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What Is Liquid Chlorophyll? The Health Benefits of the TikTok Trend, According to a RD

Liquid chlorophyll is one of the greenest social trends of the past couple of years—in the literal sense, that is. But does the supplement really work? And how can you take part sustainably?

liquid chlorophyll
Written by
Calin Van Paris
You may have noticed a forest green dye infusing cups of water on your social feed. That (very pretty) swirling addition is liquid chlorophyll, a supplement that social sharers claim to aid in a variety of bodily concerns
including acne
But what exactly is liquid chlorophyll—and does it really work? And how do you go about taking part in the trend sustainably?

What Is Liquid Chlorophyll?

liquid chlorophyll
Chlorophyll is a pigment that provides leafy greens with their namesake hue and helps plants capture the light they need to photosynthesize.
Liquid chlorophyll may seem like a simple distillation of the naturally-occurring magnesium-based molecule, but according to registered dietitian Catherine Perez of 
Plant-Based RD
, it's a bit more complicated than that.
"Based on the chemistry of chlorophyll, it doesn't dissolve in water and it's also not stable on its own," says Perez. As such, liquid chlorophyll is actually a derivative of chlorophyll called chlorophyllin. "In essence, you aren't really directly drinking chlorophyll, you're ingesting semisynthetic sodium copper chlorophyllin that also might be mixed with other nutrients depending on the brand you are drinking."

What Are the Benefits of Liquid Chlorophyll?

If you ask TikTok's liquid chlorophyll fanatics, the forest green additive is the secret to clear, calm skin,
reduced body odor,
and even more dramatic health benefits. Some of these claims could be attributed to chlorophyll's (particularly that found in whole foods)
anti-inflammatory properties
, along with its antioxidants. When consumed, though, only about 1-3% of chlorophyll is actually absorbed, making concentration a key factor.
"Many of the reported claims from individuals online including clearing skin, reducing body odor, detoxing the liver, preventing cancer, and weight regulation are not backed by research," says Perez. "Often what might be ignored in this conversation is the fact that chlorophyll water does have an important component to it that might result in some of the benefits they claim: that component is water! If you're drinking more water as a result of drinking more chlorophyll water, you often feel better."

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How to Take Part in the Liquid Chlorophyll Trend Sustainably

To get the true benefits of chlorophyll, both Perez and dietitian
Charlotte Martin
, recommend consuming whole, natural foods instead of synthesized supplements.
Trading up your liquid chlorophyll for something more substantial—like Martin's chlorophyll smoothie, for example—comes with additional health benefits, too.
"Not only will you get chlorophyll, but you'll also get all of the other amazing nutrients like fiber and additional antioxidants that do have research to support your health," says Perez (a sentiment echoed by Martin in her video).
Considering that one cup of spinach comes with
23.7 grams of chlorophyll
and a 1/2 cup of parsley boasts 19 grams, Martin's easy-to-make beverage is a healthy and intelligent means of test-driving the trend.
Here, your new go-to recipe for a chlorophyll-packed

How to Make a Chlorophyll Smoothie

liquid chlorophyll
1 cup milk of choice
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 banana, frozen
4 cubes frozen pineapple
1/2 avocado
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
3 Tbsp plant-based protein powder
1. Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth.
2. Sip away!
Craving more sustainable meals? You can find more of Charlotte Martin's recipes
, as well as in her cookbook,
The Plant-Forward Solution