A controversial topic in the fitness community is juice cleanses. Followers of the diet say that it is meant to detox your body and help you attain your fitness goals; however, personal fitness trainers say it is nothing more than a fad. So does the cleanse work? Let’s find out.
What are juice detox cleanses?
Contrary to popular opinion, modern juice detox cleanses were not introduced in the 2010s. Their history can be traced back to 1976, when Stanley Burroughs published a book called The Master Cleanse. He claimed his juice concoction, which is natural and healthy, could flush the body of harmful toxins, impurities and pesticides. You had to swap your regular meals with his juice program for ten days for it to be fully effective. Nowadays, most juice detox cleanses work similarly, providing juices that need to be substituted for meals for a specific period. Their claims have gotten broader, with proponents suggesting that it is an effective way to lose weight.
Do they actually work?
Juice cleanses have a very low caloric intake of 600 to 1200 calories per day, well below the recommended calorie count for adults of 2000 calories. Therefore, you will lose weight because your body is starving. To ensure that you can function, you will use up energy reserves that are stored in the form of fat. So on a surface level, the claim of shredding weight does have some truth. However, there is no evidence to support that it improves the body’s ability to flush out toxins. The kidneys, lungs, and liver can eliminate toxins, and juice cleanses do not impact their performance.
But aren’t they still somewhat effective?
Even if they help you shed some weight, it is at an extremely high cost. Our personal trainers have observed that while the cleanse is low in calories, it is deficient in vital nutrients. It lacks the following:
- essential fats
These nutrient deficiencies can significantly compromise your health. Your immune system will become weak, and your body will be unable to complete routine tasks sufficiently. You typically will suffer from the following when undergoing the cleanse.
- You will be prone to fatigue
- You can suffer from an upset stomach and nausea
- You will feel dizzy and have frequent headaches
- You will feel moody and disoriented
Due to the severe impact the cleanse has on your body, you will likely be unable to engage in any form of exercise, as it can be too exhausting.
So should you never do a juice cleanse?
A juice cleanse can help kickstart healthier eating habits, but the health risks outweigh the benefits. The best way to lose weight is simply through exercise and eating a balanced diet. Engaging in regular workouts can help you burn calories and achieve toned muscles in a much healthier way. You will not be lacking vital nutrients and will feel more physically fit. To flush out toxins, simply eat healthy food rich in good nutrients and let your body handle the rest.
You can still incorporate juices but make them part of your meal, not your only meal. For more information on physical fitness, you can always speak to our male or female personal trainer at Be Fit.