The Truth About Juice Cleanses

Updated on 28. Dec. 2020

Juice cleanses have gained in popularity in recent years, promising dramatic wellness results in just a few days. However most health professionals warn that juice cleanses can do way more damage than good. Read up on the truth behind this trend below.

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A juice cleanse is a type of diet where you only drink juice for anywhere from 3 days to multiple weeks. You do not eat any solid food, just juice, water, and with some cleanses a small cup of coffee or herbal tea. There are many companies where you can order a juice cleanse to be delivered to your door, typically costing between $60-$75 per day. Many people also opt to make their own juices at home with a juicer. 

Juice cleanses claim to do everything from help you lose weight to cut your risk of chronic diseases. Cleanses are marketed as a way to detoxify our bodies from the toxins and impurities we consume every day. Even celebrities have gotten into the $5 billion juice business, partnering with juice companies to create their own cleanse program.

However, there are more than a few issues with juice cleansing. Here are some of the major concerns when it comes to juice cleansing.

The Negative Impacts of Juice Cleansing

The body naturally cleanses itself.

Our bodies already remove toxins on their own, meaning we do not need a juice to do it for us. Our kidneys, intestines, and liver all work hard to keep our bodies clean and working in proper form. So the claims made by all the companies hawking the ability of a juice cleanse to detoxify your body are leaving out the important fact that your bodies already know how to do this. There is currently no scientific evidence that supports the detoxifying claims of juice cleanses.

Juices are high in sugar.

When you extract the juice from fresh fruit and vegetables, you end up concentrating the nutrients which allows your body to quickly absorb those nutrients. The problem is that when you make the juice, you are not just concentrating the nutrients but also the sugar from the fruit. This can cause a drastic spike in blood sugar, as many fresh juices have a surprising level of sugar, which can be dangerous for people with diabetes.

Juices don't contain important nutrients.

Juicing fruit and vegetables separates the juice from the fiber, which juice cleanse proponents tout as a chance for your digestive system to get a break and get back to functioning normally. The problem with this claim (aside from the fact that there is no scientific proof to back it up) is that fiber is actually great for our digestive system. It helps to fill us up, keeps us from overeating, and it is essential for keeping our digestive tract functioning properly.

Strict juicing can negatively impact your metabolism.

Swapping all of your meals and snacks with juice for an extended period of time can have negative effects on your metabolism. When we are not eating solid food, our body conserves energy because it thinks it is starving. It will start with consuming excess fat, but if the cleanse lasts long enough it will start going after your muscle tissue. If you continually partake in juice cleanses, your body could permanently slow down your metabolism, causing you to gain weight.

Juicing can had bad interactions with many medications. 

If you are taking certain medicines, such as blood thinners, juicing can be very dangerous to your health. In some cases, juicing while on some medications can lead to serious complications, so it is best to consult a doctor if you are interested in a juice cleanse.

The Takeaway

There are many people who boast about the positive outcomes they have achieved from a juice cleanse, but upon further research and in consultation with health professionals, it seems like a lot of these claims go unfounded. As with any dietary change, it is important to consult a doctor prior to starting a new program.

When making or choosing juice, try to stick with the varieties that have more vegetables than fruit, to avoid a high sugar content. Freshly pressed fruit and vegetable juice can still be part of a healthy diet, but it is best to enjoy it as part of a whole foods diet as opposed to drinking only juice for extended periods of time. It's also much healthier to integrate vegetable and fruit juices into an existing healthy diet instead of subsisting on a diet of juices alone. Even just a few days can lead to health issues and ultimately, in many cases, won't lead to the wellness benefits you're hoping for. 

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