I'll be the first to tell you that I think that the benefits of juicing are vast! Offering an opportunity to consume SO many of the vital vitamins and nutrients your body needs to function optimally in one beverage is invaluable. However, we get questions from our readers asking if they should start their clean or continue their clean eating journey with a juice fast. For the purposes of conversation today, we will define a juice cleanse as "drinking ONLY juiced fruits and vegetables as your source caloric intake or energy." The quick answer to that is: "NO!"
Let's think about this - the purpose of a cleanse, as most people see it is to rid your body of toxins and harmful chemicals that may be hindering your ability to function normally and properly. If you are already eating clean, or starting to eat clean, chances are, you have or are in the process of eliminating those harmful toxins/chemicals from your diet and body already!
Juice cleanses are high in vitamins and nutrients, but contain little to no fat and protein. Juice cleanses do contain carbohydrates, with larger amounts of carbs coming from natural sugars in the fruits and vegetables.
Juice cleanses do not contain protein!
A strict juice cleanse (like those we are writing this article about) do not include protein! Sure, you may ingest about 5g of protein through some of the juiced fruits and vegetables but that is hardly enough to sustain your body without
burning the muscle
you already have for energy and basic life function.
Juice cleanses include a LARGE amount of fiber!
A strict juice diet is basically ALL fiber - that's what helps your body to rid itself of many of the harmful toxins and chemicals. Fiber is GREAT for you! However, when you ingest large amounts of fiber that your body is not used to processing, it may not be able to process that fiber AND the nutrients you are supplying it at the same time; therefore, you could be ingesting 1000 calories through a juice fast, but only absorbing and using around 600. This would lead you to make up the remaining calories your body needs to function by
burning your muscle
stores and converting them to energy.
Still want to do a juice cleanse?
This may be a great way to get you "kick-started" and on track. However, you will want to do a modified one! Include some healthy fats like a serving of avocados and raw nuts, as well as 30-40 grams of protein such as baked chicken breast with no seasonings. Whatever you do, make sure that you ingest at least 1200 calories as that is the typical number of calories your body needs each and everyday to carry on basic life functions without burning muscle.
Choose what works for you and your goals!