Juicing has become a popular health trend in recent years. Drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juices is an easy way to increase your intake of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Some people choose to juice as part of a detox or cleansing regimen. Others use juicing as a meal replacement to help with weight loss. Juicing before bed has its advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we’ll explore the potential benefits and downsides of juicing at night.
Potential benefits of juicing before bed
Here are some of the touted benefits of drinking vegetable and fruit juices in the evening:
May promote relaxation
For some people, juicing before bed helps them relax and unwind after a long day. The nutrients in the juices may help reduce stress levels. For example, magnesium-rich juices made with spinach, Swiss chard or kale can have a calming effect on the nervous system. Vitamin C from citrus fruits may also help lower cortisol levels.
May improve sleep
Some juices contain nutrients that can help improve sleep quality. For example:
- Tart cherry juice contains melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle.
- Potassium in juices made with spinach and kale can help relax muscles.
- The B vitamins in green juices boost levels of serotonin, the “feel good” neurotransmitter that promotes sleep.
So drinking a glass of tart cherry or green veggie juice before bed may help you fall asleep faster and get better quality sleep.
May support detoxification
Many people choose to do a juice cleanse for detoxification and give their digestive system a rest. Drinking vegetable juices at night may support the body’s natural detoxification processes while you sleep.
The nutrients and antioxidants in juices can help stimulate the liver’s natural detoxification enzymes. Juices also provide the body with adequate fluids to flush out toxins through urination.
May aid digestion and reduce nighttime heartburn
Drinking vegetable juice before bed may also aid digestion. The nutrients and enzymes in fresh juices can help improve digestion and relieve symptoms of indigestion, bloating and heartburn.
For example, ginger is a natural digestive aid that can soothe an upset stomach. Drinking ginger juice or a green juice with ginger before bed may help reduce acid reflux at night.
May help stabilize blood sugar levels overnight
If you have diabetes or blood sugar regulation issues, juicing at night may help keep blood sugar levels stable overnight.
Green leafy vegetables are low glycemic, meaning they won’t spike blood sugar levels. The fiber and nutrients in vegetable juices can help slow the release of sugars into the bloodstream. This may lead to more consistent blood glucose levels while you sleep.
Potential downsides of juicing before bed
Despite the possible benefits, there are also some potential downsides to consider about drinking vegetable and fruit juices close to bedtime:
May disrupt sleep due to sugars
Although vegetable juices are lower in sugar than fruit juices, both can still contain natural sugars that may disrupt sleep. Consuming sugars close to bedtime causes a spike in blood sugar followed by a crash later in the night that may wake you up.
This is especially true if fruit juices are made with high glycemic fruits like pineapple, mango, grapes and bananas. It’s best to avoid sugary fruit juices before bed for this reason.
May cause midnight bathroom trips
Drinking any fluids before bed can mean more bathroom trips during the night. Juices in particular may flush through your system more quickly than solid foods.
Getting up multiple times at night to pee can decrease sleep quality and daytime energy. This is an important consideration for people who already have trouble sleeping through the night.
May cause digestive issues
Although juices can aid digestion, some people may experience bloating, gas or diarrhea from drinking vegetable and fruit juices at night.
This is most likely to occur if your system is not accustomed to digesting large amounts of raw fruits and veggies. Start with small amounts of juice before bed and gradually increase the amount as tolerated.
Unpasteurized juices may pose food safety risks
Unpasteurized juices may contain harmful bacteria that can pose health risks. Consuming contaminated juices at night gives bacteria plenty of time to multiply as your body is at rest. This increases the chances of foodborne illness.
If juicing at home, be sure to thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables. Use a juicer that adequately extracts juices from produce. Only consume pasteurized juices from trusted brands and retailers.
May negatively interact with medications
The nutrients, fiber and natural sugars in fruit and vegetable juices can interact with some medications. For example, compounds in grapefruit juice are known to interact with statins and blood pressure medications.
Talk to your healthcare provider about any concerns regarding juice-medication interactions, especially if juicing at night. This ensures the juices won’t undermine the effectiveness of your medications.
Tips for juicing at night
Here are some tips to follow if you choose to juice in the evenings:
Consume juices at least 2-3 hours before bedtime
Drink juices no later than 9pm if trying to fall asleep by midnight. This gives your body enough time to digest the juices properly before lying down.
Avoid high sugar fruits before bed
Stick to low glycemic veggies like cucumber, celery, kale, spinach and carrots at night. Stay away from high sugar fruits like mangoes and pineapples close to bedtime.
Include ginger, tart cherry or magnesium-rich veggies
These ingredients can aid sleep and relaxation at night. Try juices with spinach, Swiss chard, carrots, ginger and tart cherry.
Sip juices slowly over 30-60 minutes to prevent bloating, gas or diarrhea. Quickly drinking a large amount can shock your system.
Start with small amounts
If new to juicing, start with 4-6 ounces of vegetable juice or a 50/50 veggie/fruit juice blend at night. Gradually increase the amount as tolerated.
Use a pasteurized juicer
Choose a juicer that heats juices to kill harmful bacteria. Or only use pasteurized bottled juices at night.
Rinse mouth after drinking juice
Swish water in your mouth after juicing to prevent acid erosion of tooth enamel while you sleep.
Sample juices to try before bed
Here are some juicing recipes that are suitable to drink in the evenings:
|Juice Name||Ingredients||Key Nutrients||Benefits|
|Sleepytime Green Juice||Spinach, swiss chard, celery, cucumber, ginger||Magnesium, potassium, B vitamins||Promotes relaxation and sleep|
|Carrot Digestif||Carrots, aloe vera juice, ginger, apple||Fiber, anti-inflammatory compounds||Aids digestion|
|Cherry Sleep Aid||Cherries, carrots, spinach, celery||Melatonin, magnesium||Helps regulate sleep cycle|
|Cucumber Cooler||Cucumber, celery, mint, lime||Hydrating electrolytes||Rehydrates and may reduce nighttime cramps|
Should you juice before bed?
Juicing before bed can be beneficial but also comes with some potential downsides. Here are some key takeaways on whether or not juicing at night may be right for you:
Consider your health status
Juicing is likely fine for otherwise healthy people. But people with diabetes, digestive issues or sleep disorders should exercise caution. Consult your doctor first if you have any medical conditions.
Pay attention to how you feel
Try juicing for 2-3 nights and note if you sleep well and wake up feeling rested. Discontinue if juicing negatively impacts sleep quality or daytime energy levels.
Adjust timing as needed
Drink juices at least 2-3 hours before bed. This prevents digestive issues. Move to earlier in the evening if juicing too close to bedtime disrupts sleep.
Stick to veggie juices
Vegetable juices are likely better choices at night compared to high sugar fruit juices. Focus on greens like spinach and kale plus non-starchy veggies.
Drink juices in moderation
Limit pre-bed juices to around 6-8 ounces. Larger amounts can cause midnight runs to the bathroom. Better to drink more juices earlier in the day.
Juicing before bed can provide benefits but also requires some precautions. Pay attention to juice ingredients, amounts and timing based on your personal health status and reactions. Overall, juicing as part of a healthy lifestyle can be a nutritious habit as long as you remain aware of potential drawbacks. Focus on vegetable-based juices in moderate amounts and avoid sugary fruit juices close to bedtime. With a little trial and error, juicing at night may work well and help improve sleep quality.