I did a juice cleanse….and it sucked bad.

Like ‘I fell down some stairs because I tripped stumbling out of the bedroom where I found my wife cheating on me as I was running to tell her about a foreclosure notice on our house because my ne’er-do-well brother in law stole all our money and during the fall got a lego that my kid (who it turns out is also not mine) left on the stairs lodged in my hind quarters. Oh and Trump is President’ bad.

Not this type of juice

So why did I do this cleanse? Mostly curiosity. Also because my wife told me to. And before you ask, the metaphor above isn’t based on experience. We don’t buy our kids legos. God damn leeches.

I’ve heard about and read about juice cleanses for years, and because I do believe you should walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins regardless of how racially charged that statement might be, I decided to give it a try, just like I took archery and basket weaving at Boy Scout camp.


The promised benefits?

  • More energy – like a bump of cocaine but without the social stigma
  • Flushing the system of toxins – said toxins not really defined
  • Elimination of bloating – bloating is a nice word for your fat belly which was caused by years of drinking beer and eating ribs, but some kale juice should clean that right up
  • Maybe some weight loss – as in, the physics of starving yourself is a validation of the law of conservation of energy

Before I started, I did some basic research on the science behind juice cleanses. In summary, there is none. It’s made up, hippy dippy nonsense. Honestly I have nothing more to say here. If anything, much of the science questions the potential negative effects. But ‘science’ never stopped me from drinking a fifth of vodka, and ‘math’ never stopped me from playing craps at 3AM in Vegas after that fifth of vodka. So who cares.

Day 1  – I decided to weigh in. 179.7 lbs. And yes, I’m 5’8″. So just like my stupid physician you can say ‘Hey….maybe you could stand to lose a few pounds’. And while you’re at it, just like my stupid physician, you can say ‘Hey…..you’re over 40 now….so bend over.’ Jerk.

The day began with a pleasant vanilla / nut shake. And then it all went downhill. The nut shake was the biggest calorie infusion of the day (about 420 total). I drank it in < 30 seconds. That was my first mistake. You have to make these things last or you’ll end up standing over coworkers who have food and inhaling dPassed Out Drunkeeply. Which I do generally, but in this case fully clothed.

My second mistake was underestimating how addicted I was to caffeine. By mid-morning a low grade headache had begun. By that evening the headache had matured into the type of hangover you experience after a full day drinking tequila that ends up with you waking up in Mexico even though you live in Canada. Also you are now married. Also you are missing a kidney. Also you adopted a ferret. Awful.

My answer was to go to sleep at 7PM. Also I cried. So on the ‘more energy’ front, I’m going to say Day 1 was a failure.

Day 2 – With 1 day in the bag, I was excited to wake up and feel clean, toxin free and energetic. Unfortunately, when you’ve consumed 50 liters of fluid throughout the day, your body spends most of the night waking you up just in time to not pee the bed. Sometimes not ‘just in time’. But a little bit, that’s okay. I think our sheets get changed.

I will say the headache was less brutal throughout the day. Some co-workers commented that I looked ‘yellow and sweaty’, including my eyeballs. Sweaty eyeballs. You don’t see that in the list of benefits of juicing.

That evening I decided to go for a run. I run a decent amount, so a short run should have been no problem. I managed to eek out 2 miles before the creeping gray on the edges of my vision and the swerving down the sidewalk became a safety concern.

I weighed myself before bed. 184.1 lbs. So in 2 days of starvation and caffeine withdrawal, I’d managed to add 4.5 lbs. In theory water weight. But likely just the weight of despair. I made it until 9pm before collapsing into the sweet release of sleep.

Day 3 – With just 24 hours left to go, I admit I was feeling better. But I think that was anticipation of being done. Fortunately the universe always likes to put you in your place, so I got to spend the day dealing with a multi-thousand dollar auto repair bill. Turns out an engine needs oil to function. It wasn’t just Big Oil propaganda.

By the middle of the day I was even a bit chipper. Then I had to go to a 4th grade school event about kelp forests.

The morning after I was done I weighed in at 175.2 lbs. Down 4.5 lbs from the start (with a 9 lb swing in 1.5 days). So at least I could clam that victory. Gonna tell my Dr. to keep her fingers to herself moving forward. I did my job.

My Conclusions:

  • You can sell shitty juice for $8 a pint to idiots like me. Gotta love guilt and fad-based consumerism. There are more businesses to be made here.
  • I don’t think you’re supposed to extrude toxins through your eyeballs.
  • I did lose weight and do feel leaner, but given the ridiculous swings I don’t know that it was healthy or in any way the type of weight you want to lose. You may as well cut off a foot.
  • Getting off caffeine was awful. It’s a hell of a drug. I had a cup of coffee this morning. I refuse to live this way. But perhaps 4 cups a day is unnecessary. I think the only ‘energy’ I feel is the reintroduction of caffeine into my system.

Most critically…..don’t do a juice cleanse. Seriously, don’t. If you want to feel healthier, eat a bunch of vegetables, lots of fiber and non-animal proteins like beans. Eliminate sugar. The science here is irrefutable. One thing I hated about the juice only cleanse is they took all of the fiber out of things like kale, and if I’m eating kale, I at least want to take a pleasing dump.

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