RECOVERY

12.25.13

Charcoal: The Trick to Recovering From a Big Meal

Nobody wants coal in their stocking, but what about their stomach? This tip to recovering from that big holiday meal might surprise you.

No matter which holiday you are celebrating this winter solstice, it is a sure bet that there is going to be a full-on feast with loads of delicious food that you probably shouldn’t eat. And you’re going to eat it anyway. Here are some tricks that are going to help you enjoy the food more and pay for less the next day. No one likes a food hangover.

In order to digest that giant meal, lots of organs need to work together to break down, absorb, and process all the nutrients in the food. At the same time, those organs work to protect you from the metabolic byproducts of digestion and from the toxins you inadvertently ate. Your body is pretty good at that on a normal day with a  normal meal, but that day is not today.

After your feast, do your best to go for a walk for at least 10-20 minutes. The reason you want to do this is not to burn off the pitifully small amount of calories you will consume from walking. It is because of your bodies little-known secondary circulation system called the lymphatic system. The lymph system serves to  gather and remove  cellular toxins. The only problem is that your lymph system does not have any pumping mechanism. The only way to move your lymph,  and the extra load of toxins from your giant meal, is to move your muscles. That is why a walk is going to do wonders for your post-meal recovery.

The other obvious way to help your body deal with excessive toxins from that large meal is to dilute the toxins by drinking more.  (Water, not eggnog.)

Aside from these totally free and simple ideas, there is an ancient remedy you can use when you over-consume food, get intestinal gas and discomfort, nausea, or just want to help your body deal with an increased toxin burden from that giant meal. It is called coconut charcoal. Coconut charcoal is charcoal from coconut shells that has been altered with oxygen to create lots of tiny pores.

Coconut charcoal has been used in Ayurvedic medicine  for thousands of years. It is what they give you in the emergency room when you have consumed poison. In my travels throughout Asia and South America, I found coconut charcoal to be widely available and widely known as the go-to fix for stomach problems. In the US, some health food stores carry it, but it’s mostly online.

The reason it works is that coconut charcoal is in adsorbent. It doesn’t soak up or absorb toxins, it causes toxins to stick to it because it has two unique properties. The first is that it has a strong negative charge, which attracts positively charged common toxins. The second cool thing about coconut charcoal is that if you took 1 cubic inch of it  and flattened it out, the surface area would be about the same size as a football field.

There’s little doubt in my mind that taking a few coconut charcoal capsules with heavy meals, or within an hour after them, will help you to feel better afterwards, including the next morning. 

This trick, especially combined with a short walk and extra hydration, works whether you have overindulged on alcohol or on good old-fashioned food. Or both. If you choose to try it, however, be sure to take your coconut charcoal away from medications. Coconut charcoal will absorb your prescription medications and render them useless before your body has time to absorb them.

That’s good news because it means the charcoal will also stick to the naturally occurring toxins you ate, allowing you to enjoy your food without paying as high a price later. So go out and enjoy that feast! Happy holidays.

You can get high-dose coconut charcoal capsules with the highest surface area here.