Juice Cleanse FAQ
Are you interested in a juice cleanse but have questions? Then you've come to the right place. We've put together a list of the most common questions people have about a juice cleanse.
A juice cleanse is a type of “detox” that involves consuming vegetable and fruit juice for a short period of time, such as one to three days. It is also sometimes called a juice fast. The concept of making juice from fruits or herbs for health benefits has been used through the ages. Fruits and vegetables are filled with vitamins and minerals, and juicing extracts those nutrients making them easier to digest compared to eating solid foods.
People who take advantage of regular juice cleansing seek:
- Better Health: Since fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients, drinking fresh juice boosts intake of vitamins, minerals, and other anti-inflammatory compounds that boost energy, immunity, and overall health
- Detox: Juice fasts are said to aid and possibly enhance the body’s natural process of removing various toxins
- Improved Digestion: Raw juice contains enzymes that may improve digestion. In fact, research shows a juice-based diet can alter intestinal bacteria to improve weight loss in as little as three days
- Jumpstart Healthier Habits: A successful juice cleanse can both physically and mentally help a person to transition to a healthier, more natural way of eating
- Weight loss: This is something that is commonly associated with a juice cleanse, but it is best to focus on the weight loss associated with a transition to a healthier way of eating and relationship with food
Vegan and gluten-free smoothies, and light snacks may be included in a cleanse for people who require more energy, are new to juice cleansing, or want to take a more laid-back approach. Someone who chooses to include any of these non-juiced items into their cleanse should use this list to help them make better choices:
- Raw, fresh juice made from fruits and vegetables
- Almond milk (or milk from other nuts)
- Gluten-free, vegan meals
- Vegetable broth
- Raw vegetables
- Processed foods
- Meat, poultry, or dairy
- Sugar and sweets
Short answer: No.
I know coffee drinkers just shed a tear. Some frequent coffee drinkers vehemently refuse to give up their morning “pick-me-up,” but it’s recommended that you slowly lower your intake of caffeine in the week leading up to your cleanse in order to take full advantage of its benefits. This could also be an effective way to reduce or eliminate your coffee intake.
Although there are many different types of juice cleanses and unlimited ways to customize your own personal cleanse, the “Troy’s Fresh Start Juice Cleanse” consists of five 16 oz bottles of freshly pressed juices and one 16 oz almond milk beverage. "Sweet Dreams."
Including “Sweet Dreams,” gives a slight boost in protein, fat, and sodium in order to allow you to end their day of cleansing comfortably which should facilitate their ability to fall asleep.
We offer two different levels of cleanses (discussed in detail below) that allow our customers to select the package that makes the most sense for them according to their current position and future goals. We also provide you with the option to customize your own personal cleanse package.
Like many things in life, what you get out of your cleanse is likely to be equal to what you put into it.
It can be an extremely beneficial experience both physically and mentally, but only if you commit and treat the experience with the respect it deserves.
This means preparing for the cleanse in a way that requires some self-reflection and honesty, staying committed and being diligent in your approach throughout the process, and coming out of the cleanse in a way that facilitates a healthy, gradual transition.
See How to Prepare, What to Do During a Cleanse and Breaking the Fast for more information on each step.
In this section, we will go through the pre, during, and post cleanse recommendations to help you get the most out of your juice cleanse experience.
Preparation is a vital aspect of the cleanse experience. For three to seven days before the cleanse, you will gradually eliminate certain foods, such as coffee, refined sugar, meat, dairy products, wheat, alcohol, and nicotine to reduce headaches, cravings, and other withdrawal symptoms. It is also recommended to increase your intake of fresh vegetables, fruits, and fluids during the pre-cleanse period. Your cleanse should be initiated after a transitional diet that is specific to your current eating habits. In short, the less healthy you eat the more you should prepare for your cleanse by starting with an improved diet. See below for a quick breakdown of some example diets and how people who currently identify with those dieting habits should prepare for their juice cleanse.
1. “Junk Food Addict”
You have a sweet tooth that does not quit, you regularly find yourself indulging in heavily processed and/or fast food, and you drink more soda than water.
We recommend a full 7 days of transitioning prior to starting any of our juice cleanses. Switch your current meals to healthier alternatives like breakfast scrambles, salads, grain bowls, and smoothies. Try to plan what you eat and stick to home-cooked meals or, if you’re lucky enough to live close to a restaurant that offers fresh, healthy meals like Troy’s, choose those types of establishments to supplement your home cooking.
2. “Classic American Diet”
You tend to gravitate towards the boxed pastas, microwaved meals, and classic easy meals like burgers or chicken nuggets and French fries. You try to fit in a smoothie or a salad occasionally, but fruits and veggies aren’t much of a priority.
Dedicate 5 days for a transition by planning your meals in advance and incorporating as many fruits and veggies as possible. Start to substitute one of your meals, like breakfast, with a smoothie. A side of fries could be replaced with a side of veggies.
3. “Weekend Warrior”
You stick to a healthy diet during the week but once Friday hits, you like to partake in the happy hour specials, indulgent Saturday dinners, and the heavy Sunday brunches.
For 3-4 days eliminate processed foods and alcohol you consumed over the weekend OR… just take a weekend off and focus on making healthier eating choices to prepare for your cleanse. Make plain or infused water your drink of choice and swap the junk food for healthy snacks like fruits, veggies, and/or nuts.
4. “Health Nut”
Look at you, you’re basically the picture of health! You blend a mean green smoothie and hunt for the latest superfood trends. But last week, you stopped and got fries instead of preparing a healthier snack. Well, it’s time to get back on track, Bucko!
