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Is juicing really for me?

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Planning a New Year’s cleanse? Thinking of jumping on the juicing bandwagon to see if it really does help you lose weight and feel more energised? Juicing might be on trend at the moment, but is it really necessary? Is it really worth it to deny your body of solid foods? With more and more people deciding to take this route, it’s worth finding out if it’s really the right one.

What is a juice detox?

A juice detox, also know as “juicing” is when normal, solid foods are exchanged for liquids only. Juicing can last anything from 1 day to a month and consists normally of fresh fruit and vegetable juices as well as herbal teas and broths. Coffee, caffeinated teas, milk, soda and protein powder drinks are also a no-go.

Why the big attraction?

Detoxing is claimed to be a good way of increasing your income of nutrients. As well as this, by liquidizing your fruit and veg you remove the fiber they contain, said to give your body a chance to spend less energy digesting and more time cleansing and removing toxins. It’s also claimed to improve energy, aid in weight loss and resolve headaches, muscle aches and fatigue. So why wouldn’t anyone want to detox right? Hmmmm maybe not…

Ok what’s the downside?

Of course the obvious downside is that you’re going to be hungry. If you’re someone with a big appetite, you could even go as far as saying starving. And this can have bad effects on your sleep and concentration levels.

You and I both know, a Free Athlete needs energy. And lot’s of it. Juicing, however means cutting out your body’s main energy supply: Food. Making it highly unlikely you’ll be able to perform anywhere near as good as usual when on a detox. As for a PB…definitely out of the question.

Most importantly…is it worth the hunger?

Most experts agree that juicing is actually pretty unnecessary for ridding your body of toxins. Your body cleanses itself naturally. So there is no need for you to stop eating solids altogether. You’re more likely to put your body through even more stress doing this.

If you’re looking to lose weight, a juicing detox is definitely not the answer. Not in the long-run anyway. You lose weight, yes, but the biggest part is a result of losing water which will return as soon as you begin to eat normally. The other part is a mix of fat and valuable muscle mass. Wouldn’t it be a pity, to lose your hard earned muscles?

But if I were to try it, what should I keep in mind?

Aside from all the downsides, it’s a pretty good way of strengthening your willpower and learning real self-discipline. So if you do really want to try it, always remember: fresh it best! Make your own juices so you know exactly what’s in them and to suit your taste. Plus: You save a lot of money when making your own juices as bottled detox juices are totally overpriced – although the producers claim to use a special process which make the juice even more valuable. But what can be more valuable than nature itself? Use fresh vegetables- especially green to add a little more protein- with some fruit to add flavour. Just not too much fruit. You don’t want to overdo it on sugar. Use lemon, lime, berries, or even sweet vegetables like beetroot or yellow bell peppers. Try to drink at least 3 litres of juice a day, and plenty of water.

And if you try it, don’t go overboard. One to three days can be a good experience for your mental strength. One week is very borderline dangerous regarding health and loss of muscle mass. Everything beyond is simply unhealthy.

Training and juicing don’t go together. Your body won’t have the fuel it needs to complete a workout. Best to take a break during your detox.

Before you decide to try out any diets on the market remember this: Doing a detox for a short time won’t wash away the sins you accumulate all year long, especially if you’re just going to continue after the detox. Quick fixes won’t work. Don’t follow trends just for the sake of it. Your body is unique. Unlike any other. Take care of it. Listen to it. Treat it with respect. Do what’s right for you and no one else. All year round.