Juice cleanses (along with fresh juices in general) have become a go-to for health nuts and normies alike. They’re taken up by many people looking to lose weight, but they’re most often used as a ‘reset’ button that detoxes the body. Some health geeks swear by juice cleanses after a long weekend or vacation of imbibing, or simply when you get that occasional sluggish, bloated feeling.
Juice cleanses are a new phenomenon, so a little skepticism is warranted if you haven’t done one yet. We’re here to help you fully understand this health trend and get you on track for a refreshing, health-boosting juice cleanse.
Benefits of Juice Cleanses
Most people who have embarked on a juice cleanse can attest to the benefits, but researchers seem to be finding more and more science behind these benefits. Here is the shortlist of juice cleanse benefits:
- More energy
- Better sleep
- Better digestive health
- Weight loss
- Heart health
- Better skin
These benefits are fairly wide-ranging, so let’s break them down a little bit.
The weight loss associated with juice cleanses is both straightforward and confusing. Obviously, you’ll probably be in a calorie deficit when you’re only consuming juices. However, juice cleanses can also be helpful with the mental side of weight loss, which is the real battle for many people looking to slim down. You’ll need to be tough with yourself, and you’ll need to cut out unhealthy junk food and sugar while doing the juice cleanse. After changing your habits with the cleanse, it might be easier to stay off the junk once you’re done.
The other primary benefit is improved digestive health, which might be the root of many other benefits. Juice cleanses give your gut and digestive tract a rest, which may heal and recharge the organs. This results in better vitamin and nutrient retention once the cleanse is over, providing energy, reducing acne and improving sleep.
How Juice Cleanses Work
Juice cleanses typically come in one, three, or seven-day packages, but go as high as 10-day package for real pros. Each day consists of several juices that are often tailored to different times of day (i.e. an energy-boosting blend for breakfast and a relaxing juice before bed). Some juice cleanse programs also suggest incorporating light vegetarian or vegan meals as well.
During a juice cleanse you should be limiting strenuous exercise and enjoying stress-free activities like nature walks, yoga, or writing. But before you jump headfirst into a juice cleanse, health experts suggest a period of preparation. After eating poorly, drinking alcohol, getting poor sleep, and being stressed, a sudden juice cleanse can be an uncomfortable shock to the body. An effective two-day preparation period and a gradual two-day finish not only makes the actual cleanse easier to handle but also much more effective.
For these two days on both ends of the juice cleanse, replace unhealthy foods, drinks and activities with healthy nutrition and light exercise. This means replacing animal products, alcohol, sugar and coffee with green tea, fruit, lentils and rice (click here for the full list). During these two days, you should also try to avoid stress as much as possible and get a good night’s sleep.
How to Pick a Juice Cleanse
There are now dozens of juice cleanse programs to choose from, so you’ll need to research a few before deciding. We’ve combed the web for some of the best juice cleanses, but there are still some decisions you’ll need to make before choosing.
The first choice is easy: how long do you want your juice to cleanse to be? The typical length is three days because it’s effective but not too challenging. One-day cleanses are great for beginners or anyone that just wants a quick detox, say, on a Saturday after a stressful week. Seven- and ten-day cleanses should only be used by people who’ve done a cleanse before.
You’ll also need to decide if you want ready-to-drink juices sent to your door or powder packets that you mix with water, orange juice or nut milk. There is also the option of a completely DIY juice recipe book. Powder packets and DIY options are usually cheaper and more convenient if you’re having juices while at work or on the road, but ready-to-drink juices make the whole process easier.
How to Prepare for a Juice Cleanse
The last piece of the puzzle is preparing for a juice cleanse. I would not recommend diving headfirst into three days of no eating with no prep whatsoever. None of the Spy editors are doctors or medical professionals, but we do recommend talking to one before embarking on a cleanse to make sure it’s a healthy choice for you and your body.
In order to prepare for a cleanse you’re going to want to embark on a pre-cleanse to prep your body so you don’t end up with uncontrollable cravings, sickness or lethargy. You’ll probably experience some of these regardless, but to give yourself the best shot at success, especially if you’re a newbie, it’s best to cut back on certain things 2-5 days before your cleanse starts.
