It’s been 5 days and you’ve managed it. You’ve had 30 juices. You haven’t eaten in 120 hours. You have a look in the mirror and you’re the happiest you’ve felt about yourself and your health in a long time. You’re feeling incredible.
You bet it does!
Juice cleanses are an effective way not only to lose weight, but to detox your body and boost your intake of vitamins and minerals that are really good for you. They might be the easiest way to enjoy a vegan diet.
Even though the health benefits are great, I haven’t been able to find a thorough guide to help guide you through the juice cleanse process. A juice cleanse really alters your eating habits, so having the right support and knowledge is important.
Since starting Juice Buff, I’ve learned more than I ever imagined about juicing in general and I want to share this knowledge with you to help you get through your juice cleanse, whether it’s your first one ever or your 10th.
Let’s dive in. You can also click here to download this article as a PDF so you can save it for later!
What Is A Juice Cleanse?
Simply, a juice cleanse is when you don’t eat food for a certain number of days – usually 3, 5 or 7. Sometimes a juice cleanse is only one day long! Instead of eating, you drink between 4-8 glasses of juice a day made from fresh fruits and veggies.
Pretty straight forward.
But you probably knew what a juice cleanse is before starting this article. Chances are, you want to know why you would do a juice cleanse.
Juice cleanses are better than forms of fasting that don’t allow any consumption of calories, in my opinion, because you get all of the same benefits without having to starve yourself.
You still consume calories in a juice cleanse but because you’re only consuming fresh fruits and veggies, you’re also getting a huge range of vitamins and minerals. You’re not ‘eating’ as much as you normally do, but what you are eating is healthy and packed with the good stuff.
Before we look at the health benefits of juice cleanses, I want to mention that you should always look after yourself and be safe. Don’t push yourself further than you can manage and if you have specific concerns, always go and speak to your doctor or healthcare professional. This article isn’t medical advice, this is just knowledge I’ve gleaned from learning about juicing. Be sensible!
Why Should You Do A Juice Cleanse?
Juice cleanses are excellent because it gives you body the chance for a complete detoxification. Your calories are limited but are packed full of nutrition. It’s a bit like allowing your body a long, deep breath.
Juice cleanses are a bit easier than water fasts – which involves no calories or nutrition – because you’re still getting something to eat (technically drink, but you know what I mean) and this means that your metabolism is kept working throughout, since it has something to break down. You even just feel happier doing a juice cleanse, since what you’re drinking is so healthy. It’s a good mood lifter.
Juice cleanses are also an excellent way to lose weight, if that’s what you’re looking for.
Cleanse programs can seem a little strange if you haven’t done one before, since we’re generally used to three meals a day, with snacks in between. It’s odd when you think about it, since there isn’t a solid reason for eating this way – it’s just what everyone else does.
But what about our ancestors who survived for 250,000 years by hunting a deer, eating it, then living off what fruits and vegetables they could forage, while they spent the next 3 days hunting the next deer?
This process sounds a bit like a 3-day juice cleanse. ‘Large meal days’ followed by several days of eating considerably less, to create a rhythm.
It worked for our ancestors – they didn’t need a snack to get them from breakfast to lunch!
Finally, juice cleanses are great because you don’t have to do them all the time if you don’t want to. Doing a juice cleanse every 3-6 months works wonderfully. It gives your body a chance to rediscover what it feels like to use stored energy; to not just be burning through sugar and riding blood sugar spikes; and to feel a state of primal wellness that many of us have lost in modern society.
And with all that comes a whole host of health benefits.
4 Major Juice Cleanse Health benefits
Juice cleanses have so many health benefits because they are a form of fasting. Fasting promotes something called autophagy, which causes your body to start recycling its cells.
When your body does this, it clears out the old or damaged cells rather than using energy to repair them. Instead, the nutrition you get from your juice helps you to build new healthy cells to replace them. This is what a detox actually is and why you feel so great when your juice cleanse is over.
