Throw a rock. Chances are you’ll hit a person doing a juice cleanse. So we were curious: are juices the answer to our prayers? For insight, we went to Susan Rodder, clinical assistant professor of nutrition at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She says enjoying a fancy juice here and there is fine: “It can be low in calories, and it is a great beverage with vitamins and no added sugar.” But she recommends blenderizing over juicing. As for fasts—juicing or otherwise—Rodder is not a fan. We asked for her take on the juicy claims found on some local juicing websites.
What You Get: Lemon, cayenne, grade b maple syrup, and filtered water. Six servings are $27; buy a single for $5.
What They Say: “Ahhh. [Weight loss] is one of the most popular health benefits of juicing. Everyone wants to feel fit, strong, and sexy. With juicing, you can.”
What Our Experts Say: Nope. “There’s no scientific evidence that juicing or fasts cause any kind of long-term weight loss.”
2 Vim + Vigor
What You Get: Lots of choices for fasts, including customized programs. The Beginner Cleanse is recommended for first-timers—four juices a day combined with a healthful meal. A three-day cleanse runs $110.
What They Say: “Moderate exercise supports the detox process and can make cleansing more enjoyable...Do not continue if you feel dizzy.”
What Our Experts Say: Be cautious. “In terms of sustaining while exercising, you’re going to need some protein to repair tissue. Exercise can be pretty tough if you’re not getting any additional forms of grains or protein.”
3 The GEM
What You Get: The Original GEM cleanse includes juices such as Green Glow, Ruby
Slipper, and Clarity Lemonade. Six daily juices (18 in all) cost $155.
What They Say: “The results are amazing: increased energy and clarity, better skin, better sleep, and a flatter tummy.”
What Our Experts Say: Hold off on buying that bikini. Her thoughts on targeting the tummy specifically: “That’s absolutely a myth.”
4 Nékter Juice Bar
What You Get: A variety of one- to five-day cleanses. The three-day Organic Cleanse includes six daily juices for $195.
What They Say: “The Nékter Cleanse is like your body’s vacation in a bottle...The delicious drink formulas are specifically designed to rid your body of toxic buildup in the organs, digestive tract, and even the skin.”
What Our Experts Say: You’re already getting rid of toxins whether you’re juicing or not. “That truly is the function of the liver and the kidneys.”
5 Roots Juices
What You Get: Choose from several one- to five-day cleanses featuring Wake Up, Hydrate, and Fat Fighter. (Five-day is recommended for best results.) A set of eight daily juices costs $50.
What They Say: “Roots juices are produced on a hydraulic press as opposed to a centrifugal juicer...Pressed juices carry 50 times as much nutrients as a regular juice.”
What Our Experts Say: “Fifty times is an exaggeration. True, the press doesn’t require heat, and no heat does make vitamins more available.”
6 The Juice Bar
What You Get: Choose from three cleanses: Day Drinker ($34 per day), Freelancer ($51 per day), or Greenskeeper ($68 per day).
What They Say: “Drink Smooth Move laxative tea each evening.”
What Our Experts Say: “It’s not a good idea to promote any kind of cleansing and/or weight reduction with laxatives. They can lead to too large of a drop in electrolytes or even dehydration. The effects can also be quite inconvenient.”