A juice cleanse is a short period where you fast from all solid foods, typically for three to ten days, while consuming only the juice of fruits and vegetables to get calories and nutrients.
Many green drinks are used for juice cleanses, too.
It’s a drastic step, but many people think it’s a good way to break out of a cycle of unhealthy eating and reset your body. The juice cleanse provides a small to moderate amount of calories, alongside a lot of vitamins and minerals.
This could be just what you need to return your vitamin and mineral levels to normal and reset yourself before embarking on a long-term healthy eating program.
The ideal juice cleanse is one that has a good amount of vitamins and minerals coming from a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and fortunately for you, our researchers have ranked the ten best juice cleanses you can do.
1. Athletic Greens
Athletic Greens is one of the most nutrient dense, all-in-one, whole food supplements available.
It has 75 powerful ingredients that pack anti-oxidants, immune system support, digestion help and more into one delicious drink (kind of a minty taste), and it contains all the support your body needs to thrive during a deep cleanse.
On top of that, it’s ultra-clean.
- No chemicals
- No artificial flavors
- No GMO’s
- No Wheat
- No Dairy
- No animal products of any kind
Full of spirulina and other similar superfoods like blueberries and green tea extract; the drink is a probiotic, digestive enzyme and multivitamin all in one.
You’d be hard pressed to find a more complete supplement, or a better drink to use for your next cleanse.
This is why Athletic Greens is our number 1 choice for 2019.
2. LemonKind Super Detox Me
LemonKind makes a quick and easy three-day detox package that contains great variety in its fruit and vegetable content. The juice cleanse involves eight juice pouches per day, and each day involves five different juice blends.
These range from “Awareness,” which contains apple, chokeberry, cucumber, blueberry, and acerola, to “Strength,” which swaps out some ingredients for kale, spinach, ginger, and chlorella from seaweed.
This gives it a high concentration of micronutrients from many different sources. The short duration makes it well-suited for a quick refresh, and less likely to cause problems compared to longer-term juicing protocols.
3. Patriot Power Greens
What makes a good juice cleanse?
All natural, organic, ingredients that provide you with all the vitamins and minerals you need, and hopefully its tasty too.
Patriot Greens is all that and more.
It provides all the vital vitamins and minerals you need with its blend of 40 organic fruits and vegetables giving it a naturally sweet and delicious flavor.
But they didn’t stop there, because it has 10 probiotics to ensure gut health and 6 digestive enzymes to ensure your body can absorb as much goodness as possible.
Patriot Greens can help neutralize inflammation, reduce excess acid, and boost your energy.
The best part is, when you’re done with you cleanse, you don’t have to be done with Patriot Greens. It doubles as a daily supplement to make sure your body stays clean and healthy long after your cleanse is over.
4. Raw Fountain 3 Day Juice Cleanse
Raw Fountain 3 Day Juice Cleanse is a powder-based juice cleanse regimen that only lasts three days and uses a blend of citrus fruits, veggies, and even protein to clean out your system.
It’s a fast, efficient, and easy way to jump-start a new health routine, and it’s super low in sugar to boot.
5. SMART Pressed Juice Smart
SMART Pressed has a unique solution for juicing on the go—its juicing pouches contain powderized fruit and vegetable extracts which are easily dissolved in water when you are ready to juice.
In many ways, they are similar to green superfood drinks, though these are specifically intended for juice cleanse. This makes them travel-friendly and easy to use, though some juicing purists might protest that powderizing the fruit and vegetable contents destroys some of the nutrients.
The powder form also allows SMART Pressed to include ingredients like flax seed, protein powder, probiotics, and chia seeds to bring these green drinks closer to a true healthy meal replacement.
This makes a longer-term juicing plan more sustainable with these juices than with others.
6. Suja 3 Day Fresh Start
Suja has perhaps the widest range of ingredients for its three day juicing program. The company focuses on processing methods that preserve the micronutrient content of the juices, so it uses only cold pressurization pasteurization, and its ingredients are all certified organic for optimal purity and nutrient values.
The juices themselves go beyond simple fruit and vegetable ingredients; you’ll also find things like peppermint, tea, cayenne pepper, and turmeric.
