Juice cleansing has become quite the dieting fad, with Liquiterias and Organic Avenues popping up every five blocks in New York City — heck, even supermarkets are trying to cash in on the trend. But does juice cleansing actually work? Well, that’s a complicated question, and here to get to the bottom of it all is Buzzfeed's new video, “Your Body on a Juice Cleanse.” Because while some people have had great experiences, others seem to think it’s complete bullshit. Are you even ready for this?
The video looks at what a juice cleanse really does to the body, and honestly, it doesn’t look too pretty. Even though juices are made from super foods like nuts, fruits, and vegetables that we were always told are good for us, squeezing them all into a juice doesn’t necessarily make a healthy (or tasty) concoction that you can live off of for days on end. Personally, I have never been tempted to try a juice cleanse for two reasons. First, the thought of drinking vegetable juice made of kale and spinach really grosses me out, and second, I just love food too much... and this video makes me feel pretty awesome about my life choices. Here are four things that happen to your body on a juice cleanse:
1. Your Body Becomes Hungry
Well, duh… you aren’t eating food! Even though your body may be full of liquids, it’s the lack of fibers that is making you hungry. Fiber helps you feel full, moderates your blood sugar, and helps with digestion. Cold-pressed juices strip the fruits and veggies of their fibers, so if you are determined to cleanse, choose juices that use blended greens.
2. Your Body Will Be Tired
Buzzfeed says that your body will become weary because it isn’t getting enough amino acids, which are the building blocks for protein, but it’s also possible that people who juice cleanse are just tired from constantly talking about their juice cleanse.
3. You Will Feel Lightheaded
Most juice cleanses contain less than your daily recommended caloric intake, and some consist of less than half. If you are feeling lightheaded during your cleanse, you probably need to ingest more calories. Cake, anyone?
4. Your Body Will (Temporarily) Be Lighter
Because most juice cleanses don’t contain enough protein, it’s common for cleansers to lose muscle mass, which is not the kind of weight that you want to lose. You will also shed water weight during a cleanse, but it will all come back once you switch back to regular foods.
All in all, Buzzfeed’s video discourages against juice cleanses, and it’s not hard to see why. After some of my own poking around the Internet, I found that there is no evidence to support the claims that juice cleanses somehow "detoxify" you — your kidneys and liver work just fine without pressed beet juice, thank you very much. If you are really looking to purify your body, you should drink lots of water and eat fiber-rich food. Yes, you read that right… foods. Not juices. Now excuse me while I reach for my afternoon snack.