Side Effects of Juicing, the Blueprint Cleanse, and Juice Fasts
A Day's Worth of Juices Wait to Be Consumed
What to Expect When You Cleanse
Deciding to undertake a juice cleanse, whether it's for 1, 3, 5 or 10 days, is a big decision, and one that requires determination, so good for you!
Maybe it's the fear of unpleasant or uncomfortable side effects — maybe even just the fear of being hungry — that has kept you from trying a juice cleanse or the popular Blueprint Cleanse from New York City. To help you decide if you can stomach a juice cleanse, here is a summary of common side effects. Done right, you should be able to reap all the promises of juice fasting without getting so freaked out by side effects of the juice cleanse that you stop cold turkey, or limit your intake of super healthy, all-important green juices.
Many practitioners recommend that you get a colonic or self-administor an enema or other such treatment to be sure that you get the full benefit of any cleanse and eliminate the most toxins possible. Colonics or a colon cleanse help with detox.
You break out: Pimples and blemishes are a very common side effect of a juice cleanse. "Wait!" You say. "I'm being healthy for a change, pumping myself full of vitamins and nutrients, not eating chocolate and french fries and junk!" That is true; you are being healthy. And that can be a shock to the system. Just as you pee a lot on the cleanse, passing toxins out of your body through urine, so you also pass toxins out through your skin. Skin is a person's largest organ, and as the bad stuff leaves your body, it leaves its mark: a pimple. Sad, but true. Knowing this, consider if your cleanse will come right before an important party or event, and if so, can you cleanse sooner so you can be sure you have clear skin.
You pee a lot: This side effect is easily understood. All you are putting in your body is liquids, so you will be passing many more liquids than you do on a day of "normal" eating. Don't worry if it is too much; you are passing out toxins in your urine. Nor should you worry that you "aren't peeing enough." If you drink only juices, water and herbal and teas as instructed, the pee will come, and there is no chance that you are anything less than very well hydrated!
You get very cold: Every time I've done a juice cleanse, I am inexplicably cold. Hot showers help banish a cold that is bone-deep, but knowing that a shower will end the cold is no help if you are at work. Plan to be cold while you cleanse. Dress warmly and bring extra layers, and sip hot herbal tea throughout the day.
You are constipated: Though a juice cleanse pumps tons of nutrients into you — the equivalent of several pounds of fruits and vegetables in each juice — you are consuming produce in juice form, which means without the natural fiber that comes in skin, seeds and fibers. Fiber is what scrubs your colon clean from the inside-out, so with less fiber in your diet, you may not have to go as much. This may run counter to your expectations before you started the cleanse, but some constipation is a side enough occurance on a juice cleanse.
You have diarrhea: This, too, can happen when you do a juice cleanse. Juicing is kind of like hitting the brakes on a speeding car — all at once you stop doing very bad things for your body like drinking, smoking, eating refined sugar and hard-to-digest meat, and you start doing very little, just drinking juice. A juice fast gives your liver and digestive systems a much-needed break, and during the pause in your shoveling processed and unhealthy foods into your body, your body will turn to the bad foods you have recently put into it. Mayhem, and diarrhea, could ensue. Don't worry. Try thinking about it as a fast track to expelling toxins from your body. The cleanse at work!
Headaches. Headaches are among the most common side effects of a cleanse. The headache could come in part from caffeine withdrawal — caffeine is forbidden when cleansing (except for minor amounts found in green tea). Headaches can also be an accompaniment to your body working so hard to rid itself of toxins.
You have low energy: On a juice cleanse, you are consuming far fewer calories than you usually ingest, and that can result in low energy. Of course, plenty of people who do a juice cleanse claim increased energy levels, so it is hard to tell which reaction you will have. You might have low energy one time you cleanse and increased energy another time, or you may experience both at different times during one 3-day cleanse. Relax; it is normal to feel tired or lightheaded when you do a juice cleanse.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.