My thumb rule of bullshit detection - if it includes the words, ‘cleanse’ and ‘toxins’ it must be an overrated, expensive, fraudulent trick.
Juice cleanses are marketed with a health halo. The manufacturers will make you believe that post a juice cleanse, you will soar on a cloud of weightlessness and good health and feel something like this:
But the reality is different. Deprived of your daily staples, food, coffee and wine and forced with the urge to pee every 30 minutes, you might actually feel like this:
Listen up, Gwyneth Paltrow and all other naive devotees of juice fasts - no matter how pure the words, ‘soulful’, ‘organic’, ‘healthy’ and ‘detox’ sound, no costly potion in a transparent bottle will flush out the gunk from your insides.
Your liver and kidney already do that.
So is there any scientific veracity to the claims of juice cleanses?
The benefits of juicing are only anecdotal, not scientific. Juicing takes away the fiber of your fruits. If you want to eat light for a day, then there’s no harm. But our bodies are designed to flush out all the excess junk we put, like fats, sugar and alcohol. So there’s really no need to use a juice, all-fruit, or whatever cleanse to try to do the same thing.Purva Duggal, Nutritionist
Put down that beetroot, ginger and kale diuretic sh*t , chew your fruits and get ready for your dose of snark with science on juice detoxes.
What Are You Cleansing Your Body Of?
Toxins, you said in your head?
No cleansing program clearly defines what these ‘toxins’ are!
As the general definition goes, toxins are a kind of a poison which your body produces over the years and it ends up in your urine. But that’s the thing, your body has built-in mechanisms like the liver and kidneys to flush out whatever waste build up there is.
Drinking juice for a few days or a week will not make your body work in overdrive mode to clear out any residue there might be. Those organs are supposed to be working constantly. If they don’t, you’ll have liver or kidney failure.Kanchan Patwardhan, Nutritionist
Most cleansing programs (three days, one week or ten days) promise to mop your insides of hardcore toxins and reset your digestive track and aid in weight loss. Something like this:
FYI - Your Organs Are Not Gunk Holes That Need Massive Cleaning!
Juice cleansing programs make you believe that your stomach and intestines have all this muck in their linings which can only go away only by a few days of diarrhoea and food deprivation. But your body is constantly getting rid of food waste each time you pee or poop. Food takes 24 to 72 hours to get completely digested and no part of your meal gets stuck along the way.
You Probably Won’t Even Lose Any Weight!
If you don’t cheat, a juice cleanse will give you a maximum of 1200 calories in a day. Now the standard calorie requirement of men stands at 2200 and women at 1800. So if you are on a cleanse, you will almost always lose weight but that’s mostly your water weight which you’ll regain as soon as you eat normal food.
Research suggests that chronic dieters actually are at greater risk for being overweight and having disordered eating patterns.
It Won’t Cleanse You But Will It Hurt?
For most healthy people with no underlying diseases, a short juice diet is not dangerous. It can just make you tired, hungry and headachy!
You need a lot more than sugar and vitamins to function. You are not doing your body a favour by depriving it of protein, fiber and fat. Juice diets don’t give you more energy, make your skin glow or give you a flat tummy in three days, but most of these programs aren’t long enough to do lasting damage either.Purva Duggal, Nutritionist
So if you’re otherwise healthy and really really need to go on a juice cleanse, fine knock yourself out! Just restrict it to a couple of days and remember that you aren’t detoxifying or resetting your metabolism in any way.
A healthier, fiber-filled option would be to eat the same fruits and vegetables that are in your juice diet. That will be the real scrub brush for your digestive track.
Also Read: Diet Secrets: You Are WHEN You Eat