The Truth Behind The Phenomenon: Juice Cleanses

The Truth Behind The Phenomenon: Juice Cleanses

An experiment to find out the real benefits, and possibly consequences, of this particular health movement.

Ginger Juice Company
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It doesn’t take much to notice how powerful health consciousness has become in the past decade. Working out didn’t even become that popular until the second half of the twentieth century with figures such as Arnold Schwarzenegger coming onto the scene.

Yet, now it seems like if you aren’t a regular gym rat or you aren't only eating salads, you’re behind the rest of America.

I have always been very skeptical of the validity in all of these popular health movements. I can get on board with more veggies and less candy, but when people try and convince me that I’m living my entire life wrong because I still eat gluten, here’s where I draw a line. However, the whole “cleanse movement” has always intrigued me.

It makes sense to me that with all of the toxins I put into my body on a regular basis, it definitely could have a negative effect on my overall health. I love to eat, or as some of my family members would say, I live to eat. And a lot of the time, what I decide to put in my body is a decision more based on taste than the health benefits. The idea of being able to wipe out most of those toxins is very appealing. So, on a whim, this past week I decided to do a three-day juice cleanse courtesy of Ginger Juice (an all natural juice company based in Richmond, VA). It was way more expensive than I anticipated (around $170), but I decided to do it anyway.

Here is what the cleanse entails:

  • 7 AM: “Golden” + bottle of water
    • Contents: carrot, orange, grapefruit
  • 10 AM: “Glitzy” + bottle of water
    • Contents: apple, pear, pineapple
  • 12 PM: “Giving” + bottle of water
    • Contents: beet, pear, apple, lime, ginger
  • 2 PM: “Glorious” + bottle of water
    • Contents: romaine, cucumber, pineapple, cilantro
  • 5 PM: “Goodness” + bottle of water
    • Contents: kale, apple, celery, mint
  • 8 PM: “Glee” + bottle of water
    • Contents: almonds, alkaline water, local honey, cinnamon, dates, sea salt

(From left to right) Glee, Glorious, Golden, Giving, Glitzy, and Goodness

Also, something to note BEFORE you begin a cleanse: it is a really good idea to take a couple of days to eat as healthy as possible prior to beginning. It’s definitely difficult, especially if you aren’t used to eating healthy, but without some preparation, it will be nearly impossible to get through the first day. And try to begin on the weekend so that you can use the first day to ease your way into it without having to do a million things.

Results...

Day 1:

I’m not going to sugar coat it, I did not think I was going to survive that first day and the prospect of doing this for two more days seemed like utter hell. I did not get out of bed nearly the entire day. I had no energy, a headache, and terrible cramps. These could be the result of a multitude of things, but it also makes sense that these symptoms occurred. Also, I was peeing like crazy. Nearly every hour I was running to the bathroom. But, I’m sure you can probably guess that knowing I drank six bottles of juices a day AND nearly 6 bottles of water (sometimes I wouldn’t drink the whole water). The juices were also pretty hard to get down. Some of them I didn’t mind, but even if I did like it, an entire bottle of juice is hard to get down. Especially after you’ve had one, or two, or three bottles prior. But, I forced myself to get them all down because I know it’s good for me! At the end of the day, the thought of guzzling 12 more bottles made me want to vomit. I was told that it is okay to supplement the cleanse with fruits and veggies, so I snacked on some grapes before going to bed.

Day 2:

I definitely still felt lethargic, but not to the same extent as I had been the previous day. The other symptoms also lessened, including the number of times I had to run to the bathroom. And, as the day went on, I felt like I had more and more energy. My headache came back, but it wasn’t anything that Motrin couldn’t fix. I ended up only drinking about ¾ of the two green drinks, “Glorious” and “Goodness”, simply because I was not a fan of the taste. None of the drinks really tasted bad, but those two were my least favorite and I just couldn’t finish them. WARNING: The beet juice, “Giving”, is very strong. I didn’t mind it, but I can totally understand why some people would not like it at all. Throughout the day I also snacked on more grapes and had a banana to replace the ½ juice (combined) that I didn’t have. At the end of the day, I felt pretty good.

Day 3:

Waking up was extremely difficult, but then again, I’m also really not a morning person. But, once I woke up, I had a substantial amount of energy that only increased hour by hour. I’m not gonna lie, I definitely cheated and didn’t have the two green drinks, but I justified it with eating more grapes and bananas. By the end of the night, I had so much energy, I was up until 3 a.m. doing homework and studying for midterms. This was really unusual for me because I rarely go to bed past midnight.

After I completed the cleanse, I had also lost approximately 4 pounds. ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE: Try your best to continue eating healthy after the cleanse. It’s easy to justify eating crap by saying, “Well I earned it! I just did a three-day cleanse!”. That’s how you reverse your progress! In my case, I felt like it was easier to eat healthy after I had completed the cleanse because I didn’t care what I was eating, as long as it was food and I could chew it. So, if I didn’t care, it was easier to maintain eating healthy foods. Also, I have way less of an appetite than I had before I started.

Overall, I’m really glad I did the cleanse. It was extremely hard but I also have a sense of power knowing I got through it. But...

THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL I’M GOING NEAR JUICE FOR A LONG TIME.

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