The jury is still out on whether a juice cleanse will really purge your body of inflammatory toxins, or just give you a weekend bout of diarrhea. If you’re determined to try one anyway, there are some things you should take into account first. Drinking a daily quart of fruit and vegetable juice floods your body with sugar, but doesn’t offer much fiber, protein, or fat, and this unbalanced nutrient intake can have some adverse effects.
To make sure you’re mentally and physically prepared for this kind of regimen, give yourself this four-step quiz before you start a juice cleanse.
Do You Have a Medical Condition?
The high sugar content of juices may be a problem for diabetics, and the lack of iron and calcium in most cleanse programs can be dangerous for people suffering from osteoporosis or anemia. The absence of fiber also exacerbates digestive issues like constipation and diarrhea.
Do You Suffer From Dry Skin?
Has wintertime worn down your natural glow, or do you regularly struggle with itchy skin? If this is the case, you should refrain from going on any serious low-calorie diets like a juice cleanse. When you dramatically reduce your caloric intake, the water stored within the muscles is tapped, which causes the skin to feel dry. A week- or two-week-long juice cleanse may lead to prematurely-aged skin due to the lack of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, which play an important role in normal skin function and appearance.
Are You Happy?
Juicing offers a quick burst of nutrients that are quickly absorbed into the body, but these beverages lack in the protein, healthy fat, and fiber department. Omega-3 fatty acids are needed to build brain cell membranes, reduce inflammation, and most importantly improve mood and memory. Without getting these healthy fats and proteins, which are believed to boost serotonin and other feel-good hormone levels, a juice cleanse might therefore bring on a wave of unwanted depression. The lack of protein will also contribute to a decrease in muscle mass and fatigue.
Are You a Coffee Drinker?
True juice cleanses require refraining from all other foods and beverages — that means coffee. For a regular coffee drinker this can mean big problems such as caffeine withdrawal. Although not as severe as narcotic or alcohol withdrawal, the complete elimination of caffeine might lead to headaches, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.