What Does a Juice Cleanse Do? An In-Depth Guide

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past five years, you’re probably fairly familiar with the concept of juice cleansing. From celebrities to fitness instructors to your diabetic neighbor, practically everyone has at least dabbled in the world of cold pressed juice and juice cleansing. Cleansing the body with a regimen of cold pressed juice can be the key to unlocking a healthy body that functions at its prime. From weight loss to increased energy to clearer skin, juice cleansing offers a whole host of benefits for those brave enough to handle it. Of course, the decision to embark on a juice cleanse for any amount of time is not one to be taken lightly, as the side effects can be intense. So, what does a juice cleanse do and how do you know if it’s the right route for your body? Here, we’re going to answer these questions and offer you the tools you need to make an educated decision for your body.

What Is a Cold Pressed Juice Cleanse?

Before we dive into what a juice cleanse does, we first need to cover some of the basics. What, exactly, is a juice cleanse? Well, simply speaking, a juice cleanse is a protocol in which the participant consumes only juice for an extended period of time. This means no solid foods whatsoever, although there are, of course, exceptions to every rule. There are a variety of different juice cleanses out there, but the type of cleanse we’ll be focusing on here is a cold pressed juice cleanse.

Unlike juice that you may make at home using a centrifugal juicer, the cold pressed juice process uses absolutely no heat to extract juice from the pulp of a fruit or vegetable. A centrifugal juicer uses a blade to separate juice from the pulp, which can heat up your juice and potentially kill essential nutrients and enzymes. We prefer the cold pressed juicing method, which applies intense pressure to produce in order to extract juice and preserves 100% of the essential nutrients from the fruit or vegetable you’re juicing. It’s a much more pure form of juice that guarantees intact nutrients upon consumption.

So, let’s get back to juice cleansing. There are endless different types of cleanses out there, from the Master Cleanse to a cleanse that incorporates one healthy meal a day, to pure cold pressed juice cleansing for one, three or even five days. Depending on how toxic your body may be and what type of cleansing experience you’ve had in the past, we generally recommend starting with a one to three day cleanse.

The types of juices included in a cleanse can also vary greatly depending on your experience level and lifestyle. If you’re fairly new to cold pressed juice cleansing and don’t regularly consume juice, we may start you on a one day cleanse to prep your body, followed by a daily regimen of one cold pressed juice each morning. If you’re a seasoned juicer, we may prescribe a more intense three-day cleanse with low sugar juices that really rid the body of toxins. Again, it all depends on the individual, and cleanses can always be modified and customized to fit your specific needs and goals.

What Does a Juice Cleanse Do?

Now that we’re all on the same page in regard to what a juice cleanse is, let’s talk about what a juice cleanse does to your body. While individual experiences may vary, in general, the below breaks down what one can expect from a three-day cold pressed juice cleanse.

1. Allows your digestive system to rest — During a normal day of eating, our bodies are constantly working hard to digest our food and break it down into usable energy. This process is normal and healthy, but sometimes, when we overindulge, our digestive systems must work in overdrive to break down food. This process requires a ton of energy, and even more so when we’re not consuming the right foods. By consuming only cold pressed juice for a certain period of time, we allow our digestive systems to rest, freeing up energy to be used by vital detoxing organs like our liver and kidneys. These organs are then able to work even harder to detox our bodies at a faster rate.

2. Floods the body with vitamins and essential nutrients — Let’s be real, we all overindulge from time to time. It’s a normal, healthy part of life. However, when we make overindulging a habit, our bodies can become backed up with toxins, making our natural detox processes sluggish. By consuming only nutrient-rich cold pressed juice, we are flooding our bodies with readily-available vitamins, minerals and enzymes that can help to clear away those backed up toxins. Think of cold pressed juice like soap to dirty hands, helping to wash away the grime and keep the body’s internal systems running smoothly.

3. Acts as a reset button for overworked organs — While we fully support indulging in sweet treats from time to time, we do not condone making a regular habit of it. Like we said before, when we turn indulgences into regular, daily occurrences, we create blockages to our body’s normal detox processes. You can tell when your system isn’t functioning optimally because symptoms manifest as acne, eczema, lethargy, anxiety, constipation, the list goes on and on. A cold pressed juice cleanse is the perfect opportunity to reset your system after overindulging, allowing your body to clean itself out and get back on track.

4. Helps with bloating, constipation, and other digestive issues — Juice cleansing can be particularly beneficial for those experiencing digestive issues like constipation, bloating, nausea and even sugar cravings. By allowing the digestive system to rest and reset, we can relieve the effects of an unhealthy diet and get back on track. Daily cold pressed juice and probiotic supplements are also helpful for issues like these.

5. Clears up skin conditions — Suffering from acne, eczema, or other uncomfortable skin conditions? A cold pressed juice cleanse can potentially clear these up. Many skin conditions are a direct result of toxin build-up in the body. When our bodies become too toxic for our liver and kidneys to fully clear out, our bodies naturally turn to our skin to remove toxins. These toxins can manifest as acne, psoriasis, rosacea and other less-than-enviable conditions. Rather than slathering on topicals to cover up the problem, cold pressed juice cleansing works from within to rid toxins and clear up the skin.

Potential Side Effects

Nothing good comes without the not-so-good, and cleansing is no exception. Cold pressed juice cleansing can be an intense process for some people, depending on how quickly toxins are removed from the body. Side effects are normal, and may include:

  • Headaches
  • Lethargy
  • Anxiety
  • Moodiness
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness

It’s important to remember that, while these symptoms are not necessarily the most comfortable, they are temporary, and they’re all good signs that the body is working hard to rid itself of toxins. Generally, cleansers experience these symptoms for the first day to two days of a cleanse, but by the third day, after the body has gone through the bulk of the cleansing process, juice cleansing can be quite enjoyable. Many cleansers report the following benefits:

  • Clearer skin
  • More restful, deeper sleep
  • An easier time waking up in the morning
  • Increased energy
  • Increased mental focus and clarity
  • Decrease in unhealthy cravings
  • Better mood
  • Weight loss

Tips to Make Cleansing More Enjoyable

Now that you’re no longer asking yourself what does a juice cleanse do, perhaps you’re considering embarking on one yourself. We always recommend consulting with a cold pressed juice cleanse expert like those at Pure Green before beginning a cleanse program, and we highly recommend discussing this with your doctor as well. Once you’ve decided that a cleanse is right for you, keep the following tips in mind to get the most out of your cleanse and make it the most enjoyable experience possible.

  1. Try to break a sweat — While we don’t recommend intense physical activity while cleansing, sweating can help remove toxins from the body. Try sitting in a sauna while cleansing to break a sweat and help your body along in the process.

  2. Take it easy — Be gentle with your body during a cleanse and don’t push it. Make sure to get plenty of rest, refrain from any intense physical activity, and sit down when your body tells you it’s time for a break. Your body is already working hard during a cleanse, so be mindful of that process.

  3. Dry brush your skin — Dry brushing before a shower is another great way to move the cleansing process along by shedding dead skin cells from the surface layer of your skin. This can be done daily and takes no more than five minutes.

  4. Hydrate — Water is essential everyday, but especially during a cleanse.

  5. Take a day off — If it’s available to you, try to take a day off from work while cleansing, as the first couple of days may leave your brain foggy. If you can’t take time off, plan your cleanse during a long weekend so that you can stay close to home and rest as much as possible.

Megan Partridge