Trying a Juice Cleanse for the First Time

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Sometimes you hear things that just sound like they go well together. Juice and cleanse are not two of those things. Juices used to be a thing of the past-- I remember I would only be gifted a juice when I had done something good to deserve it or when one of my parents would go on a Costco run and bring back a few bundles of apple or grape juice because there was a ‘good deal’ that day. Now, the word juice is being adopted by 20-something years olds (probably the same little kids that were only given juice for special occasions) who are giving it a whole new purpose: to lose weight and ‘cleanse’ the body. As popular as their child-inspired dream is getting, here are the scientific effects on the body you need to know before you even start thinking about doing a juice cleanse:

Lien H. Yeong-Hau from the College of Medicine at University of Arizona analysed the effects of a patient who did a juice cleanse for 6 weeks and wrote the following in his paper: “The index patient did have chronic kidney stage 3, had been on an unusually prolonged juicing program, and unknowingly consumed an excessive amount of oxalate.” Too much oxalate will cause damage to your kidney as a result of an influx of vitamin C in your body. That being said, be aware that juice cleanses aren’t meant for everyone -- those with weak kidneys or the fainthearted.

It’s important to keep in mind the consequences of pursuing a juice cleanse, and I should know since I had to learn the hard way when my two friends and I decided to do a juice cleanse for a single day. The preparation was important. First, we acquired the Saratoga juices from Whitman’s Snack Bar and used our extra swipes to purchase five juices -- one swipe every day. We had to do some research on the amount of water we should drink throughout the day and we read somewhere that we had to drink our respective body weight in ounces (e.g. 175lbs = 175 oz).

As we had planned, the juice cleanse was held on a Sunday. Unfortunately, we overestimated our ability to bounce back from a night of staying up late, so we were exhausted and needed fuel the second we all got up. The rest of the day went a little something like this: every two hours our stomachs would growl, and that was our cue to reach for another Saratoga juice and drink it as if it were a meal, one of my friends’ lips turned purple and she grew considerably paler as the day went on, we were tempted to break our fast from hanging around the dining halls bursting with the smell of yummy food, and our brains were sufficiently expunged of the nutrients needed to keep it comfortable, as if it got juiced itself. Overall, it was a painstaking process and I would not encourage anyone else to do it the way we did primarily because all three of us were college athletes and this juice diet does not support the lifestyle that we live which requires working out, walking all over campus to get to where we need to be, and being at least considerably stressed for the majority of the time.

But under different circumstances, I would want to do it again in a more controlled environment and use juices that don’t contain six times the recommended amount of sugar one should ingest in a day!