If you live or work near a fashionable postcode, you've probably noticed an alarming new trend of late. Just when you'd gotten used to the swathes of women carrying vivid green, bucket-sized cups of juice around with them, the juices turned even more sinister-looking. That's right, the green turned to black, and now those same women are carrying bucket-sized cups of something that looks straight out of a cauldron. But this is no witches' brew; it's charcoal juice.
Miles away from the stuff you used to scribble with in art class, 'activated' charcoal, as it's known, is meant to have incredible detoxifying properties. The charcoal is negatively charged, which means it passes through your body and absorbs any toxins that may have a positive charge (time to brush up on your GCSE Chemistry), such as pesticide traces in food and non-organic vegetables. Using charcoal in this way is nothing new; gas marks are lined with it and it's used to treat patients who've overdosed on drugs in A&E, so the detox theory seems sound. But, can you bring yourself to drink something so peculiar looking? We tried three of the best so you don't have to...
**Rose Beer, Associate Health Editor, Botanic Lab ISTONIC1, £6
"I was slightly put off by the colour of the juice (it's blacker than night!) but the packaging looked chic and modern which lessened the dread. The texture was the same as a normal green juice – And it was surprisingly delicious! Some mouthfuls were a tiny bit granular but not in an unpleasant way. I finished the lot and would definitely have it again. Afterwards, I felt energised and clean – I actually really enjoyed it."
**Daniela Morosini, Beauty & Web Assistant, The Juice Well Hunger Buster, £6.50
"This thing was a real whopper - bigger than any other juice I'd seen and totally opaque. The texture made me squeal - weirdly viscuous, it was a taste of dunk a straw in and close your eyes. It tasted refreshing, thanks to all the melon in this juice, but had some gel-like lumps to it. All in all, not bad and pretty yummy-tasting, the texture was just too much for me."
Evie Leathem, Contributing Beauty Editor, Raw Press SBC Elixir, £3.50
"It was fairly watery and tasted like coconut water but less sweet. I was surprised to find it wasn't too gritty or powdery as I was expecting to have to really knock it back. This one is more of a shot so it was easier to finish - perhaps a larger one might have been trickier. I tried it in the afternoon when I began to feel quite sluggish, and felt my energy levels surge and my metabolism has kicked into gear."