated charcoal is the latest buzzword to hit the market. With its various applications and numerous health benefits, it has probed consumer interest and earned its status as a “wonder” substance.
At Ribs & Burgers we are all about capturing the zeitgeist and getting onboard with the latest hype. Back in 2015, we teamed up with 20th Century Fox to celebrate the release of X-Men: Apocalypse by launching our insanely cool Mutant Burger. It was a visual feast, featuring fried chicken, blue cheese and triple chilli, sandwiched in an electric blue bun.
Following the phenomenal success of the Mutant Burger, we have taken it one step further this year. We have joined forces with 20th Century Fox for a second time to celebrate the DVD release of Deadpool 2 (release date: 21st August 2018), and have cooked up our most experimental burger yet – the Deadpool Double beef burger with a black activated charcoal bun.
Our black charcoal burger (available in Australia) features two Angus beef patties, melting American cheese, onions, pickles, BBQ sauce & aioli. The best bit? The activated charcoal burger actually resembles Deadpool. Cool, right?
If you want to know a bit more about what activated charcoal is – the science behind it, what it does, its uses and its benefits – here is all the information you need.
What is activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal (also known as activated carbon) has been used for medicinal purposes since the 19th century. It is “activated” due to its negative charge and ability to bind positively charged ions (i.e. chemicals).
Activated charcoal occurs when charcoal is combined with different gasses and exposed to high temperatures. This process, known as “activation”, develops pores and increases the surface area of the carbon. The surface area then has the ability to “catch” chemicals through a process called “adsorption”. Unlike the concept of “absorption”, where molecules are absorbed into the absorbent, adsorption is when molecules stick or bind to the surface of a large substance.
Because of this, activated charcoal can be used as an antidote to poisoning or drug overdose, because when you orally ingest activated charcoal toxins will bind to it, which helps to rid the toxins from the body.
The World Health Organisation has recognised activated charcoal as an “essential medicine” due to its properties in aiding poisons and toxins. It is therefore often found in all ambulances, hospitals and pharmacies worldwide.
Activated charcoal has a variety of applications and health benefits, and has earned its status among consumers as a miracle product.
What are the uses of activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal has a plethora of uses, from medical uses to industrial uses to environmental uses. These include: air purification, gold purification, water purification, medicine, air filters, metal extraction, teeth whitening, decaffeination and more. Because it is safe to ingest orally, activated charcoal can also be used in food to colour ingredients black.
What forms can you buy activated charcoal in?
The surge of consumer interest in activated charcoal has meant that it is now available in many forms across the market, including capsules, face masks, toothpastes, cleansers, soaps, creams and gels.
What are the benefits of activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal is used to help to detoxify the body – both internally and externally – which makes it an incredibly beneficial substance.
Activated charcoal is famed for its impressive health benefits, and there are many of them. Here are some ways how the black substance can improve your body’s health.
Activated charcoal is believed to aid digestive health, and is particularly useful in providing relief from bloating and gas.
Orally ingesting an activated charcoal supplement before or immediately after eating a large meal is believed to help with digestion. It works by adsorbing any harmful substances that produce gas in your stomach, and then carrying the toxins through the digestive system so they are removed as waste.
As activated charcoal can flush toxins from the body, it has also been claimed that it can be used to prevent or cure hangovers, though this is not grounded in scientific fact. Yet.
Note: Activated charcoal can adsorb large amounts of water, so be careful to overcompensate with your water intake so that you don’t become dehydrated.
Maintaining cholesterol levels
The human body contains two types of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol) and low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol). If you consume a diet that is high in saturated and trans fat, you have a higher risk of increasing the levels of bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) in your body, which could cause serious health complications later in life.
Activated charcoal is believed to be able to target these fats when they’re in the body, and instead of absorbing into your bloodstream they will instead pass through your intestines and be added to stools as waste.
There is a buzz around activated charcoal in the beauty world. Here are some of the ways it is being used in beauty treatments.
The shelves of pharmacies and beauty stores around the world are being stocked high with skincare products containing activated charcoal: face masks, face cleansers, exfoliants, body wash, soaps, creams, gels etc. It’s not surprising – the skin is the largest organ in the human body and it constantly absorbs pollutants, dust particles, sweat and other toxins. Activated charcoal can help to keep it unclogged, blemish-free and smooth.
Used on the skin, activated charcoal extracts toxins and unclogs pores so that the skin can breathe. Activated charcoal face masks and exfoliants are particularly popular at targeting blackheads and lessening the likelihood of breakouts.
Activated charcoal is commonly being used in dental products as an effective form of stain removal and teeth whitening. Activated charcoal has a rough exterior, and together with its adsorption ability it can lift stains and plaque from your teeth.
Deodorant and antiperspirants
Activated charcoal can be used as an alternative to traditional deodorants and antiperspirant. Its adsorption properties can help to combat body odour, as when applied to the armpits where sweat is most common it catches the smell-producing microbes before they have a chance to turn into bad odour.
Activated charcoal can help to aid pain or irritation caused by insect bites and stings. It works to remove venom or chemicals left by insects to lessen discomfort.
Activated charcoal in food
Activated charcoal can be used to dye food a jet black hue, from savory foods like bread to sweet foods like ice cream (you only have to check Instagram to see the trend). The dosage of activated charcoal used in food is only small, so it’s less about its healing ability and more about its aesthetic.
At Ribs & Burgers we have leveraged the popularity and amazing science of activated charcoal. Our result: a black burger that is both delicious and good for you!
Our Deadpool beef burger is Australia-exclusive (sorry international burger fans). To get a load of our blockbuster burger, get down to your nearest Ribs & Burgers restaurant today! The burger is a limited edition and won’t be available for long, so don’t miss out!