Myth: A juice cleanse will improve your energy level and health.


Juicing is not as good for you as eating the whole fruits and vegetables.

Poolside orange juice
Poolside orange juice

There’s nothing wrong with drinking juice or smoothies.  I love to drink them as a quick breakfast when I need to get out the door quicker.  Juice is not as healthy as eating fresh fruits and vegetables.  The juicing process removes some of the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.  It also removed most of the fiber because we remove their skin and pulp during the process of juicing.  In other words, you are making the calories of juice more empty during the processing to make it a juice.  

If you ask anyone who has read the cover of a magazine at the checkout about weight loss, they will surely tell you to try a juice cleanse or some trendy detox.  Sure, these new fad diets will definitely make you lose weight, but more often than not you gain the weight back almost immediately because you are not learning how to maintain the weight loss and these diets are not something you can continue for long periods of time.  They are basically nothing more than a trendy crash diet.  Also, much of the weight loss in these juice cleanses is water weight and once you stop, you pack the weight back on.

So why do you lose so much water weight?  During the first few days of a juice cleanse or detox, you will go into a negative energy balance.  To continue functioning, you will begin burning their glycogen stores from your muscle and liver for energy.  Using glycogen as energy requires the excretion of water from cells so water excretion into the toilet shows up as weight loss on the scale.  Also, you burn a lot of protein from your muscles.  You cannot make protein and fruit lacks sufficient amino acids to maintain your body.  When protein is used for energy or broken down, you must remove portions through your urinary tract which also causes water loss.  

Once off the cleanse, people usually rapidly gain the weight back.  A return to old eating habits adds the water weight back in a few days.  You do not learn to eat properly or control your portion size, so it is easy to slip back into the old habits.  

The bottom line:  Juicing is not as good for you as eating whole fruits and vegetables.  Instead of falling for this fad diet, get motivated to adopt healthier eating habits and use portion control.  

A book on Juice Cleanse Recipes:

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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