3 Day Juice Cleanse Side Effects — The Good, The Not-So-Good and Everything In Between
Depending on who your sources are, there are a lot of half-truths, exaggerations, and plain old lies floating around the internet on the subject of juice cleansing. Some tout cold pressed juice cleansing as the ultimate weight loss and energy fix, while others, who may have or have not embarked on a cleanse themselves, won’t touch a cold pressed juice with a ten-foot pole. If you’re looking for an article to support your personal opinions on the subject, you’re bound to find something that fits. But really, how helpful is that?
The truth is, there are so many factors that contribute to a cleansing experience, and 3 day juice cleanse side effects vary from person to person depending on these factors.
There is no way of knowing how your body will respond to a cleanse until you actually try one for yourself. There are, however, a few tried and tested factors we’ve pinpointed to help you prepare properly, or figure out what went wrong, when examining the side effects of a juice cleanse. Here, we’re going to dive deep into all of the factors that contribute to a positive, or not so positive, cleansing experience, how you can control them, and how you can set yourself up for success before and during your next cleanse.
The Science Behind Cleansing
Before we dive into the nitty gritty of cleansing, let’s lay down the groundwork. You may be wondering why, exactly, someone would want to do a cold pressed juice cleanse, and how the process works. The truth is, our bodies are constantly working to rid themselves of toxins, through vital organs like the liver, skin and kidneys (yes, your skin is an organ, and it’s important for detoxification). When we live toxic lifestyles that cause excessive amounts of toxin build-up in our bodies, these organs have to work in overdrive to keep up. They can become overwhelmed and stop functioning at their very best, which can lead to some rather unpleasant side effects. Side effects can range from mild headaches and sluggishness to severe gut bacteria imbalances and skin conditions like acne and eczema. Yikes! That’s where juice cleansing comes in. By cutting out solid foods and flooding your body with vital nutrients that these organs need to function properly, we allow our digestive systems to rest. The energy normally required to break down and digest our food, separating the nutrients from the rest, can now be used directly by these detoxification organs to clean up.
Think of it like this — Let’s say your kitchen is, well, not in great shape. You were doing a great job of tidying up after meals, washing dishes and emptying the garbage, but then one night you had a big party, and all of your cleaning habits went out the window. You tried to keep up with the dishes and trash, but it was simply too much to handle, and the mess just piled up. The next morning, you decide that, in order the get the mess under control, you’ll need to put off some other errands to focus on the task at hand. Everything else is put on hold while all of your energy and focus goes into de-cluttering the kitchen. It’s tiring and even a bit angering as you clean up, and things can get dirty. But, by the time you finish, you feel like a new person. Everything is in order and you feel much better equipped to take on the rest of your day.
This is exactly how juice cleansing works. Even the most health conscious among us let loose every once in awhile, over-indulging in desserts, alcohol or other unhealthy habits. One too many indulgences can put you overboard, and your body can no longer keep up. Things go haywire as your detoxification organs work in overdrive to clean up, and this can cause unpleasant side effects. By putting digestion on hold for a few days, all of your body’s energy can be focused on cleaning things up from the inside out. Yes, the process can be daunting, but by the end of it, you will feel (and look) your best.
The Importance of Prepping Before a 3 Day Juice Cleanse
One major factor in how you experience the side effects of a 3 day juice cleanse is the pre-cleanse prep. Yes, the actual cleanse only lasts for 3 days, but the truth is, you need to be preparing your body up to a week ahead of time to avoid a major crash. We’ve heard plenty of stories of cleanses gone wrong when someone with a very toxic lifestyle goes cold turkey and tries to cleanse without giving their body proper warning. We don’t recommend this, as it can lead to some hard-to-handle side effects, or even a failed cleanse, and nobody likes to fail.
Even the healthiest among us probably have one or two bad habits that we like to indulge in — and sometimes, we don’t even realize that our habits are negatively affecting our bodies and our cleansing experience. Take caffeine, for example. Many millions of people enjoy a cup of coffee to get them moving in the morning. A large percentage of coffee drinkers might also enjoy another cup in the afternoon to carry them through the afternoon slump. While this habit may seem innocent enough, if you attempt a juice cleanse without first cutting out caffeine from your diet a week in advance, you’ll surely be experiencing caffeine withdrawal symptoms including headaches, sluggishness and irritability. The same goes for sugar — if you’ve got a major sweet tooth and fail to tone down the habit prior to a juice cleanse, your body will definitely make it known that it’s not happy.
Unfortunately, many people who attempt a cleanse do not prep properly prior to their cleanse, and they experience moderate to severe side effects as a result. Of course, rather than looking to a relentless caffeine habit or sweet tooth, they blame their cleanse, and throw in the towel. Many of these side effects can be avoided with a proper cleanse prep regiment up to a week before your cleanse.
When It Comes to Cleansing, Take Baby Steps
In a similar vein, those who have never cleansed before, and decide to make their first cleanse a very intense and long one, may experience severe side effects that could have been avoided had they taken things slower.
We always recommend starting with a gentle cold pressed juice cleanse for first-timers. This can either be a one day cleanse with heartier juices, or a juice cleanse for the first two meals of the day with a light dinner consisting of mostly raw fruits and veggies, and a small portion of lean protein. Easing your body into detoxification is key. Otherwise, you risk overwhelming your system and enduring some unwanted side effects.
Think of it like exercising — if you have never lifted weights before, would you start by bench pressing 300 pounds? No, you would start small and work your way up to your goal. The same goes for cold pressed juice cleansing. Always start small, with a half day of juicing or one day with hearty vegetable juices mixed with fruit for energy. Work your way up to a full three-day cleanse slowly and you’ll reap all the benefits while avoiding many of the difficult side effects.
Be Gentle With Yourself During a 3 Day Juice Cleanse to Avoid Negative Side Effects
Our last piece of advice, and possibly the most important piece, is to be gentle with yourself while cleansing. Your body is working hard to detox itself during this time, and if you’re not resting throughout the day or getting enough sleep at night, you’re going to feel it. Trust us.
Whether you’re cleansing for one day or for five, don’t overdo it. We recommend only light exercise during a cleanse. If you normally run eight miles every morning, that’s fantastic! But tone it down during your cleanse so your body can use its energy for detoxifying, instead of repairing post-workout. If you work in a high-stress environment that is very physically or emotionally demanding, try to schedule a cleanse over a weekend, or take some time off to rest. Your body is fragile during this time, and it can easily be overwhelmed by physically or mentally consuming tasks. Do not attempt to go about your daily life as if it’s a normal day. Cleansing is a unique experience that should be treated as such, so be good to your body, and rest when you need it. You’ll thank yourself when it comes time to turn up the energy again.
Avoid the Side Effects and Reap the Rewards
As you can see, juice cleansing is not something to be taken lightly. We hate to hear about negative juice cleansing experiences, especially ones that could have been avoided with proper self-care and preparation. Before your next cleanse, please keep these tips in mind so you can have the best experience possible and avoid unwanted side effects. And remember, we’re always here to help, anytime you need!