This might be the most nutrient heavy cleanse that comes in liquid form, so if you want pure and unprocessed juices this is the way to go.
7. Superfood Shot Balance
Superfood Shot Balance provides a highly concentrated two fluid ounce “shot” of juice concentrates. These are mostly derived from fruits and vegetables that are very high in antioxidants, like carrots, beets, kale, spinach, and elderberry.
Thanks to the concentrated nature of these juices, the vitamin content of Superfood Shot Balance is a lot higher than that of many competitors.
It may not sustain a longer-duration juice cleanse, but it’s a very solid choice for a short-term detox.
8. Cleanse on the Go
Cleanse on the Go makes a fast and easy two-day juicing protocol with four different powdered juice mixes. Though drying and powderizing fruit and vegetable concentrates does hurt the micronutrient content somewhat, there’s undeniably a convenience advantage.
These packets contain ingredients like carrot, sweet potato, pumpkin, and spinach, plus cleansing supplements like turmeric and dandelion root extracts.
These put them more in line with a true detox and cleanse program, so this is a more aggressive juicing program even though the duration (two days) is pretty short.
9. RAW Generation 7-day Skinny Juice Cleanse
RAW Generation 7-day Skinny Juice Cleanse uses many of the same ingredients as other juice cleanses, but it stretches the plan out to a full calendar week.
While this is a bigger shock to your system, and is desirable for some people, this might be a bit much from a nutritional perspective: once you get seven days of just juice, your nutrient balance will definitely start to suffer.
10. Country Farms Super Cleanse
Country Farms makes a cleansing product that comes in powder form, though its ingredients are more heavily processed to accomplish this.
The company boasts that it contains 35 different fruits and vegetables, and while this is true, it also means that you aren’t getting a particularly high dose of any one fruit or vegetable.
Unlike many other juicing products, this cleanse includes fiber and is very low in sugar (though it does contain some carbohydrates in the form of maltodextrin).
It’s not the right choice if you want raw and unprocessed juice for a cleanse, but it might fit some people’s’ needs.
11. Kaeng Raeng Natural Detox Cleanse
Kaeng Raeng Natural Detox Cleanse is a quick three-day cleanse, and while it’s got many of the same primary ingredients as its competitors, it is lacking in variety: it doesn’t quite have the extras that would need to push it into the top tier of juice cleanses.
Moreover, it’s a bit high in sugar compared to its competitors, so it winds up at the bottom of our rankings.
Who should buy a juice cleanse?
Juice cleanses are a short-term way to kick-start a change in your lifestyle towards a healthier diet and daily routine. While a juice cleanse isn’t a long-term solution to problems like low antioxidant levels, deficient intake of vitamins and minerals, or being overweight or obese, a juice cleans is a great way to jump start a new routine. Doing a cleanse can help you kick old habits and move the dial on your health.
Juice cleanses are very popular ways to start a weight loss program, not because you can sustain the same juice-only diet long-term, but because the sharp restriction in caloric intake (and missing out on the foods in your typical diet, which isn’t helping) can help shock your body and mind into adapting to a change.
All the while, you’re getting a short-term boost to your vitamin and and antioxidant levels, plus a quick drop in your blood lipids. If you need a change in habit, whether for a new year’s resolution or just to turn over a new leaf and re-establish a healthy lifestyle, a short-term juice cleanse is a great way to do it.
How we ranked
To formulate our juice cleanses, we considered only products that came in powders or pre-mixed liquid drinks. This was for ease and convenience.
Making your own juice cleanse with a juicer or food processor gets messy, and if you’re not careful, you’ll end up with juices that are not as healthy or nutritious as you’d get in a standardized, prepackaged juice cleanse.
Plus, standardized mixes are much more likely to give consistent results, and are easier to travel with. For this reason, we dropped any cleanse recipes or plans that required you to do any prep work other than mixing powder with water.
Both bottled and powdered juice cleanses have their respective advantages, so we included both types of products in our rankings.
Bottled juices may retain more antioxidants and can be a little fresher, but powders are much easier to travel with, and often include a wider variety of ingredients. After identifying all of the eligible juice cleanse products, we started to look at the ingredients of each.
