Juice detoxes and cleanses are usually very low in protein and this is why it’s important to be careful when undertaking them as it can have a detrimental effect on skin, joint and hair health.
Many juice fasts and liquid diets involve consuming low amounts of protein or often, none at all. We all need a daily supply of protein to build healthy immune cells, for building amino acids in body, helping the body to auto-repair cells, tissues and regenerate muscles following a workout. Without protein, the overall skin becomes less toned, more lax-loose and uneven.
Fruits and vegetables have negligible amounts of protein; however, some pre-packaged juice plans may include a nut-milk beverage, such as cashew, hazelnut or almond, as one of the daily drinks, which offers a little protein and fat. This however isn’t enough for our body’s repair of daily wear and tear.
Depending on which type of cleanse a person does, and how many bottles or glasses of juice they drink, the calories that a person ends up consuming daily can range from about 800 to 1,200 calories. When done for a period of 10 days, the low-calorie intake that comes with doing a juice cleanse/ juice detox could send the body into starvation mode, meaning it will try to conserve calories by slowing down the metabolism, because the body is unsure when it will be fed again properly as per its needs. The outcome of this on skin is the beginning of dark circles around the eyes, a sickly looking face and eventually it will accelerate the process of aging.
Doing a juice cleanse will typically reduce calories in a person's diet, and can help people lose a little weight, but when people start avoiding their favourite foods from their diet for a period of time, they tend to reward themselves afterward, and even go overboard, when they go back to normal eating after the juice cleanse is over. Any weight/pounds/stones/kilograms shed during these juice cleanses are mostly water weight, and will likely be gained back, once usual eating habits resume. Stomach aches, lax skin and lack of firmness in skin are just a few common side-effects of the juice fast / juice cleanses along with bowel changes.
Depleting your body slowly with macro and micro nutrients is the main effect or side effect of prolonged juice detox programmes, which is why people tend to see and achieve targets like weight loss, but these effects are temporary and once they resume the old habits of eating, they again feel the need to do a juice fast/cleanse to achieve and see the seemingly slimmer body but without much health gains. This eventually becomes a closed loop with a person repeating the patter over and over without realising what is actually going on within the body. There are much healthier ways to lose weight and/or detox the body – just not through juice cleansing.
Dr. Vidhi Patel In-House Nutritionist and Research consultant, Minerva Research Labs