Juice Cleanse | Are They Worth The Hype?

Today I’m writing a different kind of post for you all, some may find it a bit controversial as there has been a lot of hype surrounding Juice Cleanses recently. I’ve been seeing and reading a lot of juice cleanse blog posts and articles online and decided to do some research to see whether they really are worth the hype. Please don’t think I am aiming this at anyone in particular, if you have done one and it worked for you that’s great, if you haven’t and are dubious then stick around, I’m purely writing this to bring to your attention the pros and cons as to whether you think it will work for you and if they are indeed worth the hype that surrounds them. I haven’t pulled this information from the sky, I’ve done a lot of research. Brent also reads numerous articles daily about how to diet and maintain health as training is a huge hobby of his and together Brent and I have put together this post for you.

what is a juice cleansePIN IT!

A juice cleanse is a detox programme where you can buy (or make) juice and drink just them for a set amount of days ranging from 3, 5, 7 days and sometimes longer. There are plenty of juice cleanse programmes out there to choose from and they have a range of different flavoured juices for you to consume throughout the set amount of days. The benefits promised to you are generally clearer skin, energising both your mind and body, weight-loss and in some cases even help illness. Prices for juice cleanses start at approximately £90.00 to a staggering £499.00.

pros and consPIN IT!

Now down to the nitty gritty. The positive side to these juice cleanses are that they are a great way to make you have your recommended daily intake of 5 fruit and vegetables a day (heard it’s now 10 a day?) If you are lazy at eating fruit and vegetables, like myself, a smoothie of juice is a great way to pack in the greens and fruits.

We are supposed to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables so how can it be bad for us? I have read a fair few reviews now with most of them either saying they felt sick, suffered with headaches/migraines and dizziness to some people not even being able to finish them from feeling so unwell. Fruits and vegetables have a lot of natural sugars in and when a high amount is taken in we have what they call an insulin spike. This is where our sugar levels go really high and then after a little while once we have burnt off this sugar, we come crashing down. This is when you will probably have headaches, feel tired, sick or experience dizziness.

Drinking just juices means you aren’t getting the rest of the nutrients that your body needs. Fibre is highly recommended in your daily diet and it’s actually the pulp from whole fruits and vegetables that contains all the fibre and nutrients. Saying that, not all of the detox plans remove the pulp so if it’s still in there, then you’re still getting extra goodness that your body needs. If it’s just juice without pulp, then it’s a good idea to include other sources of fibre and protein which I shall write about later.

Everyone knows that being active is a must for a healthy life and for those wanting to loose unwanted weight. However exercising on a juice diet could make you feel worse and your body will find it harder to recover leaving you feeling even more tired than beforehand. Although, you could discover a new found aggressiveness in order to complete your workout even though you don’t feel quite up to it. I read an advertisement “Drop 14lb and 2 dress sizes in 14 days” and reviews about how some people dropped 6lb during their 3 day juice diet and straight away alarm bells are ringing. Dropping a lot of lb’s in a short space of time can be seen as dangerous and it’s advised by the NHS that a healthy amount to be loosing is in fact 1-2lbs a week. They state that rapid weightless can lead to illness and feeling unwell.

Lastly, if you have completed a juice cleanse and then return to your normal eating habits there’s a chance your body will go into a state of shock and will start to store fat as it thinks you are going to withdraw food again. Whilst reading my Lauren Conrad Beauty book, I read that during one of her juice cleanses to get a bikini body for a photoshoot, she indulged in a pizza and chips after her shoot had finished and she was sick later that day and ill for a further three days. Continue eating healthy afterwards and not indulge too much in order for your body to recover and also so you don’t start putting the weight back on.

I was reading an article by US Cosmopolitan magazine called Juice Diet Truths and it explains how some people are becoming addicted to juice cleanses and are doing them for a long length of time and I read the following: “Fasting and a lack of protein–two hallmarks of cleanses–also deplete your liver’s store of the antioxidant glutathione, which is crucial fuel for the immune system and key in the detoxification of blood. The resulting decrease in liver function causes waste products to accumulate in your body, which is pretty much the opposite of what the cleanses claim.”  If you want to read the full article you can do so by clicking here.

make it work for youPIN IT!

Now I’m not going to sit here and slate them completely, I’m aware that there’s more cons than pros however I just wanted to bring the information I found to our attention. Moreover, I believe that juice cleanses can be good for you and I wanted to share how you can make it work for you.

If you are making the juices yourself, add the pulp back in, I know it can taste gross and its a weird texture however you’ll be getting all the nutrients and fibre from the whole fruits and vegetables. Also vegetables are more nutritious than fruits so make your smoothies with veg and add a couple of pieces of fruit for flavour. In the morning you could have a juice with some Greek yoghurt as this is a great source of protein. Other ways for getting protein are having flaxseed (which can be added to your cereal) peanut butter and almond milk. Stick to three healthy meals a day and instead of a snack, have a juice/smoothie instead, this is a great way of including the juices to your diet without withdrawing food.

Don’t be scared of the weights ladies, I myself also thought that if I lifted weights I’d end up looking like the Hulk but we don’t have the same hormones as men and therefore weight training will tone our muscles and give us that beach ready body that we all desire. A good mixture of cardio and weights 2-3 times a week should do the trick. And I know exercising can be boring, I lasted 3 days at the gym with Brent before I called it quits so do what you find fun and add it into your day to day lives. I now do Yoga everyday in the morning, I’ve been following DoYouYoga.com’s 30 Day Yoga Challenge on YouTube and I feel more awake and stronger already and I haven’t been doing it long. You can also do simple things such as take the stairs at work or shopping instead of the lift. Ok if you work on the 30th floor that’s a bit much but take the lift to the 20th floor and take the stairs for the rest.

And finally, water. Water is your best friend, drink your recommended daily amount, 8 200ml glasses a day for women and 10 200ml glasses a day for men. I will admit I’ve always been rubbish with drinking water however recently I’ve started adding fruit to it to give it a natural sweet taste and make it more drinkable, you can munch on the fruit afterwards too. Already my skin is less dry and I feel more awake and it also detox’s your body as well without withdrawing food.

zzPIN IT!I hope you have found it helpful, I really want to stress that I’m not slating these cleanses, just bringing awareness to what I have found through research. If these cleanses work for you that’s great, I personally get a headache after an hour without food but everyone’s bodies are different which is why I wanted to just write a couple of ways to make it work for you. And finally, if you are thinking about taking part in a juice detox, do your research and make sure it’s a reputable company you’re buying from.

Have you done a juice cleanse? Do you think they are worth the hype?