Juice cleanses are sooo 2012. Back then, having a juice in hand was as hot as carrying a dog in a handbag or stuffing your fridge with the latest en vogue superfood. (Back then, it was probably kale or quinoa.) But trying to “detox” your body by overflowing it with juice is actually not that beneficial (probably why its 15 minutes of fame has passed).
First of all, your body doesn’t need any help detoxing—it’s designed to purify itself. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Your kidneys, liver, and even lungs all work together to rid your body of harmful toxins.
Sure, juice (in moderation) has its benefits. Eight ounces of 100% juice can get you closer to the recommendedfive servings of fruit or veggies a day, and offer up a helping of good-for-you vitamins.
The problem is, when it comes to juice, it’s easy to overdo it, since guzzling 12 ounces of OJ is much easier than eating two whole oranges. Here’s what can happen to your body if you drink too much juice.
1. Drinking too much juice may cause weight gain. Sure, it sounds counterintuitive, but hear us out: An 12-ounce serving could climb to 200 calories, which may cause you to take in more calories than your body needs without you realizing it.
2. Drinking too much juice can overload you with sugar. That weight gain we were talking about? Yea, too much sugar does that too. Even if your juices are mostly veggie, the sugar content is probably higher than you think. A 12-ounce glass of 100% carrot juice has 20 grams of sugar—the same amount of sugar in two glazed donuts (!!!). (Here are more surprising foods with more sugar than a donut.)
Your body needs some sugar for fuel, but only about 25 grams per day (that could be one glass of juice!). Too much sugar is linked with type 2 diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. Take it a step further with these easy ways to cut back on sugar (without feeling deprived).
3. Drinking too much juice can derail your fiber intake. Juicing separates the liquid from the pulp—and pulp is where the fiber lives. Fiber is a key part of a healthy diet. It’s essential for bowel and digestive health, as well as for keeping your weight in check and cholesterol and blood sugar levels low.
Getting enough fiber can also lower your risk of diabetes: A 2013 study found that eating more whole fruits was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, but drinking fruit juices was linked with a higher risk. The best of both worlds? Get the benefits of juice plus fiber in a blended smoothie. (Here’s what to know about the fiber content of your smoothies.)
A juice here, a juice there—that’s OK. But too much is NOT a good thing. Instead, enjoy a variety of whole fruits and veggies, and let your body do its job.