Spend 1-2 days reminding your body what it feels like to eat clean. Keep your discipline!
How is the cleanse done correctly?
In terms of the actual juice cleanse program, we recommend you drink your first juice around the time that you would normally eat breakfast. Drink your juices slowly throughout your day. Aim for about two hours in between each juice. You can drink water in between juices if you are feeling hungry, but if you really want your next juice in less than two hours then go with what you feel! We also recommend giving yourself 1-2 hours between your last juice and bedtime.
How will I Feel?
While the goal of the cleanse is to improve health, you may not feel so great during the fast. Some symptoms might include headaches, hunger cravings, and mood swings. These are natural withdrawal symptoms that can be associated with the elimination of things like alcohol, sugar, and caffeine. This is what makes the preparation phase of the cleanse is so important. Now, I think we can all imagine that juice cleanse, being low in calories, could result in some hunger. We all know that hunger can lead to “hanger” and cause some illogical mood swings. It is natural but try to be aware of it so you don’t scare away your friends and family. Although these symptoms and others are expected to some varying degree Listen to your body! If your body is not responding well to the cleanse, add some food to balance out the juices. Be attuned to your body, only do what you can handle.
What can I do to make the experience more enjoyable?
It is also encouraged to take care of yourself in other ways during the cleanse. Exercise is good but stick to light physical activity like yoga or walking. Another thing to seriously consider is your stress levels. Stress has numerous negative effects on your physical health and could certainly impair any kind of detoxification. To mitigate stress during the cleanse (and in your life!), schedule 10-30 minutes to focus on deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and mindfulness meditation. This could also be the right time to treat yourself to a massage! Lastly, do not underestimate the importance of sleep (in general, but especially during your cleanse). Expert neuroscientists in the field of sleep research agree that seven hours of sleep is the absolute minimum a person should get each night to avoid negative immediate and long-term health effects. If you simply cannot seem to manage at least seven hours, then get as close as you can and try and take a 15-30 minute nap towards the middle of your day.
Breaking the Fast
The day after completing the cleanse, eat mainly vegetables, either raw or lightly steamed, and fruit or nuts. Portion sizes should be small, and the diet should be similar to what you did to prepare—no sugar, coffee, gluten-containing foods, alcohol, processed foods, or dairy.
The next day, include more plant foods, such as beans, brown rice, or quinoa. Continue to add back foods that you would like to have in your regular diet. By the fifth day after the fast, you should resume eating regular meals.
Some people use the days after a cleanse to try to identify their reactions to foods. To do this, keep a journal and reintroduce foods systematically, noting any changes in energy, digestion, cravings, or other symptoms.
For example, on the first day, gluten may be introduced in small amounts. Then note what happens over the 24 to 48-hour period after reintroducing each food.
What kind of juice cleanse is right for me?
If this is your first time doing a juice cleanse, we recommend starting with one day of the “Anytime Cleanse.”
This will provide you with a great variety of delicious, nutrient-packed juices to enjoy throughout the day while you give your digestive system a break and allow your body to focus on other key tasks.
We also recommend the single “Anytime Cleanse” to anyone who identifies with the “junk food addict” or “classic American diet” in order to ensure that your body isn’t making a dietary transition that is too extreme and could potentially increase likelihood of unfavorable side effects.
Once you have tried the “Anytime Cleanse,” you may want to take it to the next level and try a three day cleanse OR step up to the “Advanced Cleanse” which is much more nutrient dense, lower in calories, and comprised of all green juices.
We recommend thie "Advanced Cleanse" for anyone who eats a clean, plant-based diet and has at least some experience with juice cleanses.
The “Advanced Cleanse” is also available for a three-day cleanse, but we encourage people to do 1-3 individual days of this cleanse before embarking on this nutrition challenge.
For more information about the cleanse packages, see the “Juice Cleanses” page on our site.
A juice cleanse is not right for everyone. It should not be undertaken by children or if you are pregnant or nursing or you have diabetes or chronic liver, kidney, or gallbladder problems. Other concerns include:
- Kidney Stones: Many juices are made from dark, leafy greens and beets, two foods that are high in oxalate, which may cause kidney stones and other problems.
- Low Blood Sugar: The juice cleanse is low in calories and may cause low blood sugar, which can be dangerous for people with diabetes and hypoglycemia. Symptoms of low blood sugar include dizziness, fainting, weakness, shakiness, headaches, and hunger.
- Bacterial Infections: Drinking unpasteurized juice or juice that has not been otherwise treated to kill bacteria can make some people sick. This is particularly a problem for people will chronic illnesses, elderly people, and young children. If you are making your own juice, be sure to wash produce properly before juicing. Store unused juice in a tightly sealed container and drink within 24 hours.
In addition, the diet is low in calories and may temporarily boost weight loss, but it is unlikely to be sustained in the long term.
A juice cleanse can encourage long term weight loss and improved health by encouraging better eating habits, facilitating a healthier relationship with food, and encouraging improved mental discipline.
Incorporating regular, short cleanses into your life can help to maintain long term positive effects. For example, doing a 1-3 day cleanse every month or bi-monthly can help maintain positive effects and serve as a dietary “reset” both mentally and physically.
To maximize your long-term benefits, a juice cleanse should be accompanied by internal reflection on your relationship with food and how it serves you both physically and mentally.
Use this as an opportunity to improve your relationship with food and your body and seek to learn more about both.
Juice cleansing can serve as a powerful tool in your arsenal to help you on your path to better health and a happier life, but it is not a cure-all and can’t do the job alone.