Juice cleanses have many benefits for both those in and out of rehab. Juicing is notorious for flushing toxins out of the body, which is the main focus of an alcohol or drug detox. It can also help reduce uncomfortable and problematic withdrawal symptoms. Here are the benefits of juicing in rehab, some potential risks to look out for, and tips for how to do a juice cleanse properly.
It Keeps You Hydrated
Drinking lots of non-carbonated and low-sugar liquids can help you stay hydrated. Proper hydration during an alcohol or drug detox program can reduce certain withdrawal symptoms such as nausea. Although drinking water is the most obvious way to do this, juices often contain many additional healthy and beneficial vitamins and minerals, so the added benefit of nutrition is great too.
It Can Help with Digestive Issues
Liquid diets can help give your GI tract a break from digesting difficult foods, which may also reduce GI tract pain. Juicing has also been shown to promote the release of digestive enzymes, which work to ‘reboot’ your digestive system. Symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea are common among people who are recovering from certain types of drug addictions, so juicing can be especially beneficial for these individuals.
It Provides a Healthy Energy Boost
It is normal for those in alcohol or drug rehab to experience at least some fatigue. Due to the fact that many juices have plenty of healthy vitamins and minerals, consuming plenty of these will give you a sustainable energy boost. It is likely to be long-lasting, so you will not crash as someone would after drinking beverages that contain caffeine.
It Can Reduce Inflammation
The human body reacts to toxins by producing inflammation, and the immune system views alcohol and drugs as toxins. Juices help to flush toxins out of the body, so juicing also naturally helps with reducing inflammation. Eating a plant-rich diet after or during juicing can enhance this benefit.
It Can Be a Good Way to Lose Weight if Done Correctly
When done correctly, doing a juice cleanse can be a great way to lose weight and kickstart your new healthy lifestyle. Drinking juice is an excellent way to stay hydrated while also consuming plenty of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Like with most other diets, you should always consult a healthcare professional before starting a juice cleanse. There are some risks to be aware of, and for some people, juicing may not be a healthy weight loss option.
How to do a Healthy Juice Cleanse
There are several popular juice cleanses out there. Some people choose to maintain a simple liquid-based diet for a few days while others do this with a combination of supplements and/or things like enemas. Some people also combine juicing with other diets as well.
A juice cleanse typically lasts anywhere from 3 to 10 days. To make sure that you do this in a healthy way, you need to make sure that you are consuming an adequate amount of calories. Following a juicing guide or kit can help you with this. There are countless juice recipes out there so it’s important to try several of them with plenty of different fruits, vegetables, herbs, and more. That way, you’ll get plenty of nutrients out of this diet.
A few common things included in juices are:
Juices also contain many other vitamins and minerals. Different fruits, vegetables, and herbs have different health benefits, so you should personalize these juice recipes to maximize your health improvements.
Potential Risks of a Juice Cleanse
Although juicing is beneficial for almost everyone, a full-blown juice cleanse may not be a healthy diet choice for certain people. As mentioned before, you should always consult your doctor before starting any diet, and a juice cleanse is no different. This is especially important for people in recovery. “Often, when people come into detox, they are in pretty bad shape physically,” says Mat Gorman, CEO of Briarwood Detox Center. “Typically, they require medical treatment for nutritional deficiencies before any special diet is even considered.”
Additionally, going through a juice cleanse may not be right for you if you have any kind of kidney disease because many juices contain oxalate. Oxalate has been shown to contribute to the creation of kidney stones and other kidney problems. Doing a juice cleanse in any of the following ways can be potentially dangerous as well.
- Not getting enough calories: Consuming too little calories in your daily diet has numerous negative side effects. In the short-term, effects like unhealthy extreme weight loss and low blood sugar can be seen. Unfortunately, this weight loss is rarely long-lasting, and you usually regain the weight after the weight loss is ordered. If this is not the case it could be indicative of a more serious health condition such as an eating disorder.
- Taking laxatives while on a juice cleanse: Taking laxatives while on a liquid-based diet can make you pass your food before your body has the chance to absorb any nutrients from it. This causes a lack of electrolytes and dehydration.
- Drinking unpasteurized juices: Those who drink juices that are unpasteurized increase their risk of bacterial infection. Infants, young children, and the elderly are particularly at risk for disease, and those with weakened immune systems can also be prone to illness from consuming unpasteurized beverages.
- Packaged juices with claims that seem too good to be true: You should always be wary of any product that promises extraordinary outcomes. More times than not, these claims are impossible or unrealistic, and these products are often not FDA-approved or well tested.
Juicing can be great for flushing toxins such as drugs or alcohol from the body. Therefore, it can be a great choice for those in addiction treatment and recovery. However, there are both healthy and unhealthy ways to perform a juice cleanse. To avoid unhealthy outcomes, you should get advice from your healthcare provider about how to juice safely and whether or not it is the right choice for you.
Kelsey Brown is an Austin-based writer. She received her B.S. in Journalism from Missouri State University and writes about addiction recovery, health, and well-being for Nova Recovery Center. In her spare time, Kelsey enjoys doing outdoor activities with her family like hiking, camping, and kayaking.