What is a 3-day juice detox and should you try it for better health and weight loss? The hype of juice cleanses and detoxes is one that never seems to end as every few months, someone comes up with a few recipes and claims that they are the magic you have been missing in your life. But are such claims true? Are these juices the end all be all of perfect health, immunity, and weight loss or is this just another sales gimmick?
What Is A 3-Day Juice Detox Plan?
Also referred to as a 3-day detox juice cleanse, this is a fasting ‘diet plan’ that involves the consumption of nothing but raw fruit and vegetable juices for 72 hours straight. The juicing process is done with the help of a juicer that squeezes all the juice from the said fruit and veggies – you do not consume the pulp.
What Are Some 3-Day Juice Detox Benefits?
With the rise in popularity of juice detoxes and cleanses, the one question that many who are curious about this trend ask is ‘what does a 3 day detox do to the body?’. Does it have any benefits or is it just another fad weight loss and health plan sold to us by celebrities and other influencers?
Please note that due to the very limited research into juice-based diets, these are potential and not guaranteed benefits:
- Improved general well-being. According to a small study published online in 2017, researched found that consuming only vegetable/fruit juices for 3 days may lead to gut microbiome changes and improved “general well being” (6).
- Boosting your immunity. Juices made from fresh vegetables and fruits have a lot of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which, when consumed will help support your immune system helping you fight diseases better.
- Increased energy levels. According to verywellhealth.com some people may experience a boost in their energy levels after a 3-day juice detox. The theory behind this is that not only will you be more hydrated – dehydration causes fatigue – but your body will be filled with energy-boosting nutrients from fruits and vegetables (7).
- Weight loss. This is one of the most common answers that come up whenever someone poses the question ‘what is a 3-day juice detox for?’ While it is true that people often see significant weight loss results on such a fasting diet, it is important to note that not only is this water loss and not fat loss, but also that such results are only short-term and not sustainable in the long-term (10).
- Detoxification. Just like the name suggests, many look to this fasting diet with the hope that it will help them get rid of toxins from their bodies through the consumption of certain fruits and vegetables that are believed to naturally do this.
An important thing to note is that while many believe that the 3-day juice detox recipes will enable them to rid themselves of toxins, science does not necessarily agree with this. In-fact, some researchers strongly believe that until we can find proper means to test whether detox diets actually improve bodily function via eliminating toxins, this theory cannot be trusted or verified (4).
Also, all of these benefits can be derived from simply eating more fruits and vegetables – you don’t have to do a juice cleanse to see improvements in your health and well-being.
Read More: Celery Juice Detox: Does It Work?
How To Do A 3-Day Juice Detox For The Best Results?
If you would like to try this detox to see if you can reap any benefits from it, here are some things to do before, during, and after the fast.
- Talk to your doctor. Always discuss major diet changes (even temporary ones) with your doctor first. It may or may not be safe for you based on your medical history, and there may be considerations you need to take based on your individual circumstances.
- Prepare yourself mentally and physically. As seen this is a fasting diet that requires you to live on a liquid diet for 72 hours. You will very likely be hungry throughout and may experience other undesirable side effects. Be sure to also wean yourself off refined foods, sugar, and coffee at least a week before your detox starts.
- Buy all your ingredients. All 3-day juice detox recipes require you to have an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables at hand. Remember that you will also be drinking about 5 to 6 juices a day. Make sure to get and properly store all the fruits and vegetables that think you will need during this time. If you have the time, be sure to prep and store them in the fridge, ready for juicing.
- Eat something. It is not customary to eat or drink anything other than the juices during this period. However, we would advise you to at least supplement this fast with lots of water, broth, salads, and smoothies if possible. This detox weight loss diet is extremely low in calories.
- Slowly introduce food. You might attempt to binge and overeat after your 72 hours are up but this is a horrible idea. Once your detox is done, slowly introduce food back to your diet by snacking on fruit and eating smaller portions.
What Is The Best Juice 3-Day Detox Cleanse?
While many people, websites, and videos may tell you that they have cracked the code and figured out the best 3-day juice detox, in truth there is no such thing. This eating plan is most definitely a starvation-type diet that should really not be attempted by anyone. Please note that:
- If you are using the 3-day juice detox as a weight loss hack, there are other healthier ways to do this. Please remember that healthy and sustainable weight loss is only achievable through long-term lifestyle, exercise, and dietary changes (15) – something that cannot come about on the 3-day juice detox weight loss plan.
Instead of trying this fasting fad diet to lose weight, try instead to make healthier eating choices like going on a calorie deficit, eating healthier foods, practicing intuitive eating and working out at least 3 times a week.
- If you are using this juice cleanse as a means to detoxify your body, you can do the same through much healthier ways that do not require you to only live on fruit and vegetable juices – as well as water – for 72 consecutive hours.
