Quality, cold-pressed juices are everywhere right now – from Starbucks to the grocery store. And while they're not just being sold to people on so-called juice cleanses, the act of giving up all food but juice for better health is trending too. The idea is to give your body a break from all the garbage you normally put in it and, for three days up to a week, consume nothing but nutrient-packed fruit and vegetable juices. When done correctly, these cleanses can help rid the body of excess sugar and stop the flow of synthetic food ingredients, which get backlogged in our bodies and can make us feel sluggish, achy, bloated, and generally like crap.
"The point of any detox program is to optimize the body's natural ability to detoxify itself," says Dr. Mark Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet. "Juice cleanses are a way to rapidly reboot your system."
But there are many myths swirling around about juice cleanses – that they'll make you drop 10 pounds in as many days, or they'll magically cure long-term ailments. Here's the truth.
Myth #5: A Cleans Lets You Hit the Gym Harder
Even if you're feeling more energetic by day three or four, go easier on exercise than you normally do, not harder. You don't want to tap out your energy stores or you'll risk sending your body into starvation mode. Haas says it's okay to do some light cardio while cleansing. "My aerobic capacity is actually better when I'm on my yearly juice cleanse," he says.
But skip the weight room. There's a good chance you're muscle strength won't be all there, and you don't want to overtax your body. If you still have energy to burn after a light workout, clean the kitchen or straighten that mess in the garage you've been avoiding.
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