First off, we dropped products that relied too heavily on sugar-laden and nutrient-light juices like apple or pear juice—these products are going to be hard on your metabolic system because of the high sugar content.
After that, we looked for characteristic superfood ingredients like pomegranate, dark cherries, and blueberries. We also looked for products that included non-fruit or vegetable sources of potent antioxidants, like chia seeds, ginger, and turmeric. Products that contained a lot of these ingredients scored highly, while those that did not scored worse, or got dropped completely.
Having identified the juice cleanse products with the highest-quality ingredients, we then examined the manufacturing practices.
We had a strong preference for cold-pressed juices and freeze-dried powders, as both of these methods do not expose the fresh fruit and vegetables to high temperatures that could damage or destroy some of the nutrition value of their antioxidants.
Cold pressed products, like Suja 3 Day Fresh Start, preserve more of the nutrients and thus ended up higher in the rankings.
Finally, we pooled the powder based and liquid based juice cleanse products and sorted them by quality, resulting in a great mix of high-quality juice cleanses that will suite just about anyone’s needs.
A juice cleanse can clean out your body in a few days. A juice cleanse is a short-term fast that usually involves stopping all solid food consumption for a few days and consuming only juices from fruits and vegetables that are rich in micronutrients.
A juice cleanse offers the opportunity to rapidly boost your body’s levels of vitamins and minerals, as well as a way to mentally reset and break out of a bad dietary routine.
Juicing also has some drawbacks, which is why most juicing programs are only a couple of days long. Any longer and the negative side effects start to pile up, outweighing any initial benefits.
A short-term juice can lower your blood lipids, cholesterol, and insulin levels. While there’s very little direct clinical literature on the physiological effects of most popular juicing programs, one study was published in the journal Complementary Medicine Research by a group of researchers in Germany that examined the effects of an eight-day juicing cleanse on five healthy male volunteers (1).
The men fasted for eight days, consuming only a juice blend. Throughout the study, the researchers tracked levels of insulin, blood triglycerides, and very low-density lipoprotein—also known as “bad cholesterol.”
All of these are biomarkers for chronic health problems like heart disease, stroke, and type two diabetes, and in each case, lower levels are a good thing.
At the study’s conclusion, the researchers found that the juicing protocol had lowered the levels of all three of these biomarkers in the experimental subjects.
While juicing is not a viable long-term solution for keeping your levels of insulin, blood lipids, and cholesterol low, it can be a productive way to kick-start the path to better cardiovascular and metabolic health. When you come off a juicing cleanse in a state of better health, it will be easier to start up a diet that will keep you healthy in the long run.
Juicing provides a concentrated dose of the beneficial ingredients in fruits and vegetables. A high fruit and vegetable intake is one of the most consistently-identified predictors of long-term health in large epidemiological studies.
For example, a 2002 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined data from a group of almost 10,000 subjects who were surveyed on a regular basis about their dietary habits, and followed to examine their health outcomes (2).
The data showed that high intake of both fruits and vegetables (over three servings per day) was associated with substantial decreases in stroke, cardiovascular disease, and death from any cause.
Research published in 2004 in the American Journal of Epidemiology extended these findings to cancer (3). In this longitudinal study, people who consumed high amounts of fruits and vegetables experienced decreased rates of cancer as well as all-cause mortality.
Interestingly, when the researchers tried to account for this by looking at the estimated intake of specific nutrients, like vitamin C and beta-carotene, they were unable to find any association.
This suggests that the benefits of fruits and vegetables have to do with the collection of nutrients that they contain, which suggests that products, like juices, which incorporate all of the micronutrients are healthier than a supplement that provides only individual vitamins or minerals in isolation.
You can limit the negative effects of juicing by taking a calcium supplement. One of the major reasons why juicing is only suitable for short-term use is the fact that most fruits and vegetable juices do not have a balanced distribution of micronutrients.
While juicing can give your body a lot of antioxidants, you do miss out on some other vitamins and minerals, and this imbalance can cause extra stress on your body. One specific effect of juicing is increased stress on your kidneys as a result of the high levels of a compound called oxalate in common juice cleanse ingredients like kale, spinach, and beets (4).
Normally, in a healthy and well-balanced diet, an adequate calcium intake will block excessive amounts of oxalates from being absorbed.
