Skip to Content

What are the rules of a juice cleanse?

A juice cleanse is a type of diet that involves consuming only fresh fruit and vegetable juices for a set period of time. Juice cleanses have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to detoxify the body, lose weight, and improve overall health. However, there are some important rules to follow when doing a juice cleanse to ensure it is safe and effective.

Timing and Duration

Most juice cleanses last for 3-5 days. It’s not recommended to do a cleanse for longer than 7 days at a time. When first starting out, begin with a 1-3 day cleanse and gradually work up to longer durations if desired. Allow at least 2 weeks between cleanses to give your body time to recover and rebalance.

Pick a convenient time to do your cleanse when you can fully commit to the plan. Many people start their juice cleanse at the beginning of the week or on the weekend when they are able to rest and be at home near a bathroom.

Approved Juices

Freshly extracted juices from raw fruits and vegetables are the only liquids allowed on a juice cleanse. Pre-made or pasteurized juices should be avoided as they have lower nutrient content.

Here are some common ingredients used in juice cleanse recipes:

  • Fruits: apples, oranges, grapes, pears, pineapple, melons, berries
  • Vegetables: spinach, kale, cucumber, celery, carrots, beets, tomatoes
  • Herbs: parsley, cilantro, mint, basil
  • Lemon/lime for flavor
  • Ginger for digestion
  • Wheatgrass and leafy greens for alkalinity

Try to include a variety of fruit and vegetable juices each day. Combining fruits and veggies can create more balanced and nutritious juices.

Number of Juices Per Day

Most juice cleanse programs recommend consuming 6-8 glasses of fresh juice per day. This provides your body with adequate nutrition and calories to function while giving your digestive system a rest.

Drink juices spaced evenly 2-3 hours apart throughout the day. Listen to your body and drink more juices if you start feeling overly hungry or fatigued. Sip juices slowly rather than drinking large amounts at once.

Allowed and Prohibited Foods

On a standard juice cleanse, no solid foods are allowed. Stick to the approved fresh juices only. Here are some other guidelines:

Allowed Not Allowed
Fresh juices Solid foods
Water Alcohol
Herbal teas Coffee
Broth Dairy products
Lemon water Soft drinks/soda

Some modified cleanse programs allow for certain extras like nut milks, broths, or protein powders. Check with your specific cleanse plan to see what is permitted.


Light exercise like yoga, walking, or gentle stretching is fine to continue while juicing. However, more intense workouts that require heavy exertion should be avoided.

Without adequate calories from solid foods, you may become lightheaded or fatigued from strenuous exercise. Listen to your body and reduce exercise intensity as needed. Restorative yoga and leisurely walks are ideal exercise options during a juice cleanse.

Prepare for Possible Side Effects

As your body adjusts to an all-liquid diet, you may experience some side effects including:

  • Hunger pains
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

These effects are usually mild and tend to subside within the first 1-2 days. Be prepared to rest and take it easy, especially at the start. Stay hydrated by sipping juices frequently.


Taking supplements on a juice cleanse can help provide extra nutrients and prevent deficiencies. Some common supplements to consider include:

  • Multivitamin
  • Probiotics
  • Omega-3 fish oils
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Vitamin B12

Always check with your doctor before taking supplements, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or take prescription medications.

Breaking the Fast

It’s important to slowly transition off a juice cleanse by introducing solid foods gradually. Blending and pureeing soups or cooked veggies is an easy way to start adding solid foods back into your diet.

On the first day after finishing your cleanse, stick to raw fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and light proteins like eggs or fish. Avoid heavy meats, dairy, processed foods, sugar, and alcohol at first.

Listen to your body and don’t overeat. Keep portions small and meals light for a few days while your digestion gets used to solid food again. Stay hydrated by drinking juice, water, tea, and broths as you reintroduce more foods.

Who Should Not Do a Juice Cleanse

Juice cleanses are not suitable for everyone. You should avoid juicing if you have:

  • Diabetes
  • Eating disorders
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Underlying health conditions
  • Are underweight
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding

Children, teenagers, and the elderly should not follow a juice-only regimen either. Be sure to consult your doctor before attempting a cleanse, especially if you have any medical concerns.

Safety Tips

Here are some additional recommendations for safely doing a juice cleanse:

  • Drink at least 64oz of juice per day to stay hydrated
  • Get plenty of rest and sleep
  • Reduce physical activity and exertion
  • Supplement with multivitamins and minerals
  • Stay close to a bathroom
  • Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery
  • Listen to your body and stop the cleanse if you feel unwell

Potential Benefits

Some of the purported benefits of juice cleansing include:

  • Improved hydration and skin health
  • Weight loss
  • Toxin removal from the body
  • Increased energy
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Better digestion and gut health
  • Stabilized blood sugar
  • Craving control
  • Boosted immune function

However, some of these benefits are anecdotal and not scientifically proven. More research is needed on juice cleanses to understand their potential upsides and downsides.

Should You Juice Cleanse?

Juice cleanses can be an effective short-term detox and reset for some people when done safely and correctly. However, they are a controversial approach with possible dangers if not monitored carefully.

Talk to your doctor to see if juicing is appropriate for your health status. Start slow with a 1-3 day cleanse before attempting longer durations. Pay attention to your body and stop if you experience any concerning symptoms.

While juicing may provide some benefits, it is not a sustainable long-term eating pattern. Focus on incorporating more fresh fruits and veggies into your regular diet for continued nutrition and health gains.


Juice cleanses involve consuming only fresh fruit and vegetable juices for a brief period of time. If you want to try a juice cleanse, be sure to follow some key rules: stick to a 3-5 day timeframe, space juices evenly throughout the day, avoid solid foods and limit physical activity, supplement with vitamins and minerals, slowly reintroduce solid foods, and consult your doctor before beginning. Pay close attention to any side effects and stop the cleanse if you feel unwell. With proper precautions, a short juice cleanse can be safely executed for some people. However, drastic juice-only diets should not be undertaken long-term or without medical supervision.