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Fasting With Juice

by | Jun 5, 2020 | FASTING METHODS

The Big Idea 

 Crowd out over caffeinated sugary beverages, for nutrient rich energy, increased vitality and better immunity

 What could possibly be better than concentrating a week’s worth of fruits and veggies into a day of delicious drinks that saturate your body with much-needed antioxidants and immune-boosting compounds? Well, it turns out nothing would actually better. As in – eating and drinking ‘nothing’.

 Compared to the robust research on fasting, juice fasting boasts only one study with a very limited scope and scant results. But looking past the science for a sec, juice fasting has been an important part of health culture for decades, and there are plenty of anecdotes on how it can improve health conditions from gastroenteritis to cancer, even.

 Though not the holy grail of fasting, juice cleanses can be a great way to break into fasting while significantly upgrading your nutritional status.


What it is

Juice fasting is somewhat of a misnomer because there are plenty of calories in an average juice cleanse: typically 800-1200 in a day. This extra energy would be enough to disrupt the main benefits of fasting such as autophagy and insulin reduction.

Juice cleanses, then, can be considered as therapeutic nutrition that harnesses certain aspects of fasting – namely protein restriction and no actual food – for health improvements. They typically last from 1-3 days (though some go up to two weeks), and they consist of

  • fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juice – apples, carrots, pineapples, kale, celery, lemon, etc.
  • and occasionally nut butters or milks, which make for a more substantial meal. 

 The concept of juice fasting was originally developed in the 1930’s by Norman Walker, was later popularized by Jack Lalanne, and is carried on today by health icons such as Kris Carr and David Avocado Wolfe and Joe Cross. Most doctors and dieticians consider it to be a generally healthy habit in moderation.

 Benefits

 Nutrition

 Our nutrition today, though we eat far more than we did half a century ago, is inferior to people of that same era. This is due to modern farming practices that have destroyed much of the mineral content in our soil. (Studies show that we get 6% to nearly 40% less of key minerals and nutrients because of soil depletion.)

 Yes, we take our supplements. But supplements lack cofactors and enzymes found in whole plants that increase the vitamin or mineral’s usability in our bodies. This makes juice fasting an appealing option for anyone looking to bolster their nutritional status and improve their health without taking a pill. 

 May promote longevity

 Whether full or partial, there’s one thing that all science-backed fasts have in common: protein restriction. This protein restriction appears to be one of the most significant factors in why fasting is so good for us because protein restriction generally reduces the production of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). And a lack of IGF-1 is strongly correlated with a longer lifespan.

Even though juice fasts can contain substantial calories, they’re all typically very short on protein. This can be a healthy thing when done periodically and not for periods of longer than three days.

 Nitric oxide

 Certain vegetables that are juiced, namely beets, can produce high amounts of nitric oxide (NO) in the body. The main study was done on juicing confirmed this, showing impressive increases in circulating NO after just three days of a juice fast.

 Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, meaning it expands your blood vessels. This expansion allows for more blood flow, which is associated with cardiovascular protection, and even better athletic performance.

 Risks

 The risks for a juice fast are pretty minimal, especially if the fast is done for shorter durations.

 One of the main concerns is that high doses of sugar without any fiber could lead to spikes in blood sugar levels and potentially exacerbate symptoms of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. These fluctuations in blood sugar can also cause headaches, tiredness, and fatigue.

 For those who don’t have properly functioning adrenal glands, juice cleanses can also cause a dangerous imbalance in your salt-to-potassium ratio. Most of the fruits and vegetables you juice will be very high in potassium and very low in sodium. If your body pumps out salt due to adrenal issues, this influx of potassium can cause confusion, headache, nausea, muscle cramps, or spasms.

 How to Do it

 Prepare your body with a few days of light eating

 One of the quickest ways to get an unpleasant juice-fasting experience is to eat a bunch of heavy foods and a ton of calories the day before your fast. Instead, go light in the day (or days) preceding, opting for choices like soups, salads, and fish if you need protein. This will help you get more cleansing benefits by not having your digestive system burdened with processed foods and heavy meats.

 Consume six 16-oz glasses of juice per day

 Experts recommend consuming six 16-oz glasses of juice per day at least. This adds up to about one glass every couple of hours or so.

 Though there are plenty of juicing companies and probably some in your neck of the woods, pre-made juices tend to be higher in fruit juice and lower in vegetable juice. This is not recommended, mainly because of the excessive sugar content. If you are able, opt for mostly vegetable juice blends.

 Also, go organic if at all possible.

 Have sea salt on hand

 If you start to get a headache or feel a little woozy, try taking a pinch of sea salt or mixing in half a teaspoon in a glass of water. This will help balance your electrolytes.

 Go light on exercise

 Juice fasts are not the time to kill yourself at the gym. Even though you’re consuming more calories than traditional fasts, you’re not getting any protein and your only getting ½ to 1/3rd your normal calorie intake – which is not enough to support recovery. If anything, take a few brisk walks, do a light cardio workout, or do some bodyweight exercises at home.

End your juice fast with light food 

 For the same reason that you don’t want to kick your fast off with a heavy meal, you don’t want to break it with one either. Even after only a one-day fast, your digestion will have slowed down to handle the very easy job of breaking down juice. If you throw down with a ‘steak and taters’  dinner directly after your fast, you’ll likely experience stomach upset and indigestion.

 Toast, crackers, kitchari, rice, salads, and soups are perfect foods to break your juice fast with.

 

List of Top Science or Studies:

Juicing increases NO and enhances gut microbiome

Don't know which fast is right for you? Read this article

fasting methods

Intermittent Fasting (IF)

Strategy that combines periods of eating with periods of fasting into a regular schedule.

Fasting With Water

The purposeful abstention of all food – solid or liquids – except for water. 

Dry Fasting

Dry Fasting

DF is the abstinence of food and water. Total. Abstinence. Dry!

Medical & Healing fasts

Medical & Healing Fast

Medical/therapeutic fasting is – eating nothing for medical advancements and natural healing.

Time Restricted Eating

The philosophy that aligns mealtimes with your natural circadian rhythm.

Fasting With Juice

Combine all your fruits & veggies into delicious juice for a select period of time.

Ketogenic Fasting

Ketogenic Fasting

Combines keto dieting principles with routine periods of fasting for enhanced fat loss. 

Fast for Religion

Spiritual & Religious

Spiritual and religious fasts have been part of almost every culture and religion throughout recorded history.

Prolonged Fasting

Fasting for 48 hours and over to
achieve health benefits and clarity.

Fasting With Food

Also known as Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD), eating specific macronutrients to keep your body in a fasting state. 

Alternate Day Fasting

The idea behind ADF is simple – eat one day, don’t eat the next.

Detox Cleanses

Detox & Cleanse Programs

 Focus on improving liver health, the main detox organ, and nearly all of them enhance elimination and digestion.

About The Author

Fast Times Editors

Your go-to-crew for all things fasting and lifestyle. Fasting.com is digital destination for the latest science, strategies, solutions and stories to help the public discover and uncover the benefits of fasting, answer all of their fasting questions and find the best next step and resource to get started.

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