1. Weight Loss
This is one of the most popular reasons that people opt for juice cleanse programs and it’s one of the most visible outcomes.
A study has been done which shows that after a 3-day juice cleanse, the group participating in the study lost 3.5-7 lbs of weight. 2 weeks following the end of the cleanse, the participants had all kept off between 3-5 lbs of the weight they lost.
That all happened after only 3 days of cleansing!
Juice cleansing is a really effective way to quickly slim down a little, if you have an event coming up like a wedding, or a holiday. Also, the longer you cleanse for, the more weight you’ll lose, so it’s kind of a no-brainer. It’s one of the healthiest and effective ways to lose weight.
Some people have gone on juice cleanses for 45 days and have managed to lose around 60 lbs. I’ve even heard of people losing over 100 lbs from juice cleansing.
Joe Cross, who is arguably the man who started the juice cleanse, lost 81 lbs in 60 days. This is a really long time to be on a juice cleanse for but it led to a complete life transformation. Check the out the picture of his results below.
2. Gut Health
Eating unhealthily for too long puts a lot of unnecessary stress on your digestive system.
An unhealthy diet can lead to inflammation, bloating, IBS, constipation and other uncomfortable symptoms.
A juice cleanse allows your stomach to relax and repair itself, since juices are easy to digest and contain healthy enzymes that support a healthy gut.
3. Younger-Looking Skin
If you’re prone to breakouts or acne, juices cleanses might be able to help. Green juices, in particular, are high in Vitamin A, which helps your body to regrow skin cells. It gets rid of old, damaged cells – which make your skin look dull or uneven – and replaces them with new, strong ones, which are what make your skin look young and radiant, since they reflect light more efficiently.
You also get a lot of Vitamin E in juices, which protects your skin against free radicals. These are molecules that mutate or destroy your body’s cells and are generally bad news. So the more protection you can give your body, the better.
Finally, in both fruit juices and vegetable juices you get a lot of Vitamin C. You’ll have heard a lot about how Vitamin C is good for you, but it’s also good for your skin. It protects your skin against UV damage, which is useful whether you live somewhere hot or cold. You are also exposed to UV radiation, so your skin needs protection.
4. Eliminating Toxins
Toxins are everywhere: free radicals from pollution; heavy metals from metal and plastic food containers; even pesticides and chemicals on the food you buy.
Toxins can be created inside your body as well: imbalances in hormones; bacteria and, again, free radicals.
These lists don’t even include being around smokers, or the chemicals in your bathroom products. The list of things that can create toxins inside your body is frighteningly endless!
With all that bombarding you from inside and out, it’s important to regularly flush them out. What better way to do that than with a juice cleanse? Cleansing gives your body a chance to eliminate these toxins, while holding on to healthy cells.
Replacing these toxins with superfoods packed with nutrition leaves you feeling fresh and rejuvenated.
The Vitamin C that you often find in juices boost your immune system and all the other micronutrients you find in fruits and veggies give you increased energy levels and help you process your food better.
I could go on and on about the health benefits of juice cleanses, but I don’t want to bore you so I’ll just say it can work wonders on just about every part of your body, even down to your DNA (the detoxifying process protects your DNA, which helps prevent ageing).
How To Cope With The Side Effects Of Juicing
Most people have an easy time when they start a juice cleanse but in rare cases, you can experience some stomach discomfort. If this happens, it’s easy to deal with, since you should just stop the cleanse you’re trying out. There’s no shame in listening to your body!
If you feel nauseous or generally uncomfortable, there are some things you can do to try and relieve the symptoms.
1. Drink Plenty Of Water
While your healthy, organic juice will be doing a lot for you on your juice cleanse, you should make sure that alongside this, you’re also drinking enough water. The amount of water you need every day doesn’t change just because you’re on a juice cleanse.
Drinking plenty of water will keep your stomach happy and it also helps with the detoxifying process that your body is going through.
2. Try A Ginger Lemon Tea
Ingredients like lemon and ginger are often used to calm down an angry stomach. Ideally, if you’re going to try out a tea like this, use fresh lemon and fresh ginger if you can.
