Is juicing OK when fasting?

Fasting has become an increasingly popular way to lose weight, improve health, and simplify life. But is drinking vegetable and fruit juices cheating when you’re fasting? Here’s a detailed look at whether juicing is allowed during a fast.

What is Fasting?

Fasting is the voluntary abstinence from all or some foods and drinks for a set period of time. People fast for religious, spiritual, health, or weight loss reasons.

There are several different types of fasts:

  • Water fast – Consuming only water and no food at all
  • Juice fast – Drinking vegetable and fruit juices and potentially herbal teas
  • Intermittent fasting – Cycling between periods of fasting and eating during a defined schedule
  • Partial fast – Restricting calorie intake but still consuming some food

Fasting gives the digestive system a rest from processing food and allows the body to focus its energy on detoxification and healing. Both intermittent fasting and extended fasting periods lasting 24 hours or longer have been shown to provide powerful health benefits.

Benefits of Fasting

Research shows that fasting can:

  • Promote weight loss and fat burning
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Regulate blood sugar levels
  • Enhance heart health
  • Increase longevity
  • Boost brain function
  • Stimulate cell repair

Fasting gives the digestive system a break and allows the body to enter into a metabolic state called ketosis, where it burns fat for fuel instead of glucose.

Is Juicing Considered Fasting?

Since juice fasts allow the consumption ofjuices made from fruits and vegetables, they are not considered a true water fast. However, juice fasts still provide many of the same benefits as water fasting.

During a juice fast, the digestive system gets a rest from solid food. The juices are easily absorbed into the bloodstream without requiring lengthy digestion. This gives the GI tract time to heal and rejuvenate.

Juice fasts are lower in calories than normal diets, so they can still stimulate fat burning. And the phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals in the juices provide nourishment to support detoxification.

So while juice fasts are not as restrictive as water fasts, they can still be considered a form of fasting that provides cleansing, weight loss, and rejuvenation benefits.

Juicing While Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting involves cycling between periods of fasting and eating. It’s a more sustainable approach to fasting that is easier to maintain long-term.

Some popular intermittent fasting schedules include:

  • 16/8 method – Fast for 16 hours per day, eat during an 8 hour window
  • Eat-Stop-Eat – Fast completely 1-2 days per week
  • 5:2 diet – Eat normally 5 days per week, limit calories to 500-600 per day 2 days per week

During the fasting periods of intermittent fasting, consuming juice is generally allowed. In fact, juicing is encouraged by many intermittent fasting advocates.

Sipping on vegetable juices can make intermittent fasting more comfortable and sustainable. Juices can reduce hunger levels and provide micronutrients to support the body during the fasts.

However, to get the full benefits, it’s best to avoid drinking a lot of sweet fruit juices. The natural sugars in fruit juice could inhibit ketosis and fat burning. Focus instead on low sugar veggies like cucumber, celery, kale, spinach, etc.

Best Vegetables for Juicing While Fasting

These low calorie, hydrating vegetables are ideal for juicing during a fast:

Vegetable Benefits
Cucumber Hydrating, low calorie, rich in antioxidants
Celery Hydrating, helps reduce inflammation
Kale Packed with vitamins and minerals, cancer fighting properties
Spinach High in iron, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants
Collard Greens Good source of vitamin C, K, A, cancer fighting glucosinolates
Bell Pepper Rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, great hydrator
Broccoli Packed with vitamins, minerals, and glucosinolates that fight cancer
Zucchini Mild flavor, hydrating, rich in antioxidants like vitamin C

These low glycemic veggies provide plenty of nutrients without spiking blood sugar when juicing during a fast.

Fruits to Use Sparingly When Juicing and Fasting

Fruits tend to be higher in natural sugars, so they should be used sparingly when juicing during a fast. Best to limit fruits to 25% or less of your juice. Choose low glycemic options like:

  • Berries – raspberries, blueberries, blackberries
  • Green apples
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Lime

Avoid high sugar fruits like oranges, grapes, mangos, bananas, and pineapple which can inhibit ketosis.

Following a Juice Fast

If you want to follow a dedicated juice fast for a set period of time, here are some tips:

– Only consume fresh, organic vegetable and fruit juices – no smoothies or solid food. Limit fruits to 25% of juices.

– Drink juice whenever hunger strikes. Most people consume around 2-3 liters per day.

– Always chew juice slowly and really taste it. This allows digestive enzymes to be produced.

– Listen to your body. If you start feeling unwell, it’s OK to end the fast earlier than planned.

– Stay hydrated by drinking herbal tea and water in addition to juices.

– Get plenty of rest during the fast.

– Break the fast gradually with simple foods like avocado, nuts, broth, etc. Don’t overeat or overindulge.

Potential Side Effects of Juice Fasting

Juice fasts generally only last for a few days to a week. When fasting for short periods, most people do not experience serious side effects. However, possible side effects can include:

– Hunger and food cravings, especially at first
– Irritability and mood swings
– Headaches
– Fatigue
– Dizziness or fainting if dehydrated
– Constipation from lack of fiber

To minimize risks, start with shorter fasts and build up. Anyone with chronic health conditions should consult their doctor before fasting.

Is Juicing While Fasting Healthy?

Juicing during fasting periods provides vitamin and mineral intake that water fasting lacks. This enhances the safety of fasting for longer periods.

However, juicing doesn’t confer all the same metabolic benefits as water fasting. The calories and sugars from juices may reduce ketosis and lipolysis.

But juicing with lower sugar vegetables can still allow many of the benefits of fasting including:

  • Giving the digestive system a rest
  • Enhancing detoxification
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Increasing insulin sensitivity
  • Stimulating cellular repair
  • Burning some fat for fuel

If your goal is to lose a lot of weight quickly, a strict water fast may provide faster results. But juice fasting is more realistic for most people and still very healthy.

Should You Drink Juice When Fasting? The Verdict

Drinking low sugar vegetable juices and herbal teas during fasting periods can make fasting more comfortable and sustainable. The nutrients help support the body’s natural detoxification processes.

Juice fasting allows many of the same benefits as water fasting, though perhaps not to the same dramatic degree.

Focus on low sugar veggies like leafy greens, celery, cucumber, etc. Limit fruit juices to 25% or less. Avoid fruit juice binging which can spike blood sugar.

Both juice fasting and intermittent fasting with juices can promote reduced inflammation, cellular rejuvenation, optimized health, and gradual weight loss.

So yes, juicing in moderation during fasting is healthy. Just be mindful of your juice ingredients and portions. Fasting with juices can provide a nutritious and more sustainable cleansing experience.


Juicing made from low glycemic vegetables and fruits can support and enhance fasting protocols. While juice fasts are not quite as restrictive as water fasts, they still allow the body to rest from digestion and enter a fat burning state. Intermittent fasting plans also often permit juices during the fasting windows.

Drinking juices helps reduces hunger and provides micronutrients when fasting. Just focus on low sugar produce and avoid drinking excessive calories that could inhibit ketosis. Used properly, juicing when fasting can be safe, healthy and sustainable.

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