The Master Cleanse, also known as the lemonade diet or maple syrup diet, is a liquid-only detox cleanse that was initially designed as a 10-day program. The Master Cleanse involves drinking 6-12 glasses per day of an all-natural lemonade made with lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water. But how many ounces of the Master Cleanse lemonade should you drink each day to reap the benefits while staying safe?
What is the Master Cleanse?
The Master Cleanse was created in the 1940s by Stanley Burroughs and was marketed as a way to detoxify the body, lose weight fast, and improve overall health. It’s essentially a juice fast or liquid diet that involves restricting calories to around 600 per day. The only thing consumed on the cleanse is a lemonade-like beverage.
The Master Cleanse lemonade consists of:
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice (about 1 ounce)
- 2 tbsp grade B maple syrup (about 1 ounce)
- 1/10 tsp cayenne pepper
- 8 oz water
This adds up to roughly 60-100 calories per serving. The maple syrup provides some calories and carbs, the lemons offer vitamin C, the cayenne pepper helps with metabolism, and the water prevents dehydration.
Recommended Daily Intake on the Master Cleanse
Most sources recommend drinking 6-12 glasses of the Master Cleanse lemonade drink per day when doing the cleanse. Here is a look at the recommended number of servings and ounces:
|Number of Servings||Ounces per Serving||Total Ounces|
|6 glasses||10 oz||60 ounces|
|8 glasses||10 oz||80 ounces|
|10 glasses||10 oz||100 ounces|
|12 glasses||10 oz||120 ounces|
Most sources recommend drinking at least 6 glasses (60 ounces) per day to get enough fluids and prevent hunger. Drinking up to 12 glasses (120 ounces) may provide greater benefits but may also increase side effects.
Benefits of Drinking More Master Cleanse
Increasing your Master Cleanse intake to the higher end of the recommended range may offer more benefits:
- Greater calorie deficit for weight loss: At just 60-100 calories per 10oz serving, drinking more Master Cleanse can boost your calorie deficit for faster weight loss.
- Reduced hunger: The fluid and salt in the lemonade can help fill your stomach to prevent hunger.
- Improved detoxification: Increased fluids may help flush out more toxins and improve kidney and liver function.
- Additional nutrients: More lemonade provides higher amounts of nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants.
More frequent cleansing effects from lemon juice.
However, taking it too far can also increase the risk of side effects. Consuming too few calories daily can be dangerous.
Potential Side Effects of Too Much Master Cleanse
Drinking more than the recommended intake of Master Cleanse lemonade can cause some unwanted side effects including:
- Hunger and cravings: The severe calorie deficit can lead to hunger, food cravings, and an inability to stick with the cleanse.
- Headaches: Low calorie, low protein, and low carb intake can trigger headaches.
- Dizziness: The dramatic drop in calories can cause lightheadedness and dizziness.
- Fatigue: Your body won’t get enough energy from so few calories.
- Nausea: Drinking too much can upset your stomach.
- Dehydration: Despite the high fluid intake, the diuretic effect of lemon juice may lead to dehydration if you don’t drink enough normal water.
- Hypoglycemia: Low blood sugar levels from the lack of carbohydrates.
To avoid these side effects, it’s important not to overdo it on the Master Cleanse lemonade.
Making the Master Cleanse Work for You
Here are some tips to determine the optimal number of Master Cleanse ounces to drink for your needs:
- Start slow – Begin with just 6-8 glasses (60-80oz) per day for the first few days to see how your body responds and to minimize side effects.
- Modify as needed – Increase the amount if you feel hungry or are craving food. Decrease if you feel dehydrated or unwell.
- Boost nutrients – Add a daily multi-vitamin and extra salt or electrolytes to the lemonade to provide more nutrients and prevent side effects.
- Listen to your body – Stay in tune with your energy levels, hunger cues, and any symptoms you may experience.
- Don’t starve yourself – Consuming too few calories daily can be dangerous. Have a plan for if you need to end the cleanse early.
Making adjustments to your intake based on your own needs and stopping the cleanse if you have any concerning symptoms can help make the Master Cleanse effective and safe.