This should help to relieve symptoms of nausea if you have them. Or you can go all in and make a ginger shot with a juicer if you’re brave!
3. Dilute Your Juice With Water
If you transition from whole foods to a juice cleanse too quickly, it can be a real shock to the system on that first day.
The huge intake of fruits and veggies can also be a shock if they weren’t a big part of your diet before.
You can get around this by diluting your juice so that it’s 25% water to being with, which can help your system with the change in diet and the intensity of the flavor.
4. Avoid Certain Ingredients
There are some fruits and vegetables that have a negative impact for a lot of people:
- Brussel sprouts
These ingredients cause uncomfortable bloating for many, so if you’re using these and experiencing discomfort, then get rid of them!
It may end up being a process of elimination to figure out exactly what isn’t agreeing with you, but at least if you cut down the number of ingredients you’re using, you can get closer to identifying the culprit.
How To Do A Juice Cleanse
So, we know what a juice cleanse is, we know why we’re doing it, but how the heck do you actually do a juice cleanse?
It’s actually really easy!
You can use the DIY approach, which I’ll get into below. This is a better option if you want to try a long juice cleanse (more than 10 days), which I recommend which a good deal of caution, since it’s a long time.
Alternatively, you can buy juice cleanses online. It’s very simple, since you can order enough juice to last however long you want – 3, 5 or 7 days – and then you’re sent the juice frozen. You keep it in your freezer and then defrost it the night before you want to use it.
I love making my own juice but even I’ve ordered juice cleanses online. The juices taste amazing and there’s no hassle involved. Raw generation is my go-to for a juice cleanse.
Before deciding which juice cleanse option to go for, it’s a good idea to decide how long a cleanse program you’re going to opt for, since that will impact the prep you do beforehand and how you’ll transition back to whole foods afterwards.
How Long Should You Juice Cleanse For?
Like I said, this is important to consider before you commit to a juice cleanse.
A good way to decide the length of your cleanse is to think about what you actually want to get out of it. If you want to lose weight, then I’d consider anything up to 7 days and doing juice cleanses regularly. However, if you just want to feel better and improve your health, then a juice cleanse as short as one day will manage that if you’re already reasonably healthy.
One Day Juice Cleanse
The one day juice cleanse is great if you’ve had a heavy weekend of partying and drinking… Or even if it’s just been a tough month and you want to feel a little more like yourself.
Doing a one day cleanse regularly – about once a month – can jump-start your body and help you ready yourself to take on the world again.
This is the perfect option for someone already living a healthy lifestyle.
If you were looking to do a juice cleanse once every three months or so, then I’d recommend trying a 2-day cleanse, since it’ll push you that little bit further.
3-Day Juice Cleanse
This is the best option for beginners who looking to try a juice cleanse for the first time.
3 days is long enough to lose a little weight, rejuvenate your skin and start repairing your gut. Lots of benefits!
This length of juice cleanse is also not very daunting. Compared to jumping straight into a 90-day cleanse program, this is much more manageable.
A 3-day juice cleanse is perfect for testing out the waters and experiencing some of the benefits of a juice cleanse, without the side effects.
5-Day Juice Cleanse
A 5-day cleanse is for when you want to experience a ‘new you’.
This will fit into a regular work week, so it isn’t too long but you’ll give your body a chance to settle into the cleanse program and enjoy all of the health benefits.
After a 5-day juice cleanse, you’ll wonder how you ever felt good before it!
7-Day Juice Cleanse
This isn’t for the faint-hearted. This type of cleanse program is for the person who is serious about their juice cleanse.
If you’re focused on weight loss and like to give yourself a challenge, then this is the cleanse program for you. A whole week of cleansing isn’t easy but definitely worth it if you’re looking to lose weight.
7+ Day Juice Cleanse
I’m not a big fan of juice cleanse programs that require you to last longer than a week.
