Juice cleanses can offer numerous health benefits, so if you’re trying to find a way to boost your health we have many juicing diet recipes that can help detox your body at home. But first, let’s sort out whether juice cleanses work and whether you should do a juice cleanse.
To start, let’s explain how a juice cleanse works. A juice cleanse flushes your body with all the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it requires in order to support good health. Furthermore, this flush of the good helps remove the bad, which means juice cleanses also offer a detoxing effect.
At first, when you begin a juice cleanse, your body becomes confused as it doesn’t have any substance to break down. Instead, you are overloading your body with nutrients that are easily absorbed. When your body then clues into what is happening, it begins to flush out toxins stored in fat cells, which have overgrown due to years of poor eating. This explains why many individuals find the first few days of a juice cleanse particularly difficult as you may almost feel sick when your body goes into detoxifying mode.
Once your body becomes accustomed to the new diet, it will work to remove all the crud and toxins, so you may find yourself dropping a few pounds all the while feeling more energetic because you’re absorbing more essential nutrients.
So if you’re asking yourself – “should I do a juice cleanse?” – the answer really depends on whether you want to start feeling better and give your body a fresh start.
Your body on the juice cleanse detox diet
For many people, juice cleanses are too difficult to endure as the temptation to simply carry on with your regular eating habits becomes too strong. Additionally, as mentioned, many individuals may feel almost sickened for a few days as your body begins to detox. Here is what you can expect while on a juice cleanse.
Day 1: Your bowels will still remain regular this day, but you may be thinking about all the foods you could be eating instead. You may miss chewing and may feel yourself unsatisfied.
Being on a juice cleanse detox diet also significantly reduces your calorie and carbohydrate intake, so your sugar can take a dip, leaving you feeling dizzy and sluggish. Avoid intense exercise on your first day and take more time to rest.
Day 2: On day two, you may already start feeling lighter and even more energetic despite not consuming solid food. Your body isn’t using its energy to break down food, leaving you with far more of it to use.
You may also find your health improve in other ways as many individuals who embark on a juice cleanse detox diet unknowingly uncover a food allergy once they stop eating that food. If you feel dramatically better, you may want to speak to your doctor about uncovering an underlying food allergy.
If you’re a regular caffeine drinker, you may be experiencing headaches and other pains – this is known as withdrawal.
Lastly, you will find you are going to the bathroom much more often as you are not intaking fiber to slow down your bowels.
Day 3: You would think day three is a breeze, but this is when many individuals go back to intense cravings. Even though you have flooded your body with many nutrients, juice cleanses do not provide fat and protein, and so by day three you may find it hard to function – it is not advised to complete a juice cleanse for over three-day span as it can result in muscle loss.
A surprising bonus on day three of a juice cleanse is a boosted libido. Not being bloated or gassy can make you feel more confident, thus promoting a higher libido.
Health benefits of juice cleanse (including detox and weight loss)
As mentioned, juice cleanse detox diets can offer many health benefits, including weight loss. Juice cleanses have grown in popularity over the last little while with many celebrity figures boosting them as well. Many suggest that juice cleanses can aid in detox, boost nutrient absorption, improve skin appearance, promote energy, and improve overall health. And yet many individuals are still skeptical about this newest craze.
It is justified to be a skeptic when it comes to juice cleanses as there is a lack of peer-reviewed evidence to support this type of diet. Many experts do agree that embarking on a juice cleanse is unnecessary, as our liver and kidneys are our own built-in detox and filtration system, so there isn’t much of a need to do something different to aid this along. The idea of only drinking juice and forgoing the consumption of saturated fat and sugar is probably where juice cleanses really get their hype from, but you don’t necessarily need a juice cleanse to do that – you can simply remove junk food from your diet and get similar results.
But even with that in mind, a juice cleanse is still a good idea to get in essential nutrients, which your current diet may very well be lacking. Furthermore, committing to a three-day juice cleanse could be the kick-start you need in order to begin a healthier lifestyle.
For some, the psychological effects of a juice cleanse are more benefiting than the physiological, as it changes their state of mind and breaks bad habits to start new healthier ones.
Weight loss is a large reason why a person may embark on a juice cleanse, and although many juice cleanses do not promise weight loss many people still experience a drop of a few pounds. Unfortunately, if you resume your unhealthy or normal eating patterns, this lost weight will come back quite quickly and in some cases with a few more pounds. It’s important that you change your style of eating after your juice cleanse as it is not a permanent fix.
Here are some other benefits you can obtain whilst being on a juice cleanse:
Nutrition: Consuming only juices from whole fruits and vegetables, you will get a boost in vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.
Weight loss: Although not promised, reducing calorie intake can lead to weight loss.
Maximum detoxification: Without food to break down, your liver and kidneys can use their energy to better detox the body and eliminate toxins found in cells.
Liver health: Your liver does not have to work so hard when there is no food to break down. Instead, it becomes flooded with nutrients to help make it better. Think of it as a mini vacation for your liver.
