With more and more people jumping on the juice cleansing ban-wagon, you may feel tempted to take it for a ride yourself. After all, the process can deliver a platter of health-loving benefits - ranging from improved immunity and digestive system to a better night’s sleep. What’s not to love?
Though before picking up a delicious juice and embarking on your 3-day journey, it may be worth-while knowing exactly what happens to your body on a juice cleanse and what you should expect.
Here’s a 3-day guide of what you can typically expect from the process.
On your juice-only crusade, you’re going to feel very hungry at times - what a surprise, right?
Though on day 1 of the cleanse, this hunger is more likely to be due to your eating routine as opposed to a genuine need for food - especially since you’ve grown accustomed to eating solid food every few hours over your lifetime.
This feeling will be uncomfortable, though it’ll likely fall away as the day comes to a close. If you are struggling to fight off your cravings for a snack, try reaching for a glass of lemon water.
As your first day draws to a close, you’ll probably feel tired and somewhat sluggish - as you’re taking in fewer calories than your body is used to.
Especially if you usually work out every day, you may want to take it easy throughout your juice cleanse and give your body a well-earned rest.
Business As Usual
Despite the sudden changes to your eating habits and energy levels, everything should be running normally in your digestive tract, as the system is still unaware of the change…though day 2 will likely be a different story.
The gloomy skies seem to be clearing, as day 2 of a juice cleanse typically kicks off on a high. With less in your stomach, you’ll wake up feeling much lighter than you’re used to.
On the other hand, you can also look forward to frequent trips to the bathroom - though, on a juice-only diet this shouldn’t come as a major surprise. After all, your digestive tract was likely to pick up on the change eventually.
With less protein or no fibre to slow things down, plus with an abundance of natural plant nutrients, bowel movements will likely be soft and occurring regularly. This effect can give your digestive system a well-earned rest and deliver an overall cleansing sensation to the body.
Just remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Waves Of Energy
Surprisingly, many people wake up on day 2 of the cleanse feeling reasonably energetic - though this feeling can come in waves throughout the morning and afternoon.
As you drink your juice, a supply of vitamins, minerals and natural sugar will flood your system and boost your energy levels as a result. Though this natural sugar-high only lasts for a limited time, and can often be followed by feelings of sluggishness and headaches.
Particularly for avid coffee drinkers, withdrawal symptoms may start to kick in as the cleanse progresses - including headaches and irritability. These headaches should subside over time.
The Cravings Continue
As you begin the see the light at the end of the tunnel on day 3, cravings will likely begin to ramp up - whether it’s for solid foods, the sensation of chewing, or a combination of both.
Particularly if you have an undiagnosed food tolerance, you may suddenly experience bloating, stomach discomfort, or headaches when you eat certain foods. Though by cutting these foods from your diet with your juice cleanse, you’ll likely eliminate these symptoms altogether and should be feeling much better.
Thanks to the cleanse, you can investigate which foods are likely running amuck in your gut (whether it’s soy, wheat, gluten, or anything in between), and adjust your diet accordingly.
Since you’ve pushed some key macronutrients to the side and have decreased your daily calorie intake during your juice cleanse, you may notice that you’ve actually lost weight.
Many people understandably put the weight back on in the coming week due to overindulging - though you can fight this effect by being mindful of your eating habits post-cleanse and trying not to go overboard. Remember, everything in moderation.
So, Why Should You Do A Juice Cleanse?
At this point, you’re probably wondering what the point of a juice cleanse is. Why should you put yourself through all this discomfort? What are you getting out of it in return?
Juice cleanses can deliver the body with a blend of benefits, including an improved immune system, weight loss, better sleep, reduced bloating, and a boost to general health.
As they say, short term pain for long term gain.
By keeping this ‘bigger picture’ in mind, you can motivate yourself to power through a 3-day juice cleanse to reap these healthy rewards.
*This article can be applied to those with no healthcare issues. Before undergoing a juice cleanse, speak with your healthcare professional.
Words - Nicholas Hastie
Nicolas is a digital content creator based in Brisbane, having completed his Bachelor of Health Science at the University of Queensland - majoring in nutrition. Since completing his degree, Nicholas has written for many print and online publications, creating health stories on nutrition, skin care, digestion, fitness, mindfulness, and more. He now works as a writer and photographer under his content creating business :