Nope. Thanks for reading
OK, fine. Here’s why…
These are actual claims I’ve copy and pasted from several different popular juice cleanse sites:
“a great way to reset your body and reposition yourself for a healthy lifestyle”
“Use it to boost energy, aid digestion, and relieve a case of the blahs.”
“an intense cleanse that triggers body digestion and detox and may help you manage your weight in the process.”
“We want to give the digestive tract a rest from having to break down solid food.”
“During a cleanse, the body is essentially detoxifying.”
It’s pretty much all nonsense (a case of the “blahs”?, and what does “body digestion” mean?, etc.) But I’m just going to focus on a few words that are used the most often, and have very little or absolutely no evidence to support them.
Restart, Reset, Restore, Reboot, Whatever…
The human body is by far the most complicated machine in existence. The smartest people in the world have not figured it out yet. And bad news, your high school friend pushing juice cleanses on Facebook is not one of the smartest people in the world.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, the human body does not have a “Reset” button. Sounds cool, but it’s simply not true.
Even if there was a “Reset” button, what exactly are you resetting? Is it a physical or chemical reset?
“I’ve been eating a lot lately. Mostly junk food. Going to do this cleanse to give my body a break”
Or is it psychological?
“I know I have to eat better. I’ll do this cleanse for a week and that will kick start my new, healthy eating habits.”
Let’s see what actual science says about that.
- The cell lining of the digestive tract is replaced about every 5 days
- Your digestive system is designed to, and capable of, working pretty much all the time
- A normal day already has a built-in rest period of 10-12 hours (while you sleep)
- You have probably heard “It takes 21 days to form a habit” Well, cleanses are a lot shorter than that, and some research shows it can take even longer than 21 days to form a habit
- Short term, highly restrictive diets have been shown to fail in the long run time and time again. You are better off implementing small changes over time.
Detox and Detoxify
Are you eating poison? Doing drugs?
If so, then you should probably detox. If not, it’s probably not necessary.
Here’s why: everything and anything, at a certain amount, can be toxic. Some people argue that too much sugar is toxic. Too much Vitamin C, toxic. Too much WATER can be toxic. Certain substances, at any amount, are technically toxic – alcohol being the most common.
At reasonable amounts, our own body is very good at handling these toxins. Maybe a better strategy would be to just limit the amount of bad things we eat and take the steps (some are listed below) to make sure our body is best able to process them.
If cleanses claim to “detoxify” you by drinking a bunch juices made from fruits and vegetables, THEN WHY WOULDN’T SIMPLY EATING FRUITS AND VEGETABLES DO THE SAME THING???
If you want to “detox” yourself, just add in some healthier foods to your diet. The added benefit of eating whole fruits and vegetables is they contain a lot of fiber – the absolute best “cleansing” substance you can eat. Fiber acts like a brush cleaning the walls of your digestive tract, taking it out completely doesn’t sound like the best way to “cleanse”.
How to Naturally “Detox”
- Eat whole fruits and vegetables
- Drink more water
- Exercise/sweat more
- Get more or better sleep
- Eat less junk
I’ve seen cleanses that cost anywhere between $100 and $300 dollars. Do you have any idea how much healthy food you could buy with that? A 3lb bag of broccoli from Costco costs about $7. You could eat over a pound of broccoli per day, for a month, for less than most cleanses.
Just about everyone knows a bunch of people who have tried a juice cleanse. My guess is you don’t know many people that lost, and kept off, any real weight. Often you’ll see temporary weight loss – from stored muscle glycogen, water weight, and maybe some undigested food in your gut. Once you go back to regular eating these all return to normal levels very quickly.
Don’t do it!