Fact or Myth: Can a Juice Cleanse Jumpstart Your Metabolism?

This is a MYTH…

healthy juiceThe only thing a juice cleanse jumpstarts is your commitment to turning around your health and diet. A juice cleanse can actually have the exact opposite effect and slow down your metabolism. Here’s why:

Juices are full of vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients, but they are pretty much devoid of protein. Your metabolism needs protein in order to be firing on all cylinders. Without a sufficient amount of protein every day your metabolism slows way, way down.

A juice cleanse can push your body into “starvation mode,” where it shuts down your metabolism in order to conserve calories, energy, and fat because it doesn’t know when it’s going to get its next dose of fuel (ahem, protein). Your body quickly burns through the sugar provided from your juice cleanse, and then starts burning through lean muscle, not fat, in order to conserve energy.

Will you lose weight on a juice cleanse? Of course! Any calorie-restrictive diet will result in some pounds lost, but that weight will pile back on once the juice cleanse is over, in part because your metabolism has been altered. You also open yourself up to developing nutritional deficiencies the longer you follow the juice cleanse.

What About Detoxification?

There is no scientific proof that a juice cleanse actually aids detoxification. Your body already has an innate detoxification system—it’s called your kidneys and liver. Juice cleanses cause you to ease up on the junk food and processed food and thereby give your digestive system a rest. It’s not the juice so much as the elimination of processed foods that helps clean out your body.

So why not go the safer route and forego the junk food in favor of whole food? Or go on a mini juice cleanse for one meal only. Anything more frequent and make sure you’re getting adequate protein by adding a scoop of Greek yogurt or some protein powder in with your juice.