When you’re doing a juice cleanse, your body needs to work extra hard. Organs such as your liver, kidneys, and even your skin must put in extra time as your body expels all those harmful toxins. Depending on your regular diet, this process can be quite intense, causing a variety of symptoms to occur during your cleanse.
Sudden changes to your diet and lifestyle can bring on withdrawal symptoms; when you can’t indulge in your favourite foods, drinks, and sweets, everything from headaches to fatigue can set in. In addition to physical symptoms, food cravings and low energy during a juice cleanse can make some people feel irritable or downcast.
Below are 10 common symptoms experienced during a juice cleanse, as well as the reasons why they happen. Further, we’ll offer you some tips to prevent and ease these occurrences during your cleanse.
Headaches are a common symptom that you might experience during a juice cleanse. There are several reasons for this, including the change in blood sugar levels that occurs from sugar withdrawal, caffeine withdrawal, or not drinking enough water.
To reduce the risk of headaches, ensure you hydrate well not only during the cleanse, but also in the days preceding. Drink at least 6–8 glasses of water or herbal tea each day. If you’re a coffee drinker, it can help to gradually reduce your caffeine intake over a period of days or weeks before you begin your cleanse.
We are not used to the sudden increase in fruits, vegetables, fibre, and complex sugars that are consumed during a juice cleanse. As a result, you may feel bloated and experience flatulence. The good thing is, the bloating is normally only temporary. If it persists, or if you suffer from IBS, you can minimise the discomfort with probiotic yogurts, kefir, or kombucha tea.
Diarrhoea can also sometimes happen when you’re juicing. The reason here, just as with a bloated stomach, is the sudden increase in fibre intake that you may not be used to, combined with a lack of solid foods. To ease the discomfort, we once again recommend fermented drinks like kombucha or to take probiotics.
If you experience constipation during your juice cleanse, it is most likely because you are not drinking enough water. So drink more water—this simply can’t hurt! In addition, slight to moderate exercise can also help get your digestive system going.
The skin is your body’s largest organ, and it helps you eliminate toxins and other harmful substances through sweating. Because the skin is working extra hard during your cleanse, the likelihood of skin breakouts does increase, manifesting in pimples or blemishes. Luckily, this too is only temporary. By drinking enough water and acclimating to the conditions of the cleanse, your skin will adjust.
During a juice cleanse, fatigue is somewhat of a widespread phenomenon. The reduction of calories is partly to blame, as these are what give you energy. Other culprits may include lack of caffeine and sugar. If you’re used to a morning or midday pick-me-up, you may feel sluggish during the afternoon especially. At the same time, your body is focussing much of its energy of detoxification, which is fatiguing in its own right! But remember, these fatigued sensations will not last longer than the duration of your cleanse. And again, water will only help.
With your energy levels reduced and a lack of warm meals to heat you up, it’s not uncommon to feel overly sensitive to the cold. As such, it’s a good idea to plan your juice cleanse for the spring or summer, when you can enjoy the heat and nice weather. This also has the added benefit of more vitamin D from the sun to boost your mood and keep you healthy.
A juice cleanse, just as with regular fresh fruits and veggies, may contain a relatively high amount of sugars. Because of this, your body will produce more insulin, making your blood sugar levels drop. As a result, you may feel lightheaded or dizzy. By reducing the amount of juice you intake, you should be able to ease or eliminate these symptoms.
Although we list decreased appetite as a symptom of a juice cleanse, it’s not all bad. In fact, following your cleanse, you may find that you’re satisfied by less food, which is ideal for those cleansing to lose weight. A large part of the weight loss process revolves around changing one’s eating habits, so cleansing can be quite an ally during your journey.
When you’re on a juice cleanse where you don't eat solid food, saliva production will decrease. This is a result of the body’s desire to eat, and can contribute to a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. This in turn may lead to stinky breath—but don’t make the mistake of chewing gum to solve the problem. The chewing gives your body the wrong signals that food is coming. A good natural way to fight bad breath on your cleanse is to drink peppermint tea!
If you have any questions about your juice cleanse, you should consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first. Those in poor health or those on medications should always solicit a doctor’s advice before beginning a juice cleanse program.