It seems like every celebrity and fitness guru has promoted the positive effects of doing a juice cleanse. More and more companies are offering pre-packaged juice cleanses that promise to detoxify your body and remove build-up from scary “Franken-food”, manufactured in laboratories.
Juice companies promise extravagant health benefits, such as an improved immune system and extreme weight loss.
Unfortunately, a lot of these health claims are misleading, or just plainly not true. That’s why we’re here to bust the four most common myths about juice cleansing and detoxing.
People often believe when starting a juice cleanse you’ll instantly begin feeling great. But in actuality, the first couple days can be pretty rough. You’ll feel a little funky because your body is accustomed to excess sugar in your diet.
Your body will be dealing with letting go of your sugar addiction, which can be eight times more addictive than cocaine. Withdrawals can be brutal.
If you’re not feeling better by day three, you’re probably dehydrated. As you’re urinating so frequently because of your increased fluid intake, you really have to drink a lot of water to balance yourself out.
By day three or four, you might be feeling more energetic. Despite this, it’s a time to go easier on the exercise than you normally do. Since your body is already taking in fewer calories than usual, you don’t want to use up all your energy stores.
If you use up all your energy stores, your body will go into starvation mode, quick smart.
It’s okay to do some light cardio, but steer clear of the weight room. Your muscle strength is depleted during this time period, and you don’t want to overtax your body.
It’s commonly believed that a juice cleanse is a good way to lose weight. But in actual fact, the only weight you’ll lose on a cleanse will be as a result of your body using up its stored sugar reserves.
On a juice cleanse, you’re only consuming about 1200 calories a day, which is far below the amount a normal, healthy adult should consume.
You may shed pounds in the beginning of a cleanse, but this is often due to a loss of water. The loss of water weight also comes at the expense of muscle loss. Weight loss is not always about the numbers on the scale; it’s about the ratio of body fat compared to lean muscle mass.
Some juices made out of fruit can have even more sugar and calories than expected. Juicing fruits takes out their fibre content, which means your body doesn’t need to expend as many calories or work as hard to digest them. This results in a higher calorie load for your body.
After the juice cleanse is over, most people return to their normal eating habits – which, you guessed it, will make them gain all that weight back.
The fourth myth about juice cleanses is they boost the immune system.
The immune system works in such a way that it’s fortified by exposure to bacteria and viruses, which it uses to develop antibodies to those specific pathogens. As you may know, this is how vaccines work. Our bodies are exposed to a low amount of the disease-causing agent, and we build up a defense system to this particular strand of virus.
This means your immune system can’t be boosted by drinking juice. Nutritional deficiencies can certainly hurt immune functioning, but it doesn’t follow that consuming extra nutrients will make your immune system stronger.
Cleanses are often nutritionally insufficient, and may actually dampen your immune system and reduce your resistance to disease.
Your body naturally clears you out and detoxifies you. If you’re experiencing some kind of failure of your liver, kidneys, and intestines, this would be the only reason you’d need to repair these organs. This repair work can’t be done by a simple juice cleanse.
While adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is always a good thing to do, only drinking juice is not as beneficial as the celebrities and health gurus make it seem. In fact, it can do more damage to your muscle tone and exercise habits than it’ll do good for your belly fat.
Take caution when starting any new health regimen, and make sure you research the health claims the diet makes.
You can always start your detox off with a detox retreat from Yovada.
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