Juice cleanses are more popular than ever – you may see companies that promote these cleanses with ‘detox kits’. Essentially, they send you different juices that you drink over a period of a few days with the promise to rid your body of toxins.

In theory, a juice cleanse sounds great – it’s an easy way to feel better and possibly lose a few pounds. However, they can do more harm than good.

When it comes to nutrition and the food we eat, we cannot eliminate every toxin we consume. Everything we eat contains toxins… even fruits and vegetables. Our bodies are designed to cleanse themselves – that’s why we have a digestive tract, kidneys, a liver, skin (we sweat things out), etc. Our organs function to detox our bodies, no juice cleanse needed!

Many people decide to participate in a cleanse or detox to lose weight – don’t do it! Juice cleanses are actually not a good idea for those who want to lose fat and can even lead you to gain weight in the long run.

Of course, if you’re only drinking juice for a period of time, you will see an initial decrease in weight on the scale. However, this weight loss is probably water loss and carbohydrate stores, which will come back as soon as the cleanse ends. 

People may argue that fruit is full of fibre and the main ingredient of a juice cleanse is fruit juice. However, when fruit is transformed into juice form the fibre is actually removed. In addition to this, juice cleanses tend to be low calorie, meaning you’re essentially starving yourself. This can lead to additional side effects like your hormones being negatively affected.

Aside from weight loss, juice cleanses are very low in protein. Protein is required to keep the muscles you’ve worked so hard for in the gym. Plus, the juices may even be harmful – they’re unpleasant, leave you feeling hungry and the side effects can include but are not limited to:

  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Lack of sleep
  • Inconsistent blood sugar levels

If you’re looking to cleanse your body naturally, try this instead:

  • Eat with portion control in mind. If you’re eating too much, you’re likely accumulating more toxins
  • Build your plate around plant-based foods – load up on fruit and veggies
  • Incorporate lean protein into your diet to help you feel full longer
  • Drink water! Your kidneys will help flush toxins from your system with the help of H2o
  • Exercise and sweat regularly

Juice cleanses aren’t going to do you any favours. Your body knows how to rid your system of toxins – let your organs do the work. Cut down on excess calories and processed foods, eat as plant-based as is possible and incorporate lean proteins into your diet. No detox kit required – your body has the tools!