DIY Juice Cleanse: Benefits, Risks, and Everything Else You Need to Know

by | Jul 13, 2021 | Health and Wellness

Currently, there’s been a growing influx of DIY juice cleanse advocates who believe that drinking juice promotes weight loss and floods the body with healing nourishment while flushing waste and toxins simultaneously. Fruits and vegetables filled with vitamins and minerals are easier to digest if nutrients are extracted from them through juicing. 

As someone who is just about to embark on this type of diet, you might wonder if it’s even effective or safe. Here, we list everything you need to know, including the benefits and side effects of juice cleansing, as well as the safest and most effective ways to perform it.  

In this article:

What is a DIY Juice Cleanse?
What are the Benefits?
What are the Risks?
What are the Effects of Juice Cleanse on the Body?
How to do a Juice Cleanse?
Who Shouldn’t Do a Juice Cleanse?
Summary
Key Takeaways

What is a DIY Juice Cleanse? 

Juice cleanse, also known as a juice fast or detox, typically consists of drinking homemade or DIY juices made from vegetables, herbs, and fruit in addition to plenty of water, tea, and sometimes clear broths.

Juicing fruits and vegetables differs from blending since it isolates the liquid from the pulp and fibrous part of the produce. As a result, fruit and vegetable juices have a higher concentration of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals but lesser fiber. A juice cleanse regimen can last for as little as 24 hours or as long as ten days.

It is important to note the difference between juicing and blending:

  • Juicing involves extracting juice from fruits and vegetables by crushing and separating them from the pulp.
  • On the other hand, blending mixes all the edible parts of vegetables and fruits, including their fibrous portion or pulp. 

What are the benefits of doing a DIY juice cleanse? 

Juice cleanse advocates attest that juicing offers many benefits. However, it’s interesting to note that only one study to date has probed the effects of vegetable and fruit juice-based diet on health. Some of the said benefits are as follows: 

  • Fruits and vegetables contain a considerable amount of vitamins and minerals. Juice consumption can provide extra nutrients to the body, thereby boosting your overall health.
  • Juices are rich in anti-inflammatory chemicals that can help boost your immune system and make you feel more energized.
  • Juices help improve your digestion by introducing healthy enzymes that allow the gut to function more efficiently.
  • Creators of juicing plans promote their juices’ ability to flush toxins from the body, but they seldom specify which toxins the juices eliminate.

Studies about juice cleanse are quite few and lacking as of now. Some might even say that these potential benefits are merely anecdotal.  This means they don’t have supporting scientific evidence to back up most of their claims.  

What are the risks involved in doing a DIY juice cleanse? 

There are a few downsides and side-effects involved in the process of a DIY juice cleanse and fasting. However, the risks associated with this regimen are enough for health professionals, like doctors and dieticians, to dissuade people from doing it, particularly if the cleanse contains fruit juices exclusively. 

Doctors identified the following risks to be associated with juice cleanses: 

  • When taken in large quantities, juices may be harmful to those who have an existing kidney disorder. Several juices contain oxalate, an acid that causes kidney stones and other kidney concerns.

  • Cleansing diets usually lack calories. A reduction in calorie intake may result in temporary weight loss, although such changes in our bodies only last temporarily.

  • Drinking unpasteurized juices or juices that have not been treated to remove bacteria exposes you to a greater risk of developing illnesses. This claim is especially true for children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.

  • If your juice cleanse contains laxatives or other forms of bowel stimulation, you’re often losing too many nutrients by way of your stool. Whenever this happens, you become prone to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

  • Consuming inadequate amounts of calories causes you to experience telltale signs related to having low blood sugar. Symptoms such as weakness, dehydration, hunger, and headaches occur because your body doesn’t have enough stored energy. 

Finally, keep in mind to take extra care around pre-packaged juice cleanses that guarantee results. They often claim to provide life-altering health benefits and even the reversal of diseases.  Currently, there’s a lack of research that can be used as a reference to support these claims. 

What are the Effects of Juice Cleanse on the Body?

Short-term Weight Loss

Juice cleanses can help you lose weight in the short term but don’t necessarily mean that it’s a healthy weight loss option. For one, rapid weight loss is unhealthy, not to mention, doesn’t last. Chances are, the reduced number you see on the weighing scale is likely due to the absence or insufficient amount of food in your GI tract. 

What’s more, slower metabolism due to muscle loss may contribute to weight gain once you get back to eating regular food once again.  

Detoxification

Whenever you get to that point when you feel like you had too much greasy food or alcohol, you’ll inevitably feel the need to detox, and a juice cleanse presents itself as a viable solution. 

You might ask, does juice cleansing really help with detoxifying? Scientific evidence shows that our bodies are already effective at detoxifying on their own. If anything, the science of detoxifying is still being studied, so it’s not wise to fall for marketing ploys that juice cleansing companies currently showcase. 