This list of things includes — caffeine, processed foods, animal products in general and refined sugar. You should also start eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking more water. Sound straightforward? Don’t worry, it is.
Ready to take the plunge? Here are the best juice cleanses to try right now.
1. Pressed Juicery Cleanse 2
Pressed Juicery has become one of the biggest fresh juice brands in the country. They’ve been so successful because they make simple, healthy, and most importantly, tasty juices. This cleanse is their most popular because it’s effective for pros yet approachable enough for beginners. The cleanse consists of six juices per day that you drink every two hours. Each juice is made for a different time of day. This keeps your energy and mood as high as possible throughout the cleanse. And unlike most other cleanses, you can select how many days you want this one to last. Three days is an average cleanse, but definitely try five or even seven days if you’re up to it.
2. 3-Day Organic Cleanse From Good Stuff Juices
This 3-day cleanse from Good Stuff Juices is made of the freshest organic ingredients with high amounts of vitamins, minerals, healthy enzymes and micronutrients packed into each bottle. They use a cold-pressed technology that retains the flavor, color and nutrients from the fruits and vegetables for maximum absorption in the body. This cleanse is designed to make it easy to stick with your juicing commitment and receive all of the health benefits that come with it without any of the mess. These formulas will also help you lose weight by giving your digestive system a break, and spurring the kidneys to filter out lymphatic toxins and release stored body fat. This cleanse is also designed to give you back some of the energy your body would spend digesting and put it towards repairing cells, removing waste, mental and physical energy. It comes in 3-day and 5-day sizes, but for the beginner we recommend a 3-day cleanse to start.
3. Midwest Juicery 2-Day Juice Cleanse
We know, the price tags on many juice cleanses is higher than you’d like to spend on a few days’ worth of food. Since we want to err on the side of organic, pesticide-free fruits and veggies in the juices the prices tend to not be low. However, you can rest assured knowing you’re getting your money’s worth of fruits and veggies with this cleanse. It has no added sugar, a major plus when the top criticism with juice cleanses tends to be that they’re filled with sugar. These juices are also nutrient-dense with 3-2x more nutrients than other cleanses with 14 servings of vegetables and 3 servings of fruit packed into each day. These juices are delivered chilled rather than frozen for freshness and cold-pressed for nutrient preservation and maximized live enzymes.
4. Super Detox ME 1-Day Hybrid Cleanse
BEST ONE-DAY CLEANSE
One-day cleanses are great if you’re too busy to take on a three- to seven-day cleanse. These flash-cleanses are ideal for, say, flushing out the weekend’s toxins on Sunday and get energized for the week ahead. Our favorite one-day cleanse is this Super Detox Me cleanse from Lemonkind. The day consists of six juices and two superfood snacks, keeping you satiated and energized. This manageable approach makes it great for first-time juicers and casual dieters. And best of all, this cleanse won’t make you run to the restroom constantly.
5. Cleanse On The Go 3-day Detox
BEST FOR TRAVEL
Another great powder detox is this one from Cleanse On The Go. It’s well-priced ($70 for a full three-day cleanse), and includes 21 packets of instant juice. Over the three-day period, you’ll drink seven juices a day that detox and naturally provide energy to get you through the process. The package comes highly-rated on Amazon as well, with cleansers loving the easy-to-use packets and weight-cutting results. This makes it a great option for cleansing while traveling, commuting or anyone who will be out and about during the three days.
6. Project Juice Classic Reset Juice Cleanse
BEST FOR BEGINNERS
This is a fan favorite online for its top-to-bottom juice lineup complete with detoxing ginger blends and soothing cashew milk blends for later in the day. Each juice is nutrient-dense and organic, formulated to reset eating habits and kickstart a healthier diet that’s free from processed foods and sugars. 20 pounds of produce is packed into each 14.5 ounce bottle of your new diet and the bottles are numbered in order of consumption for convenience. The cleanse comes from your body getting a break from breaking down the additives, hormones, stimulants and other chemicals in the standard American diet. The antioxidant and enzyme-rich formulas also improve your overall health in addition to supplementing for your regular food. This cleanse can be done as a 1-, 2-, 3-, 4- or 5-day cleanse, depending on what you prefer.
