Why Should I do a Juice Cleanse?

Drinking vegetable juice by the pool

Whether you call it a juice cleanse, a juice fast, or something else, there are some definite benefits. For example:

  • Weight Loss
  • Better sleep
  • Weight loss
  • Better digestive health
  • More Energy
  • Better skin

Just to name a few. According to the experts, the evidence in favor of juice cleanse is growing all the time.

However, there are some negative aspects of the juice cleanse that you need to consider. If you have kidney problems, it is possible that the amount of oxalate, a naturally occurring acid that is a component of many plants, can damage your kidneys.

Bottom line here is that you should talk to your doctor before beginning a drastic dietary change.

Okay, let’s cut the crap and get to the good part. In this post, I’m going to tell you what you can expect and include some tips to help your cleanse go as smoothly as possible. Ready? Set! Juice!

What is a Juice Cleanse?

Traditionally, doing a juice cleans means consuming nothing but fresh vegetable juice and water for from one to ten days. This process fills your system with huge amounts of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. The idea behind it is that the change provides healing to a body that is normally inundated with substances that are bad for it.

For the period of the cleanse, you drink vegetable juices and water but you don’t eat. Really, no food will pass your lips for the period of the cleanse.

Really? No Solid Food?

That’s right! Most versions of the juice cleanse include no solid food whatsoever. Nada, none, zip, I could go on forever but I think you get the point. The whole idea behind the cleanse is that, by not eating solid food, you give your digestive system a break and a chance to clear out the old crap (pun intended) that has been lingering in your system.

The word cleanse refers to the fact that toxic waste that has been hanging around in your colon can be cleaned out, giving you a chance to start fresh. If we were not eating all of the pesticides, GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and chemical foods and beverages, our system would be self-cleaning. All of those things prevent that and so the juice cleanse gives our system the rest that it needs to get right of all the junk.

Why 7 days? Can I Make My Cleanse Longer or Shorter?

The length of a juice cleanse can be anywhere from one day to ten (most experts don’t suggest doing it for longer than ten days.) There are even variations on the cleanse that make it a partial fast that includes either snacks or one meal a day.

Although I feel that seven days is an optimum length, the first time you do a cleanse, you may want to limit yourself to one to three days. For my part, I felt that a week was the perfect length. It was long enough to require a commitment on my part and I feel that the commitment was as much a part of the psychological process as the cleanse itself.

How Do I Prepare?

Before you begin the cleanse, eat lightly for a few days. If you go directly from partying hearty and eating sub sandwiches with everything on them and a bag of chips, you are going to have a tough time sticking to the cleanse. Oh, and by the way, take it easy for a day or two afterwards as well. You don’t want to undo all the benefits you’ve reaped from your juice cleanse on your first day off it, do you?

What Kind of Cleanse Should I Do

juice cleanse

Vegetables are the most nutrient-dense foods we can eat. The calorie/nutrient ratio is the best for vegetables. Green leafy veggies provide the most nutrients for the least number of calories.

What I’m saying is that a Green Juice Fast is probably the most beneficial. Plants use chlorophyll to make their own food and it does wonders for us as well. Chlorophyll has antioxidant properties and can be useful for maintaining hormonal balance, detox, and digestive health among a myriad of other positive properties.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t include other sources for your juice, including beets, carrots, and berries. In fact, berries are an excellent source of antioxidant properties as well. These fruits and vegetables will give you a little variety and help keep your taste buds satisfied.

Can I Make My Own Juice Cleanse or Does a Professional Have to Do It?

I prefer making my own juices because it’s quick, easy, and as fresh as it gets.

However, there are plenty of packaged juice cleanses on the market. I personally felt that spending money on bottled juice was not what I wanted to do. Instead, I when to Amazon and bought 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse. The fresher the ingredients that go into your drinks, the more nutrients they will contain. I’m not saying that packaged cleanses are bad, but they can get costly.

The book makes it easy to do it yourself with shopping lists, recipes, and detailed instructions and tips for making your cleanse successful.

How Will I Feel During a Juice Cleanse?

Old maps used to say, “Here there be dragons” and in this case, the dragon is you. You may feel a bit (or more than a bit) irritable. You may be tired, and you may find that you have headaches, particularly in the afternoon or evening. I can’t predict how you will react to a juice cleanse, after all, everyone is different, but knowing the possibility will prepare you to deal with the problems, right?

I did find that I was tired more than usual and a bit, um, snappish. But those problems didn’t last too long and once that was over, I felt pretty great!

How Can I Lessen The “Crappy” Feeling

Headaches are a common experience during a juice cleanse. The most likely culprit is withdrawal from caffeine or other less than good for you things you normally consume. Headaches should go away fairly quickly. If not, of course, you should call your doctor.

Chances are that the “crappy” feeling is caused by the rapid release of toxins during the cleansing process. You should avoid strenuous exercise and rest as much as you can. The good news is that by taking naps and ensuring that you get a good night sleep, you are also giving your body more time to get rid of toxins. One of the reasons we are told to rest when we are actually sick is that the body heals so much better when you are sleeping.

When Do I Feel the Clarity And “Buzzed” Feeling People Talk About?

Wait for it, wait for it…

Usually between the third and fifth day you will begin to feel a lot better. You will have more focus and a major increase in energy. This is what people are talking about when they describe feeling “Buzzed” and it is amazing.

So What’s the Bottom Line?

Glad you asked. Cleansing is a good thing for your body. Repeating the cleanse every few months, even if you only do it for one to three days, will work wonders for your health and well being. You can take it a step further and detox your body as well if you really want to get benefits such as improved complexion, better digestion, and an increase in energy and mental clarity.

I know that I felt better after doing a seven-day juice cleanse, and I plan to repeat it three to four times a year, just to keep those benefits.

By the way, if you’re doing this for weight loss, you may also want to read, 10 Weight Loss Mistakes You May Want to Avoid.

Image Credit: Unsplash

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Maggie McCormack
Maggie McCormack

Maggie McCormack is a freelance writer. She and husband Michael have recently greeted their first child, a daughter named Lisa, to their family. In addition to writing, Maggie enjoys reading, jogging, and swimming. The McCormack family lives near San Jose, California.

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