Sap diets are seen as the "quick fix" of the diet world. They claim to offer fast weight loss, a detoxified body and in some cases even a better mood. However, is it really safe to limit your food intake and is the weight loss really sustainable? Find out if a juice diet meets all remedies or whether it should be poured into the sink.
What is a juice diet?
A juice diet is a diet in which all consumed meals are in a juice form, in an effort to consume more vitamins and minerals than you would through your normal diet. They usually last around 3-7 days.1 It is claimed that all of these additional micronutrients can help your body & # 39; cleanse & # 39; or & # 39; detoxify & # 39 ;, lose significant amounts of weight and increase energy levels.1
For many, a juice drink can offer a quick solution and can be used as a reset button to initiate a new, healthy diet. Despite their recent popularity, there is a clear lack of scientific evidence to support such claims, and juice diets can entail a number of health risks, which means that they should be used with caution.1-4
Benefits of a juice diet
Due to the lack of long-term evidence for the benefits of juice and the negative effects of a diet low in protein and calories, it is not recommended to stay on a juice diet for a long time. But done wisely and for a short period of time, there may be ways in which you can benefit from including some form of juice in your diet.
There are indications that an initial weight loss may provide encouragement and help you follow a new diet plan. Using a juice diet to initiate a new diet plan or a healthy diet can help you follow a long-term plan for weight loss.11
Improvement of the gut microbiome
There is also evidence that a three-day juice diet can improve the composition of your gut bacteria. Bowel health is a rapidly emerging field that requires a great deal of research, but the importance of a healthy bowel is well documented.6
A study of the effect of a 3-day juice diet shows that useful strands of gut bacteria were increased during 3 days of juice. However, after two weeks of returning to a normal diet, the gut bacteria returned to baseline.6
Nitric oxide increase
There are also indications that nitric oxide is increased during a juice diet. Nitric oxide is produced after ingesting nitrates in food, which are found in foods such as beetroot. Nitric oxide has been shown to help with cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure and improving exercise tolerance.12
"Cleaning" or "Detoxing"
One of the most important reported benefits of juice diets is the & # 39; cleansing & # 39; or & # 39; detoxifying & # 39; effect they have on the body. However, this is largely denied by the experts.1
When it comes to detoxification, your body's organs, such as the liver and kidneys, are great for work, no matter how many juice drinks you consume.1
About which specific toxins the juice drinks are removed, it is somewhat unknown and they are rarely identified by those who claim the benefits of a juice drink.1
When it comes to toxicity, the danger is always in the dosage. Consume any substance in extreme, excessive amounts and it can be dangerous. For example, even too much water can cause serious health problems.5
Juicing for weight loss
Another of the alleged main benefits of juice drinks is weight loss. Although there are indications that juice drinks can help shift weight in the short term, the effects are usually not long-lasting.6.2
The way a juice diet will help you lose weight is to lower your calorie content. Some juice diets can contain as few calories as 400 a day.2 This is not sustainable and once normal calorie consumption has resumed, you will soon arrive again. Moreover, large amounts of weight loss increase the chance of losing important lean body mass in a short time.
When fat-free mass is lost for a short time, there is a concept called collateral fat gain.7 This is where the body fights to recover the sudden weight loss in an effort to restore homeostasis, the natural balance of your body.
The brain communicates with the body and the gut and increases hunger hormones in an effort to increase energy intake as a way to restore lean body mass. Because the body recovers fat faster than lean body mass, the result is a general increase in body fat, leaving you in a worse position than when you started the diet.7 For this reason, it is recommended to allow the weight loss to progress gradually over the course of weeks and months. This limits the amount of muscle loss and reduces the risk of stacking on it again.
Are juice diets safe, what are the risks & # 39; s?
Because juices usually consist of fruits and vegetables, diets with juice often contain few proteins.2 Reduced protein intake can lead to numerous health problems, including nausea, headache, dizziness, insomnia, anxiety, and trembling. Coincidentally, these symptoms are often attributed to "toxins leaving the body" by proponents of detox diets.2
Protein is extremely important for building skeletal muscles. Muscle is extremely important for maintaining metabolic health because it provides a glucose storage point for energy, helps with fat oxidation and increases metabolism at rest.8
Low calorie diets have been shown to increase the amount of your body's stress hormone, cortisol.9 An excessive amount of cortisol can cause many problems such as reduced immunity, gastrointestinal complications and mood disorders.10
High oxalate intake
An example of the dangers of making long-term juice is emphasized in a case study, where an individual stayed on a juice diet for 6 weeks. An excessive intake of oxalate, found in foods such as beets and parsley, eventually led to kidney failure.2 Although this is an extreme example, it emphasizes the dangers of following such an intense dietary protocol.
Message to take home
Although a juice drink can be a great way to incorporate many useful vitamins and minerals, juices are not the only part of your diet because of the negative effects of low calories and low protein intake. There are numerous health risks and juice should not be seen as a way to detoxify, because there is no scientific evidence for it.
As with most things in nutrition and health, it is best not to make things extreme. Although a juice diet can provide initial motivation when you want to lose weight and keep it off, the most effective way is through a modest, sustained energy shortage (where you eat fewer calories than you burn per day), with a diet that contains enough amounts of protein and a lot of exercise.