The Cons of Juice Detox Diets
Physicians and other medial experts insist detox diets are unnecessary and ineffective quick fixes that are potentially dangerous — and can even be deadly. Severe juice detox diets can lead to fatigue, indigestion, poor skin tone, muscle pain and weakness, halitosis, and unexplained weight loss.
Many juice detox diets rely on water and raw fruit to supply nutrients and laxatives, enemas, or colonic irrigation to speed the detox process. They result in only temporary water weight loss and are potentially dangerous. Laxative abuse can cause severe dehydration and heart or colon damage. Colonic irrigation, another fixture of some juice detox diets, carries the risk of bowel perforation or infection, both of which can cause death.
Those who oppose juice detox diets claim that while eliminating large quantities of alcohol, smoke, and junk food from a person's lifestyle can certainly be beneficial, most juice detox diets are not moderate enough to be healthful.
Critics claim that juice detox diets are unnecessary because the body already has several systems in place to flush out toxins. They argue that the liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract all do a perfectly good job of eliminating toxins from the body within hours of consumption.
The Reality of the Alleged Benefits
People embarking on juice detox diets often report improved energy, clearer skin, regular bowel movements, improved digestion, and increased concentration and clarity. In addition, many people report losing weight by adhering to strict regimens that typically revolve around low-calorie, low-carb foods, and liquid meals.
However, critics of detox diets claim the alleged benefits of juice fasting are actually the result of other factors: Fewer headaches can be traced to reductions in alcohol and caffeine intake, clearer skin can result from improved hydration, less bloating can result from eating less food, and the energy boost and euphoria is actually a reaction to starvation.
Side Effects of Juice Detox Diets
If you experience a worsening of symptoms or new symptoms that occur during a juice detox diet, it's time to stop and see your physician. Juice detox diets that are continued for an extended period of time may result in nutritional deficiencies, especially protein and calcium.
One of the most common side effects within the first few days of starting the juice detox diet is a headache, which is often the result of caffeine withdrawal. For this reason, many people taper off from caffeine before starting a juice detox diet.
Other side effects range from excessive diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and electrolyte loss, to constipation if you're consuming excess fiber without also increasing your fluid intake. Tiredness, irritability, acne, weight loss, and hunger may also occur.