So you’ve heard about the juice cleanse craze and want to squeeze yourself a piece of the action. Remember, it’ll definitely be tough going. Of course, you only really find out how tough it is until you’re doing it.
One of the most important things to consider is your water intake. How much water should you be drinking on a juice cleanse?
For healthy adults over 18 years old, according to The Institute of Medicine, women should drink 2.7 liters per day, and men should drink 3.7 liters per day. Your juice does count partly toward your recommended water intake, but you still need to make up the difference by drinking water.
Don’t forget that you can include beverages like herbal tea toward your total water intake too.
What Is A Juice Cleanse?
A juice cleanse, also known as a juice fast, is a type of diet where you only consume juices from fresh fruit and veggies.
Dairy products are excluded, but non-dairy options like almond milk or cashew nut milk are fair game. It’s always best to opt for juicing organic produce and whole foods such as avocado, kale, and goji berries. An organic juice cleanse is certainly more geared to benefit you than non-organic.
Because it’s a diet of fruit and veg, it is certainly suitable for vegans.
There is a difference between juices and smoothies. Juice has the fiber removed, whereas a smoothie still has the fiber.
Like any diet, there are pros and cons as well as controversy from both sides for and against it.
Usually, this kind of diet is done on more of a temporary basis. Some people will take it up for a day. Others might keep it up for a longer period of time. Your mileage may vary; your eating habits may affect your experience.
For a beginner, it’s certainly best to just start with a 1-day juice cleanse and see how you feel before taking on a longer cleanse program.
Don’t think it’s a walk in the park. Drinking only juices is tough going. You will likely feel pretty darn hungry all day.
If you are wanting to try a juice cleanse but unsure about how to go about it, I recommend that it’s always worthwhile contacting a qualified nutritionist for advice and ensure you do it safely.
Why Would You Do A Juice Fast?
The pro juice cleansing party say that a juice fast will bring a myriad of benefits such as:
- Weight loss. Because you’re only consuming juices from fruit and vegetables, you’re certainly not going to be getting many calories. You’re going to cut out most of a days worth of calories. Although, if you binge on food afterward you might have a tendancy to store more of that food as fat than you might have otherwise. Any weight loss could be temporary.
- Nutrients. Fruit and vegetables contain lots of vitamins and minerals. By drinking lots of their juice you could be introducing extra nutrients that you might not have had otherwise; bringing a nice little health boost.
- Anti-Inflammatory. Fruits and vegetables are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds. A little bit of relief from inflammation can do wonders for you.
- Remove Toxins. Many juice cleanse creators love to tote the classic phrase, “it flushes out toxins”, although they never say which toxins or how the juice carries out detoxification. So to edge out of this grey area; your liver and kidneys already do remove toxins from your body, and fruits and vegetables are good for your liver and kidneys. So if the juice is able to give your liver and kidneys a little boost, then yes, the juice should ultimately help to remove toxins from your body.
- Improved Digestion. Fruit and vegetables contain many compounds and enzymes which are good for your gut health and digestive system. Although fibre is also great for your enzymes which are already in your gut, but fibre is removed from fruit and veg when you juice them.
- Clearer Skin. While there are lots and lots of different factors that affect acne (genetics, hormones, stress, the list could go on) diet can affect acne breakouts. Foods rich in sugars and simple carbohydrates such as chips, soda, bread, and chocolate are linked to making your skin angry. A juice fast cuts these out of your diet, contributing toward clear, fresh, happy skin.
- Feel Great. Many people say they feel great after a juice cleanse. Whether it’s because you’ve given your body a break from nasty things in your food, extra nutrients, or even just the relief of getting to eat normally again, it’s a common story that people end a juice fast and say they feel great afterward.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
According to The Institute of Medicine; the recommended daily intake of water for adult women is 2.7 liters, and for adult men it is even more at 3.7 liters. If you plan to read that report, the table listing the total recommended intake of water is on page 610. Good luck.
That is 91 ounces of water for women and 125 ounces of water for men.
Of course, a recommended daily intake of 2.7 to 3.7 liters does include water which is already in food you eat. Not just from the water, and other beverages, you drink.
But when you are doing a juice cleanse, you are cutting out all of those water-containing foods from your diet. You need to get that water from elsewhere.
Fortunately, juice is mostly water. Only, you need to drink water along with your juice to ensure that you meet your recommended daily intake of water.
In the case of the recommended daily intake for women, 2.7 liters, say you were going to drink 2 liters of juice throughout your day. Considering that juice is mostly water, you would want to drink at least another 0.7 liters of water.
Although, while fruit juice and vegetable juice is mostly water, it is not completely water. Ideally, you would drink a little bit of extra water on top of that 0.7 liters. Maybe consider that 0.7 liters as a minimum amount of extra water on top of your juice.
It may only take an extra glass of water to get you up to that golden amount, but it’s worth it to ensure you’re perfectly hydrated.
Remember, there’s no need to guzzle water either. Water is great, but you can still get too much of a good thing.
Don’t forget you can supplement your water intake with herbal tea too. Peppermint tea can really help to settle your stomach.
The Importance of Hydration
It’s no mystery to us all that staying hydrated helps to keep us performing at our best. If you’re avoiding solid foods and only drinking juice, you certainly don’t need that hunger combined with dehydration.
Some of the most immediately noticeable benefits which staying hydrated brings are improved sleep quality, cognition, and mood.
On top of that drinking enough water will help your body to keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, keep your organs functioning properly, deliver nutrients around your body, and regulate body temperature.
Can You Drink Too Much Water?
You really have to try, it’s not at all common, but yes, it is possible to drink too much water.
When I say you would have to try, I mean really try. A healthy adult would have to drink over 6 gallons of water per day on a regular basis in order to become close to becoming overhydrated.
When you consider that your recommended daily intake of water is 2.7 liters for women, and 3.7 for men; 6 gallons is an insane amount. 6 gallons is 27.3 liters. Goodness sake.
Overhydration is more common in cases where people have a condition, whether by their medical condition or by medicine they’re taking, where their kidneys are not excreting urine properly. Still, overhydration is rare.
If you’re a healthy adult, and you’re unsure about whether you’re drinking too much or too little water; you can literally double your recommended water intake and still be nowhere near overhydration.
Although if you are suddenly feeling much more thirsty than normal, and find yourself having to drink more than usual, I recommend going to see your doctor.
When you take on the challenge of a juice cleanse, one of the most important aspects to consider is your water intake. You certainly don’t need a bout of dehydration on top of the already challenging hunger.
According to The Institute of Medicine, women need 2.7 liters of water each day, and men need 3.7 liters each day.
Your juice does count toward your water intake but will need to drink water on top of juice to make up the difference.
For the most part, it is much easier to become dehydrated rather than overhydrated. So it is ok to be a little over your recommended water intake than below it.