Juicing has become an increasingly popular way to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet. By extracting the liquid from fresh produce, you can consume a concentrated dose of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Many people add juicing into their routines as a way to boost health and vitality. But what actually happens when you first start juicing? Here’s an overview of some of the key effects.
You Increase Your Intake of Micronutrients
One of the biggest benefits of juicing is that it allows you to easily consume larger quantities of fruits and veggies. For example, you’d have to eat 2-3 apples to get the same amount of nutrients that you can get in a small cup of apple juice. By removing the insoluble fiber, more of the nutrients can be absorbed. This means you can take in a mega-dose of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals when juicing.
Some of the key micronutrients you’ll get more of include:
|Vitamin C||Boosts immunity, synthesizes collagen, aids iron absorption|
|Folate||Important for new cell generation and DNA synthesis|
|Vitamin A||Supports vision, gene transcription, immune health|
|Potassium||Regulates fluid balance, nerve signaling, and blood pressure|
By flooding your system with phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals from juicing, you provide your cells with more of the micronutrients they need to function optimally.
You May Improve Gastrointestinal Health
Some research indicates that juicing may benefit gastrointestinal function in several ways. Since juice is low in fiber, it can be easier to break down and absorb than whole fruits and vegetables for some people, especially those with digestive issues.
The nutrients in juice may also have a therapeutic effect on the gut. For example, one study found that drinking juice made with cabbage, celery, and carrots improved gut microbiome diversity and reduced inflammation markers in people with chronic kidney disease. The polyphenols and antioxidants in juice may enhance the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Additionally, juices made from bitter greens like kale, dandelion, and wheatgrass provide compounds that can stimulate digestion. Starting a juicing habit may lead to reduced bloating or gas and improved regularity for some individuals.
You’ll Feel an Energy Boost
Within the first 1-2 weeks of starting a daily juicing routine, many people notice feeling more energized. There are a few potential reasons for this:
- The natural sugars in fruit juices provide quick fuel for your cells to use.
- Vitamins like C, B-vitamins, and iron help cells produce energy efficiently.
- Enhanced hydration and electrolyte levels from juices can boost energy.
- Phytochemicals in veggies have antioxidant effects that fight fatigue.
Rather than relying on coffee for your daily pick-me-up, juice can provide a purified energy source without the caffeine crash. However, moderation is key, since fruit juice is still high in simple sugars.
You’ll Likely Lose Some Weight Initially
In the first week or two of juicing as meal replacement, many people notice some weight loss. For example, one study found an average loss of 3.9 lbs during a two week juice fast. However, results can vary based on the individual.
There are a few reasons juicing may promote initial weight loss:
- Juice contains fewer calories than your normal meals.
- The high water content fills you up on fewer calories.
- Nutrients in juices, like potassium, may reduce water retention.
- Eliminating other foods forces your body to flush out stored calories.
That said, this initial weight loss is partly due to losing water weight and stored glycogen. Longer term results depend on continuing a healthy low-calorie juicing program.
You’ll Feel Less Bloated
Many people notice feeling less puffy and bloated within the first week of starting a juicing routine. There are several explanations for why this may occur:
- Juices do not contain fiber, which reduces gas production during digestion.
- Staying hydrated with juices can prevent water retention.
- Juices made from anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric and ginger can reduce swelling.
- Enzymes in juices promote better digestion and less trapped gas.
The high water content in juice also contributes to a flatter belly. This initial loss of bloating and water weight makes juicing rewarding right off the bat.
You’ll Have Better Blood Sugar Control
Replacing refined, sugary foods and drinks with low-glycemic green juices can lead to improvements in blood glucose regulation. The fiber in whole fruits slows their sugar absorption, but juices deliver fruit sugars straight into your system.
However, green leafy veggies are very low glycemic. Juices made from greens like spinach, kale, and celery will not spike your blood sugar. In fact, compounds in these veggies may help lower glucose levels.
One study had participants with type 2 diabetes drink a broccoli sprout and celery juice daily for 12 weeks. They experienced significantly lower fasting blood glucose than the control group. The antioxidant kaempferol in broccoli sprouts was likely responsible for this effect.
Your Cholesterol Profile May Improve
Juicing vegetables high in pectin, such as carrots and apples, has been found to decrease LDL “bad” cholesterol. Pectin acts as a prebiotic to feed healthy gut bacteria, which produce short-chain fatty acids that reduce cholesterol production by the liver.
In one study, drinking apple juice for four weeks significantly lowered LDL and total cholesterol in participants with moderate hypercholesterolemia. The polyphenols in apple juice may also inhibit cholesterol absorption.
Beet juice, in particular, has shown potent effects on blood cholesterol. Compounds called betalains in beets appear to lower LDL oxidation and enhance bile acid excretion, improving the cholesterol profile.
You’ll Feel Hydrated and Refreshed
One of the quickest effects of starting a juicing routine is feeling revitalized and hydrated. Fruits and veggies have high water content, so drinking your fluids through juice is an excellent way to hydrate.
Staying hydrated is crucial for both physical and mental performance. Some of juicing’s hydrating benefits include:
- Enhanced blood volume and flow
- More efficient kidney filtration
- Reduced fluid retention and bloating
- Healthier, plumper skin
- Improved concentration and fatigue resistance
The electrolytes and minerals in produce also replenish your system, warding off dehydration. This hydrating effect is likely one reason that juicing provides an energizing lift.
Within just a few days of starting a juicing regimen, most people begin to experience tangible effects like improved hydration, more energy, weight loss, and better digestion. Longer term, habitual juicing may enhance your micronutrient status, blood sugar regulation, cholesterol profile, and more. To maintain benefits over time, it’s important to stick to a balanced, low-calorie juicing program and get plenty of exercise. Moderation and variety are keys to success. While juicing can kickstart health improvements through detoxification, its real value comes from sustained, long-term use.