Cleaning up isn’t just for your home.
It can be for your gut, too, by way of a cleanse. Juice cleanses and cleanses in general have been around for a while, popular amongst models and influencers but also those who want to detox and introduce more fruits and veggies into their diet.
We also know that there are pros and cons to a cleanse, especially when done incorrectly, for too long a period or for the wrong reasons, like extreme weight loss.
That’s why we chatted with registered dietitian Mia Syn, MS, RDN, to help explain the do’s and don’ts of a cleanse and how to detox responsibly.
Then, we listed some of our tops picks for you to try, going for a full cleanse or as a nice, refreshing addition to your diet for a boost of nutrients.
Read on for the full scoop, or choose a section to jump to:
What is a juice cleanse?
A juice cleanse can be all-in or gradual, but the base is typically fruit and vegetable juice blends, packed with leafy greens like kale and spinach and other nutrient-dense foods like carrots, beets, green apple, lemons and more.
The purpose for many is to “detox” the body by flushing out any processed foods, only introducing raw and organic fruits and veggies for the duration of the cleanse. In many cases, that is why you are permitted to snack on specific foods in non-juice form if you get hungry, which also helps if you have a need to chew.
The purpose of a cleanse should not be to lose weight, as this type of calorie deficit is not sustainable and can lead to poor nutrition and eating habits. That is also why it is only recommended to do a cleanse for a few days at most, following the proper before- and after-care listed below.
A juice cleanse can also be more gradual, with juices being consumed between small meals throughout the day. This type of eating helps give the body a boost of fruits and vegetables without depriving it (or you!) of other things like protein, carbs and healthy fats. This way of drinking juices is also less restrictive and easier to maintain, making it a great option to test the waters.
How should I prepare my body before a cleanse?
Even though you may miss your cheeseburgers for a bit, eating a huge meal before starting a cleanse isn’t a great idea.
“To make a cleanse less of a shock to the body, you can start easing in by adjusting
your diet accordingly. Eliminate or reduce stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol, foods high in sugar and fat as well as refined carbohydrates,” said Syn.
What should I do after the cleanse is over?
Similarly, ending a cleanse isn’t the end of your health journey either, should you want the feel-good effects to actually last. While continuing to avoid alcohol and caffeine, Syn listed some additional tips for coming out of the cleanse, too.
“After a cleanse, focus on nutritious whole foods such as the same fruits and vegetables
in their whole form, whole grains and lean proteins,” said Syn. “Avoid foods that are high in fat or added sugar. As you reintroduce foods, continue to stay hydrated.”
Are there any safety concerns in doing a juice cleanse?
As with any change to your diet or restrictive eating, the first thing to note is if you are physically and mentally healthy enough to participate. Those who aim to lose weight quickly or replace food entirely should not try a juice cleanse, as it can be a slippery slope to disordered eating. Also, for those of whom are pregnant, nursing, underweight or those with any health conditions, a trip to the doctor or nutritionist is advised before altering your diet.
“The low calorie and low protein content of juice can also cause low blood sugar leading to headaches and dizziness,” warned Syn. “Also, important to note — typically when the body is restricted of calories, they are regained, so a juice cleanse is not a sustainable eating pattern for someone seeking weight loss.”
Another concern is duration. Syn suggests no more than three days, and to make sure to listen to your body and eat whole foods when needed at any point.
Review: The best juice cleanses and companies to try in 2023
1. Raw Generation
For an array of tasty juices and cleanses to choose from, turn to Raw Generation. They use only 100% raw, plant-based ingredients you can see right on the label, with green juices, beets, carrot and more. They also offer the option to build your own box, choosing flavors and ingredients you love, that are then shipped directly to your door.
Flavors: Sweet Greens (apple, kale), Cool Greens (pineapple, cucumber), Tart Greens (apple, spinach), Citrus Carrot (orange, carrot) and Sweet Roots (apple, beet).
Our review: We have a super in-depth breakdown of the service here, but for a quick taste test, here is what you need to know. I personally liked the non-green flavors the best, which were fresh and a bit sweeter than the greens, offering a nice break throughout the day. Out of the three greens flavors, I started and ended the day with the Sweet Greens drink, made of apple and kale.
I loved how the labels also included the ingredients in an easy-to-read way, noting what exactly comprises a “Tart Green” or a “Sweet Root.” In my trial, I drank these in addition to my normal diet, as a way to include more nutrients to my diet, but there are plans for weight loss and other needs in which you can consult your doctor about if they are right for you.
- Six flavors that span green, citrus and sweeter flavors like beet
- Great packaging with ingredients on the front
- Keep in the freezer until ready to drink, then thaw and drink up to 24-hours later
- Great for nutrient addition to meals or as a cleanse
- A lot of weight-loss messaging (this may be a pro for some, but take caution)
- Only six flavors, so it may get boring
2. Suja Organic
Suja Organic specializes in cold-pressed, organic juices you can take on the go. Sold on Amazon, they sell both juices and shots, which are smaller and easier to add into any diet for a boost of nutrients.
Flavors: Vibrant Probiotic (strawberry, raspberry), Uber Greens (cucumber, celery), Mighty Dozen (apple, celery), Celery Juice and Fuel (carrot, orange). Also includes digestion shots (ginger, pineapple)
Our review: These juices really taste like juice, as opposed to a health drink or something you need to be forced to drink. The cold-pressed juices are all different, with varying amounts of juice percentage, calories and sugars depending on the flavor. Again, I added these to my normal diet, as opposed to only drinking juice, and felt that it was a super easy addition to my meals as a tasty drink or post-work pick-me-up when I felt my blood sugar dropping.