They work for some, I know of some people who do 10-day cleanses. There are even people out there who cleanse for 45, 90, even 100 days.
The reason I don’t like these cleanses is because the transition back to solid food can be really difficult. It’s important to consider your pre-cleanse and post-cleanse routines, since it isn’t always as simple as just deciding to do a cleanse.
For me, I’d prefer to stick to between 3-7 days and then incorporate juice into my regular diet, either as a meal replacement or a snack replacement.
A Pro Tip For A Beginner Juice Cleanser
Your first juice cleanse can be tough! You aren’t used to it, you don’t know what benefits or side effects to expect and chocolate bars never look so tempting as when you can’t eat them.
For your first juice cleanse program, tell a friend that you’re going to be doing it. This means someone is going to hold you accountable and check that you’re exercising your willpower. You’re a lot more likely to stick with it if you don’t want to admit to your friend that you couldn’t wait it out.
Even better, ask a friend to go on a juice cleanse with you! Send them this article and get them on board. I have faith, I know that both of you can do it!
Before, During, and After a Juice Cleanse
You’ve absorbed a lot of information about juice cleanses by this point – you’re ready to start making plans!
I’m going to explain what you should do before, during and after your juice cleanse.
What To Do Before Your Juice Cleanse
This depends a lot on what your lifestyle is aleady like. If you’re an active, veggie-munching, exercise-loving type of person, then you could probably dive straight into a juice cleanse and be absolutely fine.
However, if you don’t love exercising and tend to mostly eat junk food, heavily processed food or microwave meals, then you’ll probably need to prepare your body for a juice cleanse before you start.
I know it’s tempting to dive straight in but trust me, you’ll get much better results if you take some time to properly transition.
A week of prep is ideal for any juice cleanse you’re going to try but if you’re doing a 1-3 day cleanse, then taking 2 or 3 days beforehand to prepare your body should be fine.
It might be difficult but before starting a juice cleanse, you should avoid:
- Junk food
- Processed foods
- Microwave food/meals
- Take out meals
- Coffee and caffeine in general
This will minimise the impact that the juice cleanse has on your body.
Consider swapping out the bad processed foods, for the good whole foods and a healthy diet:
- Salads – avocado, leafy greens, etc
- Lots of fruits and vegetables and organic produce
- Home-cooked meals
As well as this, remember to stay hydrated. The goal should be to have 64 oz of water a day.
There is one main thing you should avoid, which is what most people struggle with.
As far as possible, stay away from sugar! It’s very present in processed foods
Sugar is addictive and really hard to give up for starting a juice cleanse. It means no candy, chocolate or soda – even diet soda!
Instead, stick to water and consider adding lemon or lime juice to change the flavor.
Once you’ve managed this, you’re ready to start your cleanse program!
What To Do During Your Juice Cleanse
Creating a good rhythm or routine is the key to a successful juice cleanse.
Drink your juices at regular intervals – around every 2 hours, if you’re having 6 juices a day – and make sure you are drinking water on top of these.
Dehydration will make your juice cleanse harder, so drink water little and often when you’re thirsty, cucumber juice is also very hydrating.
Try to keep coffee consumption to a minimum during your cleanse and have it black if you can.
If you’re absolutely ravenous and can’t stand not eating, then don’t beat yourself down – that’s okay! Eating less and being on a juice cleanse is still better than no juice cleanse at all, so be kind to yourself. If you have to eat, then opt for fresh fruit, some nuts or a small salad. That will help you keep going and what you’re eating will still be healthy.
You can do it!
What To Do After Your Juice Cleanse
You made it! You’ve cleansed, you’re feeling good, now things can get back to normal.
Again if you were healthy before your cleanse program, and you’ve just finished a 1-3 day cleanse, you can jump back into solid foods. Try to stick to whole fuits and vegetables, salads, whole grains like brown rice and other healthy diet options.
If you’ve finished a longer cleanse, don’t go straight back to what you were eating before you started your cleanse program.