Instead, eating a well-balanced diet that consists of adequate amounts of vitamins does a better job at supporting your body’s natural detox pathways. 

How to do a Juice Cleanse?

If you’re still up to the task of performing a juice cleanse despite the potential health risks, the following are a few to-dos before, during, and after the regimen. They’ll help you maximize the benefits and keep the side effects to a minimum: 

Before the DIY Juice Cleanse

Before you start with the juice cleanse,  take the time to set reasonable expectations and understand why you’re doing it in the first place. 

Are you in it to lose weight, get rid of your sugar cravings,  or perhaps you’re looking for a way to reset your digestive system? 

Whichever of these objectives you want to achieve, a juice cleanse may be the first step towards achieving them. However, you mustn’t utilize the process as a quick fix towards wellness. Keep in mind that long-term improvements to your health and well-being require a continuous process that usually takes time. 

Additionally, you’d also want to plan out the timing of your juice fast carefully. For instance, anticipate that you’d be peeing quite a lot during this time. Therefore, a low-key weekend at home where you can frequent the restroom as much as you need may be the best time to do it. It’s not advisable to do this regimen while traveling either.  Juice cleanses require you to consume large amounts of juices that are perishable. 

During the DIY Juice Cleanse

  • While juice cleansing, your goal is to drink a minimum of six 16-ounce servings of juice. That’s one serving every two hours from 8 AM to 6 PM. If you feel like you need more than what’s required, you may add one or two more servings per day. This amount of juice is necessary to ensure that you get enough calories to meet your body’s fundamental energy needs.
  • Aim to produce 80% of your juices from vegetables. That means veggies should account for 13 of every 16 ounces (or at least 1.5 of every 2 cups) of juice. It’s a great idea to include carrots, beets, cucumber, spinach, kale, zucchini, and celery. When it comes to fruits, opt for those that have lower sugar content, loaded with antioxidants. This includes raspberries, lemons, blackberries, limes, dark cherries, and kiwis. Also, you can consider putting nutrient-packed herbs like basil, turmeric root, parsley, cilantro, and mint to add flavor. 
  • While juice cleansing, it’s best to avoid any strenuous physical activity in the meantime since you’re likely to feel dizzy. Also, you get exhausted more easily. If you are often loopy, unable to concentrate, or your hunger pangs are taking over, your juice fast could be doing more harm than good. Consider switching back to a whole-food diet at this point.

After the DIY Juice Cleanse

The following day after your cleanse, try consuming smaller meals and snacks throughout the day. Your usual meals may make you feel uncomfortable and nauseous. Instead, consider having oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and whole fruits to help you ease back into solid foods. Although, if you don’t have a sensitive stomach, you may resume your regular diet at once. 

Just make it a point to incorporate nutritious food into the mix. Consume whole fruits and vegetables for fiber and whole grains like brown rice and protein-rich foods such as legumes and lentils, and finally, high-quality meat and poultry.  

Who Shouldn’t Do a DIY Juice Cleanse?

The following are advised not to participate in juice cleansing since they need sufficient amounts of protein and energy that are essential for growth: 

  • Children
  • Adolescents
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women

In addition, competitive athletes are also discouraged because of their sky-high calorie needs. If they perform a juice cleanse, they’ll be unable to support their high energy spending nor store the necessary nutrients they need to aid in their recovery. 

Lastly, people with illnesses such as kidney, liver disease, or diabetes shouldn’t consider juice cleansing because of their modified physiological response to food. 

Key Takeaways

While trendy, DIY juice cleanse is essentially a fad diet, with most of its reported health benefits not backed by science.

Before partaking in any juice cleanse regimen, you must become aware of the risks involved. While juices have health benefits, they’re not nutritionally balanced. Thus, they shouldn’t be used as meal replacements. 

As a healthier alternative, you may go ahead and blend your favorite fruits and vegetables with either soy milk or some Greek yogurt for protein. You’re better off enjoying whole fruits and veggies as part of your regular meals. You may also blend them (instead of juicing) into a delicious smoothie.     

 

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3-day Juice Cleanse Recipes (with Benefits & Tips)

3-day Juice Cleanse Recipes (with Benefits & Tips)

A great way to kickstart your juice cleanse regimen is to write down your daily schedule so you can diligently stick to it without any confusion. Below is a proposed 3-day cleanse schedule: 

8:00 am (or right after you wake up): Morning Kickstart Juice 
9:00 am: Golden Green Juice
11:00 am: Mean Green Machine Juice
1:00 pm (or around lunchtime): Classic Beet Juice
3:00 pm: Mean Green Machine Juice
5:00 pm (or around dinner time): Carrot Juice Blend
7:00 pm: Repeat with any juice of your choice
9:00 pm (or before bed): Tea or Warm Lemon Water