Spend enough time people-watching at your nearest gym these days and you will surely see one or more health zealots stalking the juice bar, slurping green juice from sheer sippy cups. The green juice is chlorophyll water, in case you were wondering.
Chlorophyll is a plant derivative that gives vegetation, like dark leafy green vegetables, wheatgrass, and algae, that signature green glow. And “glow” is the operative term here, since the chlorophyll molecule is packed with energy that it derives from the sun. Plants use sun photons during requisite photosynthesis, animals need chlorophyll to digest food, and humans—whether herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores—benefit from chlorophyll dietarily, as well as metabolically.
Fitness fanatics are not the only ones who are hip to chlorophyll’s pluses. For many years, chlorophyll and its subsidiary product chlorophyllin have been used to treat or prevent common disorders, including cancer, bacterial infections, body odor, bad breath, chronic fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, and constipation. Chlorophyll is believed to decrease oxidative damage by neutralizing harmful oxidants that tend to invade the body through food toxins or air pollutants only to wreak havoc. Harmful toxins create a disease-prone acidic environment in the body, but the presence of chlorophyll can bring about a healthier alkaline state, which microbes detest. Wounds heal faster, subsequent inflammation attenuates, and fungus is less likely to spread in the presence of chlorophyll.
But this isn’t a one-shot deal—you need to ingest chlorophyll on a regular basis in order to maintain a disease-thwarting alkaline state. Drinking chlorophyll water is a convenient way to get your daily supply. The nutrient concentration in chlorophyll water is higher than what you might ingest during a typical meal eating leafy green vegetables. But if you prefer acquiring your daily dose from food, asparagus, broccoli, and spinach are other rich sources. Add liquid chlorophyll drops to your favorite juices and salad dressings. But be sure to eat raw or lightly cooked food sources, since heat can decrease the potency of chlorophyll. Consuming chlorophyll in liquid form allows your cells and muscles to absorb chlorophyll molecules easier for faster results.
The apparent fitness fanaticism surrounding chlorophyll water seems to be legitimate. Some serious athletes ingest chlorophyll water before, during, or after training sessions to sustain high energy levels and nourish muscles. After strenuous exercise, chlorophyll bolsters red blood cells, which fortifies the immune system while aiding in muscle growth and recovery. Chlorophyll has been shown to suppress appetite and is a natural detoxifier, promoting waste elimination—which is key to shedding excess weight and keeping it off.
Here is a brief rundown of chlorophyll water’s fitness benefits:
Since chlorophyll does not dissolve in water, water-soluble chlorophyllin—the synthetic compound which contains copper instead of the magnesium found in natural chlorophyll—is the supplement form used in pills and liquid drops. Chlorophyll water sold commercially often contains other flavors like cucumber, mint, or fruit to offset chlorophyll’s bitter taste. It’s a good idea to read nutrition labels to check for added sugars or preservatives, as well.
When ingesting commercial chlorophyll drops, it’s best to increase your dosage gradually to the recommended concentrations to observe your body’s reaction. While there are no known side effects from chlorophyll, it’s a good idea to play it safe. Furthermore, starting a supplementation regimen may interfere with existing treatments or current medications you may be taking. So discuss any health goals with your physician to devise the course of action that is right for you.