Go for smaller meals more often, to begin with, since your body will need time to get used to solid food again. Again, try to stick with fruits, veggies and continue to include fruit juices and vegetable juices as part of your diet, maybe add in some almond milk and healthy fats too. You might eperience a little weight gain but don’t panic, weight gain is totally normal after a juice cleanse and nothing to worry about, it’ll just be water weight.
So Where Can I Get My Juice?
Good question! As I said before, you can go for the DIY approach, which involves buying a juicer and sourcing all the ingredients yourself.
If you don’t fancy this, you can get your juice cleanse delivered to you by people like Raw Generation. I like this option because you can order as much as you need and is usually about the same price as sourcing it all yourself.
Buying oragnic juices means you can avoid the cost of buying a juicer, which could be a good option if you’re on a budget. And I don’t know if it’s just me but whenever I’ve tried to recreate juice recipes that I’ve bought, it never tastes as nice!
Buying juice cleanses is also a great way to try new flavors, without wasting ingredients that you don’t use often at home.
With companies like Raw Generation, the oragnic cold pressed juices are unpasteurized and are just as healthy as if you made them at home. Check out my favourite here.
DIY Juice Cleanse Program
Still keen on doing it yourself? That’s cool, I love using my juicer, which I’m sure won’t surprise you given this site is called Juice Buff!
So here’s everything you need to know about creating your juice cleanse at home. You can click here to sign up for the newsletter and download this guide as a PDF.
Best Juicer For A Juice Cleanse
Creating your own juice cleanse is easy – the only equipment you really need is a juicer.
But which juicer?
Well, there are a couple of different types of juicer. Centrifugal juicers use a high speed spinning blade to shred your fruits and veggies and then the juice gets spat out. Masticating juicers have a slow speed spinning auger that crushes your ingredients and squeezes out your juice.
In my opinion, a masticating juicer is your best option. It keeps your juice cold and the pressing method of extracting raw juice stops all the nutrition from escaping. Masticating juicers also produce about 30-40% more juice than centrifugal juicers from the same ingredients.
Masticating juicers are also good because the juice you make from them can last between 2-3 days in the fridge, since it’s kept cool during the extraction process. Juice that you make using a centrifugal juicer will only last about 24 hours, so you must have it the next day.
It comes with a 15-year warranty, which is awesome and will make short work of anything you want to juice. For me, this is an easy choice when it comes to the best juicer for a juice cleanse.
Storing Your Juice Cleanse
Aside from your juicer, there’s only one other piece of equipment you really need: some juice bottles to store your juice in.
Using bottles will make it easier to store your fresh juice in the fridge or take it to work with you in the morning. It also means that you can make batches of juice, which will save you time.
These ones you can buy on Amazon are great because you get a pack of 4 bottles. They have drinkable lids and they’re shatter-proof – they’re ideal for having your juice on the go!
Aside from using proper bottles for storing your juice, remember these four things:
- Use fresh fruits and vegetables
- Keep it in the fridge
- Clean the bottles thoroughly
- Drink within 2 days (from a masticating bottle)
If you follow these directions, then you’ll be able to enjoy fresh juice for every day of your cleanse program.
Juice Cleanse Recipes
You’ve made it to the recipes! There are tons of different juice recipes you can follow, so I’m going to highlight 4 that you can rotate through during your juice cleanse. There’s enough variety in this selection to give you a good range of flavours, but don’t be afraid to get creative. If there are particular fruits and veggies that you like, then go for it!
Staple Green Juice
- 8 kale leaves with stalks
- 4 celery stalks
- 2 green apples
- 1 cucumbers
- 1 lemon
- 1 inch piece of ginger
- Wash all the ingredients
- Cut the bottom off the celery
- Juice the ginger first, followed by the rest of the ingredients
- Juice and enjoy!
This is such a good recipe, it’ll become your staple and go-to juice. It’s tasty enough to have multiple times a day and no juice is as healthy as a green juice! You could even add some cayenne pepper to this concoction if you were feeling brave… I also talk about apple juice cleanses more here if you’re interested.