The Standard Master Cleanse Recipe
Here is the standard recipe for the Master Cleanse lemonade:
|Fresh lemon or lime juice||2 tablespoons (1 ounce)|
|Maple syrup (grade B or dark amber)||2 tablespoons (1 ounce)|
|Cayenne pepper powder||1/10 teaspoon|
Simply mix all the ingredients together in a glass and drink. You can dilute with more or less water to taste. Many people find adding a pinch of sea salt helps improve the flavor.
Don’t use bottled lemon juice as it lacks the nutrients of fresh squeezed. Grade B maple syrup provides more minerals than lighter syrups. You can adjust the cayenne pepper to your desired level of spice.
Tips for Drinking Master Cleanse
Here are some tips to help you get your daily dose of Master Cleanse lemonade:
- Drink it cold – Many find the drink more palatable when chilled with ice.
- Use a straw – This minimizes contact with your teeth to prevent damage to tooth enamel from the citric acid.
- Rinse your mouth – Swish some plain water around your mouth after finishing the lemonade.
- Set reminders – Use a tracker or reminders on your phone to remember to drink your glasses throughout the day.
- Prepare in batches – Mix up a few bottles at once rather than individual servings each time.
- Adjust the recipe – Tweak the amounts of each ingredient to your personal taste preferences.
- Stay hydrated – Be sure to also drink plenty of plain water in addition to the Master Cleanse.
Is the Master Cleanse Safe?
The Master Cleanse and other liquid diets have raised some health concerns. Here is a look at some of the risks and whether the Master Cleanse is safe:
- Extremely low calories – Consuming so few calories daily can be dangerous long-term.
- Lack of protein – Not consuming protein for an extended period can lead to muscle loss.
- No solid foods – Avoiding solid foods for so long may impact digestive health.
- Dehydration – The diuretic effects of the lemonade can lead to dehydration in some cases.
- Blood sugar crashes – Such a low carb intake can drop blood sugar to dangerously low levels.
Safety tips for the Master Cleanse include:
- Only doing the cleanse short-term – no more than 10-14 days.
- Carefully monitoring yourself for symptoms like dizziness, headaches, nausea etc.
- Not continuing if you experience adverse effects.
- Consulting your healthcare provider before starting if you have any medical conditions.
While the Master Cleanse is relatively safe for most healthy adults in the short-term, it’s not a sustainable long-term eating pattern. Drinking too little can be unhealthy.
Transitioning Off the Master Cleanse
It’s important to slowly transition off the Master Cleanse rather than abruptly going back to normal eating. Here are some tips:
- On day 1 after stopping, drink fresh veggie juices and broth.
- On day 2, add in soft fruits like melons and bananas.
- On day 3, incorporate cooked whole grains like rice and quinoa.
- On day 4 and 5, add vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, and lean protein.
- Aim for smaller meals and chew foods extremely well.
- Wait 1-2 weeks before reintroducing caffeine, fats, dairy and meat.
This gradual reintroduction allows your body to adjust without upsetting your digestion. Rushing the process increases the chances of bloating, diarrhea, nausea, and fatigue.
Should You Try the Master Cleanse?
The Master Cleanse may offer benefits including:
- Rapid weight loss
- Reduced cravings for unhealthy foods
- Increased energy
- Better digestion
- Clearing of skin conditions
- Flush of toxins
However, it’s an extreme, short-term cleanse. While drinking 60-120 ounces or more of Master Cleanse lemonade daily can help boost the effects, consuming too little is unhealthy.
Be sure to carefully monitor your symptoms, boost nutrients, and transition off slowly. Discuss with your doctor before doing a Master Cleanse, especially if you have any medical conditions.
The Bottom Line
Most sources recommend drinking a minimum of 6 glasses (60 ounces) of Master Cleanse lemonade daily. You can safely increase the amount to 10 or even 12 glasses daily (up to 120 ounces) in order to boost weight loss and detox benefits.
However, drinking too little can be dangerous. Drink the minimum or more based on your hunger levels and symptoms. Be sure to also consume plain water in addition to the lemonade. The Master Cleanse should only be done short-term for 10 days or less.