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Safe And Healthy Detox Methods
Some of these safe and healthy full body detox methods include:
Stop Drinking Alcohol
Before diving head first into a 3-day juice detox, try quitting alcohol for a week or two. Not only is alcohol generally bad for you, but it also quite negatively affects the liver.
Remember that the body has its own detoxifying system with each organ and tissue contributing in some form or the other to this process. That being said, the liver is our main detoxification organ – followed by the kidneys (3). Quitting alcohol not only gives your liver the chance to work better but it will also lower your risk of alcohol-related liver diseases (1).
Drink More Water
Water has much more benefits than just keeping you hydrated. According to a study in the Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology journal, water works with the body to help with regulating your body temperature, joints lubrication, aiding digestion and nutrient absorption, and detoxifying your body (5).
The detoxification process is done through the removal of waste products through processes such as urination, breathing, sweating, and more (14). If you are unsure about how much water to drink, try using a water intake calculator to determine this.
Detoxifying your body goes further beyond what you eat or drink. Poor sleep has constantly been linked with health issues such as stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
This, however, is not all. According to two studies – one published in 2013 and another in 2015 – whenever you sleep your brain gets a chance to re-charge, reorganize itself and most important of all to remove toxic waste products from your body (8, 13).
According to a study published in 2013, failure to get enough sleep makes it harder for the brain to get rid of these waste products which accumulate in the body leading to the above-mentioned health issues (11).
Eat Less Sugar And Highly Processed Foods
Not only do added sugars and highly processed food have little to no nutritional value, but they have also been linked to chronic illnesses such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and more. These illnesses will affect your internal organs such as the liver and the kidneys hindering your body’s ability to naturally detoxify itself.
Read More: Belly Fat Burning Juice Recipes: Do They Really Lead To Lasting Results?
Eat More Nutrient Dense Foods
A nutrient dense diet is not only good for detoxification, but is also fantastic for weight loss. Such foods contain numerous nutrients, vitamins, minerals and other healthy substances like fiber, lean protein, and unsaturated fats – which are great for your overall health but are not excessive in calories.
In relation to detoxification, such a balanced nutrient dense diet is full of antioxidants which help the body eliminate toxins and free radicals which can lead to disease. Some of the best nutrient foods that are also full of antioxidants include
- Berries like blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
- Vegetables like red cabbage, beetroot, radishes, pumpkin, kale, spinach, etc.
- Herbs and spices such as cloves, peppermint, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary, saffron, and tarragon (2, 12).
Reduce Your Salt Intake
This works for both weight loss and full body detoxifIcation. Most of the people who decide to try the 3-day juice detox do it because of the many ‘testimonies’ all over the internet with people claiming to have lost an incredible amount of weight from trying this fasting diet.
What many people fail to realize, however, is that most of the weight lost during these 72 hours is in fact water weight and not fat loss. Reducing your salt intake – especially from overly processed foods – and increasing your water intake will lead to the same results.
When it comes to detoxifying the body, decreasing the salt intake will do wonders for your body. Eating less salt allows your body to reduce the antidiuretic hormone – a hormone that prevents you from urinating, a process that is essential for detoxifying the body (9).
The Bottom Line: Is The 3-Day Juice Detox Diet Worth It?
Despite all the great and amazing results that the 3-day juice detox fast promises, it is truly not worth it. As previously stated, this is basically a starvation diet disguised as clean and healthy weight loss and full body detox. As shown above, there are numerous healthy and safe ways to lose weight and get rid of toxins from your body. Try these before trying this fast.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any medical conditions. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Alcoholic Liver Disease: Pathogenesis and Current Management (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Antioxidants in Herbs and Spices Roles in Oxidative Stress and Redox Signaling (n.d., ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Decreased Skin-Mediated Detoxification Contributes to Oxidative Stress and Insulin Resistance (2012, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Detoxification Diets: Three Pilot Studies (2013, drmccubbins.com)
- Dietary water affects human skin hydration and biomechanics (2015, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Health benefit of vegetable/fruit juice-based diet: Role of microbiome (2017, nature.com)
- Influence of progressive fluid restriction on mood and physiological markers of dehydration in women (2012, cambridge.org)
- Neuroscience. Sleep: the brain’s housekeeper? (2013, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Physiology, Vasopressin (2020, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Popular Weight Loss Strategies: a Review of Four Weight Loss Techniques (2017, link.springer.com)
- Sleep drives metabolite clearance from the adult brain (2013, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Spices and herbs: Natural sources of antioxidants – a mini review (2015, sciencedirect.com)
- The Neuroprotective Aspects of Sleep (2015, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Water, Hydration and Health (2011, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- What is healthy weight loss? (2020, cdc.gov)