However, when juicing, your calcium intake is usually quite low. To solve this, you can take a calcium supplement to block oxalates from being absorbed and take some stress off your kidneys. Even so, you should still limit the duration of your juice cleanse to just a couple of days.
Using a green drink as part of a juice cleanse could boost your antioxidant levels. While traditional juice cleanses use only the strict products of juicing fruits or vegetables, adding in a green drink as part of a juice cleanse is becoming increasingly popular as it becomes more and more clear that these drinks can substantially boost your antioxidant levels.
What’s the difference between a juice and a green drink? A juice is produced by pressing or grinding up a fruit or vegetable, and collecting the liquid that comes out. In contrast, the concentrates that are used to create green superfood drinks come from rapidly drying and powdering fruits or vegetables.
In this way, you can get nutrients that wouldn’t come out of plain juice, particularly for things like kale or broccoli. These vegetables are packed with nutrients like DIM, but are typically too fibrous and dry to be juiced. The process used to make green drink powders sidesteps this limitation, and research shows that they can boost antioxidants.
A review article published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2011 took a look at the range of research studies that have been conducted on “fruit and vegetable concentrate supplements” (read: green drinks) in humans (5).
After reviewing the literature, the authors concluded that green drinks were an effective way to increase levels of antioxidant provitamins in the blood. Further, green drinks were found to be an effective way to reduce homocysteine levels and other biomarkers indicating oxidative stress.
Since many of these outcomes are exactly in alignment with the short-term goals of a juice cleanse, adding a green drink as part of a juice cleanse makes a lot of sense in the context of these findings.
Juicing for long periods of time can be harmful. A juice cleanse was never meant to be a long-term health solution; it’s a short-term detox and reset to get you back on track.
No juice cleanse product is going to contain a well-balanced distribution of vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients—if it did, it would just be a meal replacement shake. The biggest risk to juicing exists in people with kidney disease, as juicing, especially when done for a long time, can put a lot of stress on your kidneys.
One case report published in the American Journal of Kidney Disease described a patient who had been juicing for six weeks and suffered kidney damage due to high levels of oxalate and inadequate calcium intake (6). This patient also had pre-existing chronic kidney disease, which predisposed her to acute kidney injury.
Following a juice cleanse for no more than about a week appears to be optimal. The one clinical study on juicing that exists in the scientific literature used an eight-day duration, but the best results were actually achieved about two to three days into the juice cleanse.
After that, your body re-adjusts and your blood lipids, cholesterol, and insulin start to creep back towards their baseline values.
As mentioned earlier, a calcium supplement, along with sticking to a short-term juicing program (think three days, not six weeks) can avoid the side effects that accompany long juice cleanses.
Q: What does a juice cleanse do to your body?
A: In the short term, a juice cleanse has been demonstrated to both raise your levels of antioxidants and nutrients in your blood, and decrease levels of blood lipids.
While a juice cleanse is not a great long-term strategy to achieve these goals (they’re only supposed to last for a few days, after all), a juice cleanse is nevertheless an effective way to quickly boost your body’s antioxidant levels and get a rapid decrease in blood lipids, a trend which you can hopefully sustain by transitioning into a healthy diet and exercise routine after finishing your juice cleanse.
Many people find that a juice cleanse is a good “shock to the system” to jolt their body out of bad health habits and make a commitment to a better lifestyle.
Q: Is it good to do a juice cleanse?
A: Juice cleanses can be a helpful short-term solution and also function as a good “punctuation mark” to transition from an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy lifestyle.
If you have a healthy diet and you already get a lot of fruits and vegetables, you likely do not need a juice cleanse, but if you want to quickly boost your antioxidant levels, a juice cleanse might be a good way to do it.
Q: How much weight can you lose with a juice cleanse?
A: While you might lose up to several pounds on a juice cleanse, it’s not likely to be meaningful weight loss. You’ll likely be in a moderate caloric deficit over the course of three days or so, but this is not likely to produce substantial amounts of fat burning. Instead, any weight you lose is probably water weight (like you’d lose on a diuretic).
However, a juice cleanse is a good way to kick off a weight loss program, since it could be easier to switch from a juice cleanse into a planned out diet than to switch from your typical eating pattern to the same planned out diet.
