For the past three months, I have been working at a juice bar in Austin while starting school to become a Certified Health Coach. Before this job, I enjoyed an occasional juice, but the idea of consuming nothing but liquid for a few days seemed extreme to me. In order to speak from experience about cleanses, I decided to try my first one in March. I instantly understood what the hype was about.
Is juice cleansing right for you?
Juice cleansing should not be something you feel pressured into. The people I talk to who have experienced the most success are open to the possibilities and excited for the chance to get a reboot.
No one knows your body better than you. If you’re considering a cleanse, do some research so you can make an informed decision that honors your body and its needs.
To get you started, here are answers to some of the top cleanse questions I get asked.
What are the benefits of doing a juice cleanse?
Juicing removes insoluble fiber, making it easier for your body to digest nutrients from the produce. When you consume only juice, you’re giving your body a break from using its energy to digest. This allows your body to spend energy on repairing itself instead of digestion.
During a juice cleanse, you also remove processed and potentially harmful foods from your diet and replace them with the nutrients from more fruits and vegetables than you would normally be able to consume. This will result in the immediate absorption the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients your body craves. Some additional benefits include:
- Reduces inflammation
- Improves digestion
- Alkalizes the body
- Reduces brain fog
- Promotes clearer, glowing skin
Juicing can also help jump start healthier habits. Cleansing helps you get in touch with your body, which allows you to become more intuitive about your health. When you start consuming food, you will be more aware of how each item affects things like your energy level and digestion.
I like to use cleansing as a time to focus on emotional wellness. I typically use the extra hours I have not worrying about meal prep to focus on myself and my goals.
Will a juice cleanse help me lose weight?
You may experience some immediate weight changes, but cleansing shouldn’t be a method to achieve quick weight loss. Calorie restriction should not be the focus of a cleanse. In fact, the focus should be on providing your body with the nutrients it needs to function more efficiently.
Instead of obsessing over immediate weight loss, I recommend using your break from food to start meal planning and setting goals for creating a healthier lifestyle.
I picked up an 18-pack of juice at *insert popular retail chain* and I was going to do a juice cleanse using that. OR I heard about a juice cleanse on the radio. Is that the same as purchasing a cleanse from a juice bar?
In short: not all juice is the same.
Juice can be extracted from produce using several types of juicers, and each one is believed to have an effect on the quality of the juice. Juice can also be processed before and/or after being bottled. If you’re interested in learning more, I wrote a blog on this subject, but here’s my summary:
- You should always know where your juice comes from and how it was made (especially when cleansing).
- I recommend cold-pressed, organic (if available) juice that has not gone through HPP (high pressure processing). This type of juice is believed to have the most living enzymes.
- If you’re on a budget, don’t stress. Any freshly extracted juice (without added sugar or preservatives) will still provide nutrients and countless benefits.
I’m really worried I’m going to want food. Can I eat anything while I’m on a cleanse?
Of course you will think about food. Eating is one of the most regular parts of the day, and cleansing will disrupt that routine. In my experience, hunger has not been an issue while cleansing. I do, however, catch myself daydreaming about my next meal.
Some people may choose to snack on light vegetables during a cleanse. Before doing that, if you are feeling hungry, try adding additional juices.
If I find myself thinking about food while cleansing, I like to remind myself of the reason I’m doing the cleanse in the first place. I’ve been dealing with gut health issues for nearly a year, so cleansing helps reduce oating, makes digestion pain-free, and clears my brain. Reminding myself of these benefits helps me stay focused.
Can I drink coffee/caffeine while doing a juice cleanse?
Caffeine can irritate the digestive system and affect serotonin levels, so it’s best to try to avoid it during a cleanse. That being said, I have gone through withdrawals before and understand how undesirable that is.
If you need caffeine to bypass the headache, try drinking a little cold brew. It is significantly less acidic and will be less irritating to your stomach.
Will I be able to work out while doing a juice cleanse?
No two people are the same, and no two cleanses are the same. There are so many variables that can affect your energy levels on and off a cleanse. My biggest piece of advice is to listen to your body. Do you have energy to exercise, or are you tired? Once you start exercising, are you feeling good, or do you feel like you’re forcing yourself through the motions?
On my first cleanse, my body wanted to sleep, so I skipped my normal workouts and hit the sack early (I’m talking 7pm early). On my second cleanse, I felt extremely energized and went hiking, cycling and attended boot camp without feeling any fatigue.
Whether you decide to try a cleanse or not, you won’t be disappointed if you start incorporating more juice into your diet. Juicing is an easy way to consume the nutrients that keep your body and brain feeling good.
Have additional questions? Contact me, and I’ll do my best to provide some insight.