7. Raw Generation
BEST FOR WEIGHT LOSS
This 3-Day Skinny Cleanse from Raw Generation is designed to help you lose up to five pounds in three days with six nutrition-packed juices each day that’ll help you burn fat, feel more energized for exercise and eliminate bloating. The pack comes with six cold-pressed juices you can enjoy in any order including delicious flavors like Sweet Greens, Citrus Carrot and Sweet Roots. The juices are made with 100% raw, plant-based ingredients and contain no added preservatives, sugars, artificial flavors or chemicals. They’re also packed with enyzmes naturally occurring in nature as well as probiotics and prebiotics to help your gut process and detox as you kick off a healthier lifestyle. These juices also arrive flash frozen so you can keep them frozen and enjoy them whenever you’re ready.
8. Lemonkind 3-Day Metabolism Booster Cleanse
This cleanse from Lemonkind boasts a hefty serving of different superfoods in each juice. The 3-day cleanse pack comes with 24 juices that are ready-to-drink and infused with ingredients like chlorella, Alphonso mango, carrot ginger, turmeric, blueberry and cinnamon and chia juices. The cleanse includes eight juices a day (designed for drinking one about every two hours) that are easy to follow and delicious enough to stick to. The juices contain high levels of Vitamins A and C as well as antioxidants for immune system support, and all of the mixes contain no additives of any kind. This is a woman-owned business that’s been certified organic and is FDA-approved.
9. 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse
One of the healthiest (and most affordable) ways to nail a juice cleanse is by making your own smoothies at home. This book offers detailed instructions for shopping, making the smoothies and properly consuming them. The cleanse is one of the most intense at 10 days long, but because you’re using fresh ingredients, you’ll get slightly more nutrients. And with this cleanse the payoff is big, as you should lose 10-15 pounds in just 10 days. We were skeptical of this claim at first, but the book’s almost 10,000 reviews and a 4.7/5 star rating should help put you at ease. If you love smoothies and green tea, this may be the DIY juice cleanse you’ve been looking for.
10. Pressed Juicery Detox Half-Day Fast
BEST FOR INTERMITTENT FASTING
Intermittent fasting has skyrocketed in popularity recently, and for good reason. It’s an effective weight loss strategy, and adding a half-day juice cleanse to your fast might make it even better. That’s why Pressed Juicery offers this half-day cleanse with four juices and a wellness shot. Drink one of the juices every two hours to replace breakfast and lunch, and then eat a lean dinner with plenty of protein and healthy fats to finish off the day.
11. Raw Foundation 3 Day Juice Cleanse Detox
This three-day cleanse from Raw Foundation utilizes powder packets (like a few of our picks). The cleanse consists of 24 packets that come in four varieties: greens, berry blast, citrus kick and protina. Protina is the real star of Raw Foundations cleanse with seven grams of protein. Like all powder juice cleanses, Raw Foundation’s detox is very easy to use and ideal for anyone on-the-go. They also use monk fruit extract as a clever sugar substitute that should keep you away from the cookie jar at night.
12. Lemonkind Metabolism Booster 3 Day Hybrid Cleanse
BEST JUICE AND SNACK CLEANSE
We understand. Nothing but juice for three days is hard. Lemonkind makes the process much easier with this three-day cleanse by including a superfruit snack box that’s designed to make the cleanse more effective — not to mention easier. This snack box consists of semi-dehydrated pineapple, apricot and apple. Snack on them throughout the cleanse, or keep them aside as an emergency if you get too hungry.
13. Juice Generation 3-Day Cooler Cleanse
BEST FOR BLOATING
That gross feeling of bloating is one of the most common reasons why people seek out a juice cleanse. This three-day cleanse from Juice Generation is perfect for boosting your body’s natural functions that eliminate bloat, brighten skin and improve overall vitality. The hydraulically-pressed juices are made with organic, natural ingredients that are as fresh as they come and come in delicious flavors like cherry melon, spicy lemonade and red roots.