Q: Can you do a juice cleanse at home?
A: Yes, you can definitely follow a juice cleanse plan or recipe and make your own juices at home using a juicer. However, finding some of the less common ingredients in high-quality juices can be tricky, and you’re not likely to get the same benefits that you’d get from a commercial product with many different ingredients.
As such, the antioxidant boost you get might not be as much as what you’d get from a commercial juice cleanse, especially one that includes green drink powders.
Q: How long should a juice cleanse be?
A: It’s best to keep a juice cleanse on the short side: definitely less than a week. Even as short as two or three days is pretty typical. If you stay on a juice cleanse too long, the lack of certain vitamins and minerals that are no found in juices (plus macronutrients like protein) will start to take a toll on your body.
One of the well-known side effects of being on a juice cleanse too long is the development of calcium deficiency, and the lack of fiber in juices will start to hurt your digestive tract, too.
Q: What is a juice cleanse?
A: A juice cleanse is a very brief period where you swear off all solid foods, sustaining yourself only on juices or powdered drinks containing nutrients from fruits and vegetables.
Juice cleanses typically last only a few days, and are designed to shock your system into changing trajectory towards a healthier lifestyle. After finishing a juice cleanse, many people find it easier to stick to a healthy diet and workout schedule.
Contrary to popular opinion, juice cleanses are not a sustainable way to lose weight long-term, as continuing on a juice cleanse for more than a few days will leave you lacking in several key vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients, like vitamin B, calcium, fiber, and protein.
Q: What should you eat after a juice cleanse?
A: After finishing a juice cleanse, you’ll want to start up eating fairly bland foods that have a decent amount of fiber in them.
That’s because your fiber intake drops basically to zero when you are on a juice cleanse, so to keep your digestive tract moving once you start eating food again, healthy fiber-heavy foods like vegetables and whole grains are a good way to transition back into a healthy diet.
Foods high in lean protein are also a good idea, as your body has been in a protein deficit for several days, owing to the lack of protein that’s in juices from fruits and vegetables.
Q: How much cranberry juice do you need to cleanse your system?
A: Cranberry is a popular ingredient in juice cleanses because it is thought to help fight bad bacteria in your body and has been connected with a lower risk of urinary tract infections.
To get all of these benefits, it turns out that you need quite a lot of cranberry juice (one serving three times per day, in most studies). The acidity from this much cranberry juice can upset your stomach, which is why many people resort to taking cranberry pills instead.
Nevertheless, if you are on a juice cleanse, keeping at least one or two servings of cranberry juice per day as part of the cleanse is still a good way to take advantage of some of its benefits.
Q: How should you prepare for a juice cleanse?
A: The idea behind a juice cleanse is, more or less, to shock your body out of your normal routine, so whatever you need to do to prepare yourself for that is fine—the more important question is what you do after completing a juice cleanse.
You need to make sure (before it ends) that you are ready to immediately transition into a healthy diet and exercise routine to make sure you set yourself on a path for long-term health, and not just the short-term effects that come about from a successful juice cleanse.
Q: What can you eat on a juice cleanse?
A: Ideally, you don’t eat anything on a juice cleanse (hence the name), but some people will supplement their juice cleanse with high-fiber foods that are healthy and in the spirit of a juice cleanse, like a kale and spinach salad with olive oil, for example.
If you feel like you need food during your juice cleanse, it might be better to just end the cleanse early and start up with the healthy diet you planned to start afterwards—after all, the entire point of a juice cleanse is to jump-start your body and start off on a healthy long-term plan for health and wellness.
Doing a juice cleanse is a good way to break out of bad dietary and health habits and get yourself on the right track towards a better lifestyle.
A short-term juice cleanse can get your insulin, cholesterol, and blood lipids trending in the right direction, and can provide you with a high dose of antioxidants while you’re at it.
Keep the juice cleanse short, and take a calcium supplement to avoid any unnecessary stress on your body. Don’t do a juice cleanse if you have kidney disease or any other chronic health conditions, as you may react poorly to the abrupt change in nutrient intake distribution.
For BodyNutrition‘s #1 juice cleanse recommendation, click here.