The packaging is also super compelling, as it tells you exactly what is inside, plus the juice percentage on the back. The juices come cold and are made to keep in the fridge for five days.
- A ton of flavors to choose from, plus immunity shots
- Very delicious taste, just like a normal fruit juice for some flavors
- Easy to add into your diet
- Offers cleanses and just juices to add into your life
- Wellness messaging, as opposed to weight
- Light feeling, not thick like a smoothie
- Immunity shots are fun to take and taste pretty great
- Some flavors have higher amounts of sugar, juice and calories, so pay attention to the labels if that matters to you.
3. Your Super
If you don’t have room in the fridge or freezer for a bunch of bottles, these drink mixes are a great alternative from Your Super. The Detox Bundle has a months supply of each powder, with five flavors and combinations to help get you feeling on top of your game.
Flavors: Gut Feeling (celery, lemon, ginger), Golden Mellow (turmeric, coconut milk), Super Green (wheatgrass, spirulina), Forever Beautiful (chia, açaí) and Skinny Protein (pea protein, hemp protein)
Our review: Okay, so this is actually not a traditional juice cleanse, but rather a mix of protein powder, smoothie powders and other health drinks that all work together to detox. Because of that, we decided they fit in this roundup, as they offer similar benefits of adding nutrients to your diet through liquid.
I liked how each formula had a different way to use it, so I didn’t get tired of just juice or only smoothies. The Gut Feeling and Super Green can be mixed with water as a juice or shot, the Golden Mellow is like a latte powder, and the Forever Beautiful and Skinny Protein are smoothie add-ins. The 5-Day-Detox set also comes with a pamphlet that outlines how to use each mix, as well as provides a grocery list for smoothies, salads and more to eat throughout the five days (or as you want, like I did!)
- Not a “just-juice” cleanse, but a mix of smoothie, latte and drink mixes
- Easy-to-store and use containers of the powders that are shelf stable
- Wellness messaging, as opposed to weight-focused
- Nutrients for more than just digestion, like skin and hair radiance, hormone and mood support
- Very concentrated flavor, so a little goes a long way
- You will need a blender for the smoothies, and milk for the latte mix (optional)
- Not a traditional juice cleanse
- Can be powdery when drank alone or in milk — better with an electric frother or shaker bottle
4. Good Stuff Juices
We got the good stuff. Good Stuff Juices is also sold on Amazon, shipping to your door and ready to pop in the freezer until ready to drink. They sell both a three-day and a five-day cleanse package, but you can stock up and sip your juices whenever you feel the craving for cold-pressed and organic fruits and veggies.
Flavors: Summer Shine (pineapple, kale), Mint Melon (watermelon, mint), Candy Apple (apple, carrot, ginger), Lemon Ginger Blast (lemon, ginger, celery) and Granddaddy Grapefruit (grapefruit, pear).
Our review: These flavors are amazing! That was my first thought when unboxing the juices (and sticking them directly in the freezer — note: you need to drink these within 24 hours of being thawed, so this does take some planning!) They included some of my favorite fruits like pear, watermelon and even grapefruit, so I knew these would be great.
Again, I only added these to my diet instead of doing a full cleanse, but since they taste delicious it was easy to add them to my meals as my drink, replacing soda and other artificial beverages for me fully. The Mint Melon flavor was my favorite, reminding me of a summer day, but all the flavors are truly fresh and taste just like the ingredients labeled on the front of each bottle.
- Very yummy taste, fresh fruits and citrus are extremely potent
- Great array of flavors that make it easy to incorporate into everyday
- Mostly wellness language and less weight-focused
- Options for a three- or five-day cleanse to fit your schedule
- Packaging includes ingredients that are easy to read and understand
- Kept frozen, so you need to remember to thaw first and then drink within 24-hours of being unthawed
- Some weight-focused language, should that be triggering
5. Remedy Organics
Want a remedy for when you open your fridge and nothing healthy is ready to grab and go? Try Remedy Organics. The brand is also available on Amazon and has a variety of wellness shakes, Keto shakes, immunity shots and more to stock your fridge with. They also have a full three-day holistic cleanse, coming with 18 wellness shakes and 12 immunity shots, all made with 100% plant-based ingredients.
Flavors: Cacao Essentials (chocolate), Berry Immunity (strawberry), Golden Mind (tumeric, ginger), Matcha Fuel (matcha), Blue Essentials (spirulina) and Super Chai Fuel (chai).
Our review: Oh how fun it was to switch to a shake! Even though this isn’t a juice, it was still a cleanse and so I felt it fits the bill for the sake of this article. The shakes came on ice, and were then stored in the fridge until I was ready to drink. My two favorites were the more breakfast-y flavors anyway, and so enjoying the Matcha Fuel and the Super Chai Fuel in the morning instead of my coffee was an easy swap that left me feeling full and ready for the day — plus they both have 12 grams of protein and prebiotics, too!
- Sophisticated flavors that are easy to incorporate into breakfasts and other meals like matcha and chai
- A lot of protein, perfect as a meal replacement for some or a great addition for those that need more protein in their diets
- Contains a prebiotic, recommended by the expert above
- Easy-to-read packaging with protein content and ingredients front and center
- Kept in the fridge and ready to drink, or in the freezer to last longer
- Keto friendly, dairy-free, gluten-free shakes
- A bit of a chalky consistency, as these are more along the lines of a protein shake than a juice cleanse
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By: Ny Post