Harmful foods eliminated: A juice cleanse is an easy way to instantly remove harmful foods in your diet and hopefully kick-start a life without them. A juice cleanse may also make you aware of a possible food allergy or intolerance, as you may feel better once you stop eating certain foods.
Stomach rest: Not consuming solids means the stomach doesn’t have to produce acid in order to break food down.
Gut repair: Our diet can cause damage to the gut and cause our gut bacteria to go awry. Not having to do so much work, the gut can begin to repair itself.
Reduced appetite: You may find your appetite has reduced after the cleanse as you’ve got used to not eating as much.
Easier food decision-making: Now that you’re used to consuming healthy foods, you can make easier, better food choices as you know that eating well is enough to feel full and healthy.
Improved energy: Once you have become adjusted to only consuming liquids, you may experience greater energy and clarity as your organs are not using your energy to perform their functions such as digesting food.
Rehydrated body: Many of us do not drink as much water as we should, and so this is a good way to get into the habit of drinking more fluids.
Reduced physical problems: You may notice a reduction in headaches, rashes, aches, and pains, along with bloating and cramping. These are ways that our body fights off irritants, so by taking on a juice cleanse you are giving your body a break.
Reversed cell damage: Cell function starts improving as cells are able to repair themselves.
Digestion: As previously mentioned, no food means no digesting, which means your digestive system as a whole is not overworking to break down the bad food. Thus, it gets a break, too, and can heal itself by the time you start eating once again.
Heart health: Juice cleanses help relax blood vessels with the influx of nutrients, which boosts circulation.
Pre-juice cleanse guidelines
Prior to beginning a juice cleanse, you must take part in a pre-cleanse, which can better prepare you and your body for the actual cleanse. An important point to consider prior to your juice cleanse is to consume more water the days leading to your cleanse. Often, we feel hungry but, in fact, we are just dehydrated. By staying hydrated, not only do you eliminate false hunger – water helps transport nutrients around your body.
The next step is to cut out caffeine gradually. If you are a heavy caffeine consumer, you may need to plan further in advance. When you cut out caffeine cold turkey, you can experience withdrawal symptoms, which can be quite taxing on the body, especially if you are not consuming “real” food.
You will also want to start consuming more fruits and vegetables. An easy way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables is by making a smoothie. Also keep in mind that consuming raw fruits and vegetables increases enzyme consumption leading to better digestion.
The last two aspects of your pre-cleanse is to begin minimizing your intake of animal products and processed food. These foods are taxing on your body to digest and add more fat and toxins into your cells. Days leading up to your cleanse, begin to eat lighter foods that are easier to digest and break down, along with foods that provide nutrients instead of robing you of them.
Juice cleanse guidelines
Now that you have a better understanding of what to do during your pre-cleanse, here are the tips you need to make it through your juice cleanse in order to survive it and do it the right way.
Firstly, lemon water is your best friend. If you consume it right in the morning, it can begin stimulating your liver to optimize its detoxing abilities. Therefore, start your day with lemon water and drink it throughout the day as well.
During your juice cleanse you want to stick with a schedule to minimize any adverse effects. You should be consuming juice every two to 2.5 hours. Staying consistent will not only aid in the cleanse, but reduce feelings of hunger and low energy.
Some other useful tips to do a juice cleanse the right way is to dry brush your skin to remove dead cells and open up pores for the elimination process. You will also want to sit in a sauna or exercise to burst into sweat, as that is your body’s way of detoxing further. You will also want to eliminate waste through your bowels. Of course, you will have fewer bowel movements as you are taking in less, but pay attention to symptoms of nausea and the elimination of bowels as you may require a natural laxative.
Lastly, what people struggle with most on a juice cleanse is what is called “must chew syndrome.” They miss chewing and, thus, don’t feel satisfied. If you feel hungry you may just be missing the sensation of chewing, or you could be dehydrated. If you have drank and still feel the hunger, it is okay to have an avocado, small salad, or nuts, as this will not ruin your progress, but ensure you go right back to the juices soon after.
Post-juice cleanse guidelines
Congrats! You reach the end of your two-day, three-day, maybe weeklong juice cleanse, and now you’re scrambling as to what to do as you’ve become accustomed to drinking juice. Don’t fret – we’re here to help.
After your juice cleanse, gradually increase your intake of solid foods. Keep in mind that your digestive system has been resting for quite some time, so overloading it with a large meal isn’t wise. Your post-cleanse diet should consist of plenty of fruits and vegetables, and you should avoid red meat, dairy, alcohol, and processed and fried foods for a few days.
A good way to slowly come out of a juice cleanse is to substitute some meals with smoothies.
Pay close attention to how you feel as well, as this is your opportunity to narrow in on any possible food allergies or intolerances. You may want to bring back foods one at a time and see what kind of side effects they bring in order to determine the cause of your upset stomach, bloating, constipation, or even gas.
