We’ve all had those weeks where we feel like we’ve eaten literally everything in sight and perhaps consumed a few too many adult beverages… on comes the bloat, the tiredness, the overall feeling of lackluster. It might be right about now that you consider a juice cleanse. How bad can it be, right? Living off nothing but delicious, fresh juices for a few days, detoxifying and losing a few pounds – who would even miss food? Besides, all the celebrities do it, and look at their glowing skin and trim figures. Yes, a juice cleanse is exactly what you need. Or… is it? You might be left wondering – is a juice cleanse good for you?

So, you’ve decided you’re going on a cleanse, but now you are confronted with all the different options. Who knew there were so many programs to choose from? Are you cleansing for three, five, or seven days? Maybe you should do that cleanse where you eat nothing but cabbage soup and drink warm water with lemon and maple syrup? Hmmmm… All of the above promise miracles, weight loss and detoxification, but suddenly none are sounding as glamourous as you had initially thought.

Juice Cleanse Now Trending…

Alright, let’s get serious here. Cleanses are a huge trend in the wellness world. However, according to some sources, hard evidence is lacking that cleanses actually improve our health or detoxify our bodies. In fact, some feel they could cause more damage than good.

Cleanses are generally very low in calories, so the weight loss associated with juice cleanse programs is typically due to a significant lack of adequate calorie intake. Often times, any weight lost that occurs during these periods is quick to return once the juice cleanse has ended. This also means you are likley not getting the recommended nutrients you need. Fasting, or not getting enough sustenance, can leave you feeling weak, dehydrated, and can cause headaches. This is a far cry from the energized, glowing images portrayed in the media surrounding cleanses.

Is the Risk Worth the Reward?

The ingredients included in some cleanse products should be consumed with a degree of care, or at least awareness. Some juices offered as part of cleanse programs are unpasteurized. This means they have not gone through the pasteurization process to ensure they are free from harmful bacteria. Furthermore, multiple companies selling products for cleanses and detoxes have been pursued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission. These companies were questioned because they allegedly used illegal and potentially harmful ingredients and supposedly made false claims that their products could treat diseases. That being said, be sure you do your research before consuming juice cleanse products.

Long story short, cleanses can be risky business and should be performed with care and guidance from a medical professional. Luckily, our bodies do a great job of cleansing and detoxifying on their own. You can thank your liver for that. Of course, we all have our moments of over-indulgence, but there is certainly something to be said for eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, getting enough food and water, and avoiding too much alcohol. Remember – balance is key, and too much of a good thing can sometimes be bad.

 

Sources:

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/detoxes-cleanses