Juicing fresh fruits and vegetables is a great way to quickly consume a concentrated dose of nutrients. Some people enjoy making their own juices at home to drink right away. Others prefer to make larger batches of juice to store in the fridge to drink later.
Celery juice has become especially popular lately due to purported health benefits. Some claim it can help with inflammation, weight loss, heart health, gut health and more. There’s limited evidence to support these benefits so far, but celery juice remains a trendy beverage.
This article will examine whether it’s safe to juice celery and drink it the next day. We’ll also look at some tips for proper storage and handling.
Can Celery Juice be Stored?
In general, most 100% fruit and vegetable juices can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours. The exception is juices containing spinach, beets or other vegetables high in nitrates.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends only storing these types of juices for up to 24 hours.
Celery is relatively low in nitrates compared to spinach and beets. Still, it’s best to play it safe and only store fresh celery juice for about 24 hours.
Storing it any longer increases the risk of bacterial growth and food poisoning. Juice should always be kept refrigerated.
Tips for Proper Storage
Follow these tips for safely storing celery juice overnight or longer:
- Wash all produce thoroughly under running water before juicing.
- Use a clean juicer to avoid any cross-contamination.
- Juice in a clean environment and be sure to immediately refrigerate juice.
- Pour juice into an airtight container like a mason jar or pitcher with an airtight lid.
- Make sure juice is completely covered and sealed to prevent oxygen exposure.
- Store in the back of the fridge furthest from the door.
- Finish juice within 24 hours of juicing for optimal freshness and safety.
Properly stored, celery juice retains its nutrients best when chilled at 40°F (4°C) or less. Any exposure to heat or oxygen can start to degrade the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
What Happens if You Drink it Past 24 Hours?
Drinking celery juice past the recommended storage time of 24 hours comes with risks.
As time goes on, harmful bacteria like Listeria, Salmonella and E. coli may start to multiply in the juice. Foodborne pathogens can grow rapidly if juice is improperly stored.
Consuming contaminated juice can cause a foodborne illness, with symptoms like:
These symptoms may start within 1-3 days after drinking spoiled juice. They tend to go away on their own within a week.
However, some people may develop a more severe illness requiring antibiotics or hospitalization. Young children, older adults, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems are most at risk.
Beyond 24 hours, juice will also start to lose some of its nutritional value and antioxidants. Enzymes, vitamins and other compounds will slowly degrade over time with exposure to air and higher temperatures.
For the best quality and safety, it’s wise to stick to drinking juice soon after it’s made. Discard any leftovers after 24 hours.
Can You Freeze Celery Juice?
Freezing is another storage option if you want to make larger batches and retain the nutrients longer. Here are some freezing guidelines for celery juice:
- Wash and prep celery, then juice as usual.
- Pour juice into freezer-safe airtight containers, leaving 1⁄2 inch of headspace at the top.
- Seal lids tightly.
- Label containers with the date.
- Freeze juice immediately at 0°F (-18°C) or below.
- Once frozen, juice can be safely stored for about 3 months before quality degrades.
- Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
Freezing prevents bacterial growth by halting microbial activity. However, somedamage to nutrients may still occur over prolonged storage. Vitamin C in particular degrades rapidly.
Letting juice thaw in the fridge helps retain vitamin C levels better than thawing at room temperature. But in general, drinking juice fresh is ideal.
Can You Juice Celery Ahead of Time?
It’s best to juice celery right before you plan to drink it. However, if your schedule requires juicing ahead:
- Wash celery sticks thoroughly first.
- Wrap un-juiced celery tightly in damp paper towels and refrigerate.
- Juice celery up to 24 hours before drinking.
- Immediately refrigerate juice after juicing.
- Discard any unfinished juice after 24 hours.
This helps provide some flexibility if you can’t juice daily. Avoid leaving prepped celery at room temperature before juicing.
Does Celery Juice Go Bad?
Fresh celery juice only stays good for about 24 hours after it’s made. After that, it goes bad and is no longer considered safe to drink.
Signs that celery juice has spoiled include:
- Cloudy appearance
- Unpleasant sour smell
- Fizzy bubbles
- Mold development
- Change in color
If juice develops any of these characteristics, err on the safe side and throw it out. Don’t rely on taste or smell alone to determine if it’s gone bad.
Does Celery Juice Need to be Refrigerated?
Yes, celery juice absolutely needs to be refrigerated. Leaving it out at room temperature is a recipe for rapid bacterial contamination.
Make sure juice is chilled within 1-2 hours of preparation. To be extra safe, refrigerate it immediately after juicing.
Keep juice stored in the back of the fridge furthest from the door, where the temperature is most stable.
Can You Add Lemon to Make it Last Longer?
Adding lemon juice to celery juice probably won’t make it last longer. In fact, it could potentially make it go bad quicker.
Lemon juice is more acidic than celery juice, with a typical pH around 2-3. This provides an environment favorable to bacterial growth.
Acidic foods like lemon juice can help prevent oxidation. But for safety purposes, it’s still best to stick to 24 hours max.
Should You Strain Celery Juice?
Some people prefer to strain their celery juice after juicing to remove excess pulp and fiber. Here are some points to consider:
- Straining removes beneficial insoluble fiber.
- Pulp contains healthy nutrients and compounds.
- Juice may be easier to drink without pulp for some.
- Straining shouldn’t affect how long juice lasts.
- Drink immediately either way for best safety and quality.
It comes down to personal preference whether you want to strain pulp or not. Just be sure to refrigerate and drink ASAP.
Should You Add Anything to Celery Juice?
Simple celery juice made with only celery and water is best. Avoid adding any other fruits, vegetables, or ingredients.
Adding things like spinach, lemon, ginger, apples or carrots introduces different bacteria and enzymes that can cause spoilage.
Plain celery juice stored properly should safely last 24 hours refrigerated. Juice combinations may not last as long.
Enjoying fresh celery juice within 24 hours of preparation is ideal for both safety and nutrient retention. Storing it any longer increases the risk of foodborne illness and degradation of beneficial compounds.
Be sure to properly refrigerate juice right after making it. Use clean equipment and prep areas to avoid contamination. Then drink juice as soon as possible to get the most health benefits.
Making larger batches works best if you freeze celery juice in airtight containers. This stops bacteria growth while preserving nutrients longer term. Thaw overnight in the fridge before drinking.
When in doubt if juice has gone bad, remember it’s better to be safe than sorry. If juice smells, tastes or looks off, err on the side of caution and discard it.