Beet It Juice
- 3 Beets
- 3 Carrot
- 2 Apple
- 1 Lemon
- Wash and scrub the beets and carrots
- Core the apple
- Peel the lemon
- Juice and enjoy!
Beet it! Whether it’s your weight, feeling sick all the time, or anything else that you want to change, then this is the juice that’s going to help you do it.
Healthy Orange Juice
- 9 carrots
- 2 small oranges
- 1 apple
- 1 inch ginger
- Wash and scrub all ingredients
- Peel ginger and orange
- Core the apple
- Juice and enjoy!
This juice is lovely and sweet. It’s a great one to have in the morning, since it’ll ease you into your day right.
Spicy Sweetness Juice
- 3 medium apples
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 cucumber
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 Inch Ginger
- 1 lime
- Wash all ingredients
- Peel ginger and lime
- Cut bottom off celery
- Juice and enjoy!
The ginger in this one gives it a nice spice. It’s an excellent option for giving you a sorely needed jump-start.
Juice cleanses mean having around 4-6 juices a day. You’ll settle into your own routine and variety of recipes but I do have some recommendations.
Stick to only one Healthy Orange Juice a day and then double up two of the other recipes to get a good mixture.
Juice Cleanse Plan
Now I’m going to take you through what a 3-day juice cleanse could look like, using the above cold pressed juices. If you’ve ordered your cold pressed juices, then it’ll be the same routine, just with the juices you’ve received.
Day 1 of Juice Cleanse
Morning: Healthy Orange Juice
Afternoon: Green Juice and Beet It
Evening: Green Juice and Spicy Sweetness
Day 2 Of Juice Cleanse
Day 2 should be much the same as day 1. Just make sure you’re drinking enough water!
Day 3 of Juice Cleanse
You could keep the same recipes as you’ve used for the first two days, there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, you might find it easier since your body will get used to the routine.
However, if you feel like a change, then have your Healthy Orange Juice in the evening instead and have your Spicy Sweetness in the morning.
Here are a few common questions about juice cleanses that didn’t quite fit in anywhere else in the article.
Can you drink coffee while you’re on a juice cleanse?
I mentioned this briefly earlier in the article but it’s worth saying again. Coffee is alright to drink while on your cleanse program, as long as you don’t have too much and you’re having it black. Dairy can cause stomach problems while you’re on a juice cleanse, so it’s best to avoid it if you can.
I’d recommend no more than a black coffee in the morning and one more at some other point in the day.
Can you eat food during a juice cleanse?
Of course! If you really can’t last without eating, then go for small snacks of fruit, vegetables or nuts, like cashews. Try not to go off the rails and indulge in junk food, otherwise the hard work you’re doing isn’t worth it.
Just remember that your juice cleanse will lead to great results – keep going! Read more on eating on a juice cleanse here.
Will I miss chewing?
Sometimes when you’re fasting you aren’t actually as hungry as you think you are. Your body is just experiencing the need to chew something. It is used to chewing as you have your regular meals during the day, so when you start a juice cleanse, it isn’t used to not chewing for long periods. To avoid this sensation, move your jaw around if you need to or try chewing gum to satisfy the urge!
How often should you do a juice cleanse?
One-day cleanses can be done weekly if you want to, since they’re quite similar to the popular 5/2 diet. Once a month is also good.
If you’re doing longer cleanses than that, then I would recommend doing these every 3-6 months. It’s important to avoid overdoing it and making yourself feel bad.
Where can I order juice from?
I like Raw Generation, which you can click here to visit. They’ve got really tasty cold pressed juices, good prices, and quick delivery. Everything you need to start cleansing!
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And that’s you! All you need to know about your first juice cleanse, or some extra tips even if it’s not your first.
I hope you get on well with it and see the results you want. Remember to try and get your friends on board, so you can take on the challenge together.
Good luck! And remember if you suffer from any sort of disordered eating then a juice cleanse is not for you. Detox diets are hard and should be conducted safely