As for activities, these will have to be added in gradually, too. Not only have you basically been at rest for a few days, but you don’t want to burn too many calories compared to what you are taking in, as it can lead to exhaustion or other health complications. Therefore, integrate physical activity slowly.
3 day juice cleanse/fast shopping list
Here is an easy to print-off juice cleanse/fast shopping list that you can take with you to the store to prepare for your juice cleanse.
- Fresh ginger
- Non-caffeinated herbal tea
Healthy juice cleanse recipes to make at home
Ready to take the plunge? Here are some healthy juice cleanse recipes you can make at home.
1 bunch celery
4-5 kale leaves (preferably lacinato)
1 green apple
1 big handful of flat leaf parsley leaves
1 inch of fresh ginger
Beet, apple, and blackberry juice:
3 small beets
8 oz. blackberries
1/2 inch fresh ginger
Wild-spiced dandelion berry juice:
2 cups strawberries
1 cup dandelion leaves (or more to taste)
1 cup raspberries
1 small chili with seeds and placental skin removed (more or less depending on the heat) *optional
10-20 drops of alcohol-free liquid stevia depending on the ripeness and sweetness of your berries *optional
1 medium ripe papaya, peeled, seeded, and sliced
1 small pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 (1-in.) piece peeled fresh ginger
1 medium kiwi, peeled
1/2 cup fresh young coconut water (stir in after juicing)
Green juice with coconut:
1 young Thai coconut
1 handful of green kale
1 handful of spinach
Spicy pineapple juice:
1 quarter fresh pineapple
1/2 handful cilantro
1/2 small jalapeno, seeded
What are the risks? Possible side effects of prolonged juice cleanse
There are some risks and possible side effects associated with a prolonged juice cleanse, and this is why they are usually intended to be kept short – no longer than three days is the general rule.
For starters, a prolonged juice cleanse can cause fatigue, dehydration, and nausea. You could also be missing out on other nutrients – like protein, fat and fiber – not provided by fruits and vegetables. For this reason, many experts recommend smoothies as opposed to juices, as you can blend in the fruit skins, which contain the fiber.
The low calorie intake in the juice cleanses can trigger the body to go into starvation mode if conducted over numerous days. Furthermore, many individuals tend to overindulge after the cleanse is done as a reward, so it doesn’t take a long time until you add all the lost pounds back – plus, a couple of extra ones on top of it.
While on the cleanse, you may almost experience flu-like symptoms. Dealing with that for a few days may seem okay, but if you do a prolonged cleanse and deal with these symptoms, you can feel completely sick and have no desire to even leave your home.
Therefore, if you’re going to partake in a juice cleanse and want to minimize side effects, don’t stick with it for longer than three days.
How to juice cleanse safely
Not everyone can embark on a juice cleanse, so here are some guidance tips on how to juice fast safely. For starters, ensure your health is in a good state. If you are pregnant, nursing, diabetic, have an eating disorder, recently underwent surgery, are on prescription medication, have low blood pressure, anemia, kidney disease, a terminal illness, epilepsy, or any other chronic condition it is strongly advised that you do not take on a juice cleanse unless given clearance from your doctor.
Next point to note is to take a look at your juicer. Using a centrifugal juicer is not advised as it is not as effective as other types of juicers to extract nutrients. You may want to invest in a better juicer or enlist the help of a dietician or juicing company.
Juice cleanse mistakes you should avoid
You now know how to pre-cleanse, you know what to do during the cleanse, and you can even prepare yourself for the time once the juice cleanse is done. We’ve explained to you the risks and gave you tips on how to juice cleanse safely. Therefore, all that is left is to outline the common juice cleanse mistakes people make so that you don’t make the same ones.
Many people embark on a juice cleanse to be trendy – do not do this. Sometimes, being trendy can put your health at risk, so be sure you are at a state to be able to complete a cleanse with minimal complications.
Also, don’t just go on a cleanse that worked for your sister or cousin, get a program suitable for you.
Another common mistake is that people will work out during the cleanse – this can be dangerous and lead to injury, as you may be weak and burning off too many calories while not consuming protein for muscle repair. Take the three days off during your cleanse to rest and not exercise.
Don’t abuse a detox juice cleanse as a way to purge, as some people will alternate between cleanses and detoxes while binging in-between. A cleanse of detox should set you on the right path of health, not a destructive one.
As you can see, there are some benefits to juice cleanses and then there are risks, too. Only you can decide if a juice cleanse is right for you and you may even wish to consult with your doctor or expert beforehand. The important thing about starting a juice cleanse is to have a goal – what are you trying to get out of this? If a juice cleanse can help you achieve that goal, then all the power to you, but if you’re simply struggling with your diet, you may not necessarily need to go on a restrictive juice cleanse as you can simply cut those undesired food items out.
It’s important that you weigh out the benefits and risks of a juice cleanse in order to know if it is right for you.