Juicing is so hot right now.
And I mean juicing of the liquid beverage sort, sorry for all my bros out there thinking that I might be talking about the resurgence of performance enhancing drugs. Sorry guys, we’re not talking about steroids. Nope. We’re talking about the fresh-squeezed juice craze that has been sweeping across the nation and even into small tourist towns in Costa Rica.
On a recent trip down to Nosara, a surfing getaway located on a remote part of Costa Rica’s Nicoya’s peninsula, I saw 3 brand new juicing cafes. It seems like every yoga studio now offers a 5-day juice cleanse to compliment the sun salutations.
There is no denying juicing is all over the place. Especially as we get into the summer months, it’s only going to heat up even more. Now while I don’t have any problems with juicing in and of itself, what I do have a BIG PROBLEM with the way juice detoxes are promoted.
What the Heck are Juice Detoxes Anyway?
A juice detox, sometimes referred to as a juice cleanse, refers to a number of days in a row where you do nothing but consume juice. No food. Just juice. Juice for breakfast, some more juice for lunch, and yup, you guessed it, another juice for dinner.
Why would someone do this? Well, according to one of the most popular juice detoxes on the market, the claims are quite extensive:
- Detoxifies the body from pervasive environmental pollutants
- Cleans out the colon and digestive tract and improves digestion
- Substantially increases physical energy and longevity
- Rapidly sheds unwanted weight
- Increases skin elasticity and vibrancy
- Gives the organs a much-needed rest
- Boosts the immune system
- Cleanses the blood of impurities, yeast and parasites
- Cultivates a desire for healthy foods
- Kick-starts the metabolism
- Improves sleep and rejuvenation patterns
- Improves mental clarity and focus
- Kicks unwanted addictions
- Cleanses emotional toxins
- Catalyzes Spiritual awakening and a deeper connection to Source
That list is extensive. That sounds great, where do I get my…..OH SHIT – 5-day supply is $650!! That’s right, $650 for 5 days! WTF?
Maybe your skeptic radar is going off right now, juicing can do all these things, really??
Well, no, juicing actually doesn’t do any of those things. Unfortunately, there’s no evidence to back up any of these claims. It’s mostly all bullshit.
The truth is this:
There is zero scientific backing to juicing and it’s detoxifying effects on the body and it’s precisely why one of the most respected companies in the fitness industry wrote this article – Detoxes – an undefined Scam.
The main point is that we all have a perfectly good detoxifying mechanism in the body – it’s called a liver. Now while drinking fresh squeezed juices will certainly give your body nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants, there is no logical rationale behind the cleansing effect.
Why then, if juice detoxes have zero scientific backing, are they so god-damn popular?
Easy answer – Short-term weight loss.
People go on a juice cleanse and all of a sudden they are 5 lbs lighter. They tell their friends. And let’s not forget about the appeal of doing a 5 day juice cleanse — seems easier to grind it out for 5 days VS actually doing the work of building good healthy habits which will certainly take more than 5 days.
Losing Water Weight From Muscle = Bad News
Here’s the big problem with juice detoxes. Most of the weight loss is nothing more than water weight and muscle tissue. We all store carbohydrates in muscle cells (it’s called glycogen). Glycogen helps you retain water. For every gram of glycogen, you hold onto 3 or 4 grams of water. When you start dramatically restricting calories, you quickly burn through glycogen stores in your muscle tissues and you excrete all the water that binds to the glycogen.
All of sudden, you’ve dropped 5 lbs on the scale, but it’s not real fat loss. It’s mostly water weight associated with the loss of glycogen and muscle tissue. We’ve written all about how we should all Throw Out Our Scales and how The Scale Doesn’t Tell the Full Story.
Once you eat your next big meal with any decent amount of carbohydrates, all that water weight will return. And without protein in your diet, your body will turn to muscle tissue and break that down for energy. This is not good. Muscle is what keeps your metabolism high. Muscle is what makes you look great naked. Muscle is what allows you to do amazing things with your body. Muscle protects bones. Losing muscle is never a good idea.
Losing Weight From Fat Tissue = Good News
FAT loss on the other hand occurs when you actually break down fat tissue and become a leaner version of yourself. This is what you want. Juicing has NOTHING to do with fat loss. Fat loss occurs through following a few basic rules, one of them is eating real food to fuel your metabolism, and the other is lifting weights to preserve muscle tissue.
Additional Shitty Side-Effects of Juice Detoxes
Not only are juice detoxes not effective at what they claim to do. And not only do they give you a false sense of progress through water and muscle loss, but there’s also the fact that doing a juice cleanse will severely impact your energy levels and make it nearly impossible to train hard in the gym or do any physical activity that you love to do.
There are 3 energy systems in the body. One of the major energy systems that powers us through intense exercise or any kind of moderate demand relies heavily on breaking down glycogen (it’s called glycolysis for those curious). Without stored glycogen in your muscles or your liver, you literally have nothing in the gas tank. If you’ve ever heard of long-distance runners “bonking”, or running into a wall, that is the sensation of running out of glycogen. Your brain goes into conservation mode and muscles don’t work as they normally would. So, if you want to do any moderate exercise, you are going to struggle big-time while on the juice cleanse.
The other issue with juice cleanses is that they are absurdly expensive. $650 for 5 days of juice, WTF?! If you have the money to spend on juicing, you’ll be much much better off spending that money on high quality food instead.
So What To Do?
If you have the cash to spend on getting a juice every now and then, knock yourself out and get a juice. Or better yet, buy a juicer and do it yourself. I have a juicer and as much of a pain in the ass it is to clean, I make a juice maybe once a week. It’s great. I get a blast of vitamins and minerals. I feel great. But you know what else I do to feel great and fuel my body – I eat food, and lots of it.
So please don’t do a juice cleanse, OK?
Here’s Your Chance
If you want to really get results with your fitness goals, especially around real fat loss, you need to know the right things to do. It isn’t super complicated, but there are some basic rules you need to follow. And the most important part of getting real results for YOU is doing what works for you.
Not what works for your brother or sister.
And certainly not what the instagram model turned fitness coach proclaims.
Here’s some good news – we can help you right now.
We’re opening up a few spots in our online coaching program where you’ll learn exactly what you need to do in order to get serious results. Our individualized coaching program will get you there. And the best part about it is that you wont have to eat chicken breast every day or hit the gym for hours. It’s actually quite simple so long as you follow a few basic rules.
We’re only opening a few spots in order to keep the coaching as high quality as possible. The cool part is that when we work with clients for a few months (we only offer 3 or 6 months programs), they don’t need us anymore. It’s not great from a business perspective, but we’re cool with that. I like to think of it as an abundance mindset.
If you’re interested, write us a quick message to firstname.lastname@example.org with “coaching” in the subject line and we’ll get you all the details.
I hope to talk soon..