Some people call them "juice fasts," marketers may bill them as "juice feasts" and others simply consider them a fad.
Juice cleanses and liquid-only "detox" diets, like the so-called
Master Cleanse, are a popular health trend among Hollywood
celebrities, who often see them
like a fast solution to lose weight and a approach to Meizitang Soft Gel flushing "toxins" from the body.
Some plans involve drinking only liquids, while some start adding
some food as a snack or meal. Depending on the kind of cleanse,
they typically last
anywhere from 72 hours to 3 weeks. For instance, people doing the Master Cleanse drink six to 12 glasses daily of the mixture of lemon juice, red pepper
cayenne, maple syrup and water, for 10 days. During the night, they sip a laxative tea.
But are these so-called detox diets of liquefied fruits and vegetables or lemonade-flavored drinks helpful, or simply plain hype?
The premise to do juice cleanses along with other types of liquid
detox regimens is fake, said Liz Applegate, director of sports
nutrition in the University
of California, Davis. "The body doesn't need any assist in getting rid of toxins," she said. [4 Myths About Juice Cleansing]
There are detoxifying enzymes in the liver that break up alcohol and other drugs, and the kidneys handle water-soluble toxins, Applegate said.
Applegate described six pitfalls of following such liquid cleansing plans, and their potential dangers.
1. Cleanses are often lower in protein.
Many juice fasts and liquid diets involve consuming no protein
whatsoever, and have really low amounts of it, Applegate told
Live Science. People need a
regular supply of protein to construct healthy immune cells and regenerate muscle following a workout, she noted.
Vegetables and fruit have only small quantities of protein;
however, some prepackaged juice plans can include a nut-milk
beverage, for example cashew or
almond, among the daily drinks, that provides a little protein and fat.
Consuming fruit and vegetable juices for three days may not be
harmful for any healthy person, Applegate said. "But expect that
someone might get sick
because these plans are ghastly low in protein," she added.
Seniors may be weaker to infections if they chance a juice fast or liquid diet because they may already have lowered protein stores.
In addition, juicing fruits and vegetables removes most of the
fiber inside them. Eating this type of limited quantity of fiber
as part of a juice regimen
won't hurt most people's diets for a few days, but it could be a drawback in that it leaves you feeling hungry. Fiber helps people feel full and satisfied,
2. They are also lower in calories.
Depending on which cleanse a person does, and how many bottles of
juice or glasses of "lemonade" they drink, the calories a thief
winds up consuming daily
ranges from about 800 to at least one,200 calories. When accomplished for 10 days, the low-calorie intake that comes with carrying out a Master Cleanse or
other regimen could send your body into starvation mode, meaning it will attempt to conserve calories by slowing down metabolism, since the is unsure when it
is going to be fed again, Applegate said.
Doing a juice cleanse typically reduces calories in a person's
diet, and can help people lose a little weight, Applegate said.
But when people exclude their
most favorite foods from their diet for time, they tend to reward themselves afterward, and even go overboard, she noted. Any pounds shed during a cleanse
are mostly water weight, and will likely be gained back once usual eating routine resume.
3. People might not feel so excellent while doing the work.
While cleansing, people commonly experience side effects such as
headaches, fatigue, difficulty thinking, moodiness, stomach pain
and food cravings. "Be
prepared for changes in bowel function and frequent bathroom visits," Applegate warned.
And red pepper cayenne, which is often used within the Master
Cleanse plan, can irritate the colon, Applegate said, causeing
this to be regimen an issue for
those who have sensitive digestive systems, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Other part results of the actual Cleanse can include foul breath, dizziness,
diarrhea along with a white tongue, based on its website.
In addition, juice cleanses are not advisable for people with
diabetes who may be on medication to regulate insulin activity,
Applegate said. Drinking so
much juice could lead to unstable blood sugar levels.
Ladies who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and individuals with
compromised natural defenses or advanced heart, liver or kidney
disease also needs to avoid
People taking the blood-thinning drug Coumadin should avoid them
because some of the green juices could contain vegetables high in
vitamin k supplement --
for example kale, spinach, parsley and celery -- which could lessen the drug's effectiveness.
4. The extremeness of the regimen could be part of the appeal.
Completing a three-day cleanse may be extreme, but it is also an
obtainable goal, Applegate said. So even though it may be hard to
complete and may seem like
deprivation, probably the challenge of completing a short-term cleanse offers some psychological payoffs, like a feeling of accomplishment and a thought that
harmful substances have been cleared in the body.
Still, Applegate said she considers it a harsh diet plan and it
is concerned about the extremely low nutrient intake,
particularly of protein. She said she
even dislikes using the term "cleanse" to these regimens because "there's no evidence that someone is actually eliminating harmful compounds from the body --
that you are cleansing."
A cleanse could be like "The Emperor's New clothing," where
people are afraid to say they did not sense better while doing
the work simply because they want
to embrace the most recent health craze, Applegate suggested.
5. Cleanses may legitimize the idea that indulgence should be punished.
Billed as a way to "kick-start the kitchen connoisseur,
"eliminate food cravings" and "reset eating routine," juice or
detox cleanses often involve
swallowing only "liquid food," as some manufacturers describe it, and not chewing any food for a few days.
However, research has found that the mind might not register liquid calories in the same manner as those from solid food, and the routine might get old fast.
Should people cleanup their act if they are eating poorly? Sure,
Applegate said. And there are benefits to drinking juice if it
gets people thinking about
trying new fruits and vegetables (even when they're squeezed into a liquid), she added.
The main problem comes when people who overindulge on food or
alcohol feel a necessity to go to the extreme and punish
themselves by drinking only juices,
instead of just eating healthfully, Applegate said.
6. The approach is scientifically unfounded and dear.
There is no scientific evidence that juice cleanses really are a
sensible approach to better health, Applegate said. Cleansing's
P57 Hoodia Cactus Slimming Capsule touted benefits
detoxifying the body and resting the digestive system, to boosting immunity and improving mental focus -- are largely anecdotal and unproven.
The notion of using these methods to give the digestive tract a
rest is nonsensical, Applegate said. "The digestive tract
operates every day to digest foods,
also it doesn't need any rest," she said.
What's more, many of these plans can be pricey. They generally run between $60 and $75 each day for mostly bottled juices (which doesn't include shipping).