Our online classes and training programs allow you to learn from experts anywhere in the world. Many people choose to try juice cleansing or fasting as a way to start their path to better health, weight loss, and better gut health. A juice fast, also known as cleansing or detoxifying, generally involves drinking homemade or pre-made juices made with vegetables, herbs and fruits (and occasionally nut milk, such as cashew milk), in addition to plenty of water, tea, and sometimes clear broths. Squeezing fruits and vegetables is different from mixing it because it isolates the liquid in the product from the pulp and the fibrous portion.
For a quick juice sample, check out this one-day juice cleanse. Juice fasting has many touted benefits including reducing inflammation, improving sleep, cleansing the skin, promoting weight loss, eliminating toxins from the body and reducing sugar cravings. But are these juices really worth promoting? Most of these statements are baseless and anecdotal, rather than based on science, but it is possible that some positive aspects of juice fasting can be observed in the short term. A study1 investigated the health effects of drinking juices.
This study looked at how a three-day fruit and vegetable juice quickly affected the gut microbiota, weight loss and body composition of 20 healthy people. During the fasting period, the subjects drank six 16-ounce bottles of juices, which were a blend of leafy greens, roots, citrus fruits, cayenne and vanilla almond, totaling about 1,310 calories per day. After fasting, all 20 people could resume their normal diet for two weeks. The results showed that people lost a significant amount of weight while fasting with juices and that the weight loss persisted for the next two weeks (possibly due to changes in the gut microbiota).
However, weight loss may be due to lower overall calorie intake, rather than juice in particular, and beneficial changes in people's gut microbiota may be due to the overall increase in fruits and vegetables in the diet during those three days. However, this study shows that a fasting juice of this composition and a calorie count of up to three days is safe and may be somewhat beneficial. But those benefits can't necessarily be fully attributed to the juice itself. There are quite a few disadvantages and side effects of juicing, fasting and cleansing, which is why many health professionals, such as dieticians and doctors, don't recommend it, especially if a cleanse consists of juices that only contain fruits.
Before starting a juice fast, take a moment to think about why you're doing this and set realistic expectations. Is it for weight loss? Reduce sugar cravings? Restart your digestive system? Whatever your goal, a juice fast may be a step in helping you reach that goal (depending on your current eating habits), but it's not a fast track to well-being. Making sustained changes to your health and well-being takes time. Juice fasting requires you to drink a lot of juice that is perishable, so it might not be better to drink juice quickly when you're traveling either.
During a juice fast, you should try to drink at least six 16-ounce servings of juice. That's equivalent to one serving of juice every two hours starting at 8 a.m. You can also drink as much water and herbal tea as you want during the day. Adding one or two more servings a day is OK if you feel like you need more sustenance.
This amount of juice is needed to get enough calories and still meet (or close to meeting) your body's basic energy requirements. Try to make most juices 80% vegetable. This means that 13 out of every 16 ounces (or at least 1.5 out of 2 cups) of juice must come from vegetables. For sample juice recipes, check out 11 of our favorite, easy-to-make juices.
It would be a good idea not to engage in any strenuous physical activity (think HIIT workouts) during a juice fast, as you might get dizzy and fatigued more easily. And if you're constantly feeling tired, crazy, unable to concentrate, or your hunger pangs are taking hold, this may be a sign that your juice fast is doing you more harm than good. At this point, consider returning to a whole-food diet (think fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains, fish, and eggs). Research shows that it's completely safe for healthy people to participate in a juice fast for up to three days and then return to a regular diet.
Drinking juice on an empty stomach for a longer period of time may increase the likelihood of experiencing the negative side effects of juices, such as headaches, hunger and blood sugar changes, and there is no evidence of the benefit of greater detoxification with longer fasting. On the first day after a cleanse, try to eat smaller meals and snacks throughout the day, as a large meal may cause you to feel nauseous and uncomfortable. Salads, oats, sweet potatoes, and whole fruits may help you get back to eating solid foods, but if you don't have a sensitive stomach, you may be able to go back to your normal diet right away. After this brief period of introduction to solid foods, it is important to re-incorporate high-quality nutritious foods into the diet.
Whole fruits and vegetables will return more fiber to your diet. Whole grains, such as brown rice and quinoa, and protein-rich foods, such as lentils, legumes, and high-quality meats and poultry, should also be added to meals and snacks. There are several groups of people who should not participate in juice fasting. Children, teens, and pregnant and breastfeeding women need adequate amounts of energy and protein to grow, and fasting with juice would not meet those needs.
Elite and competitive athletes also have very high calorie needs, and fasting with juice would not support that high energy expenditure or contain the nutrients needed for optimal recovery. The most prominent health claim related to juice fasting is its potential to help detoxify, but if you have a functioning liver and kidneys, you really don't need to do anything other than eat a balanced diet high in whole foods and minimally processed to detoxify your body. You can achieve the supposed benefits of juice fasting, such as weight loss and better digestion, by simply adding more fruits and vegetables to your regular diet. If you like the idea of drinking fruits and vegetables, try making a smoothie as a meal replacement instead of juice.
Shakes allow for greater flexibility with the types of foods you put on them, especially protein-rich foods. Adding dairy or soy products, nut butter, chia seeds, or flaxseed meal to smoothies increases protein and fat content, making that shake a filling meal that contains everything you need to nourish your body and feel satisfied. Juice fasting and cleansing are essentially modern, trendy diets, and most of the reported health benefits of juice fasting aren't backed by science. However, there are better and safer alternatives to juice fasting, such as adding more fruits and vegetables to your daily diet.
But if you really want to try a quick juice or clean it up, consider the tips above to minimize potential side effects. Advocates recommend drinking the juice slowly rather than swallowing it to optimize nutrient absorption. Usually, juice is consumed a couple of hours apart, and the last drink of the day at least three hours before bedtime. The cleaning order is set to help you operate easily throughout the day.
If you're going to do a 3-day juice cleanse with Coconut Fusion, for example, start with your cold-pressed green juice as breakfast and end the day with a coconut fusion. Drink each serving at intervals of 2 to 3 hours, or when you start to feel hungry, the moment isn't set in stone. You can drink as much water as you want throughout the day. .