Why can’t you have coffee on a juice cleanse?

Going on a juice cleanse has become a popular way for people to quickly lose weight and “detox” their bodies. During a juice cleanse, you consume nothing but fresh fruit and vegetable juices for a set period of time, usually between 3 and 7 days. Many people like juice cleanses because they are a simple and easy way to get a large dose of nutrients and eliminate toxins and processed foods from your diet. However, one thing you absolutely cannot have on a juice cleanse is coffee – and there are some very good reasons why.

Coffee is a Diuretic

Coffee is a diuretic, meaning it makes you urinate more frequently. This is because the caffeine in coffee is a stimulant that increases blood flow and blood pressure, which causes the kidneys to produce more urine. When you are only consuming juices on a cleanse, you need to properly absorb all the nutrients and liquids from the juices into your body. Drinking coffee will make you urinate more, which can lead to dehydration and make it harder for your body to absorb the nutrients from the juices.

Coffee Irritates the Digestive System

One of the main goals of a juice cleanse is to give your digestive system a rest by only consuming easy-to-digest juices. Coffee is harsh on the digestive system, especially when consumed black without any dairy or sweeteners. Coffee is acidic and can irritate the stomach lining. Coffee can also overstimulate the bowels and cause loose stools or diarrhea, which is the opposite effect you want on a juice cleanse where you are trying to allow your digestive system to rebalance and heal.

Coffee Stains Teeth

One of the side benefits of a juice cleanse is that it naturally helps whiten teeth by eliminating coffee and other staining foods and beverages from your diet. Coffee is well known to stain and discolor teeth over time. Going coffee-free for a few days on a juice cleanse allows your pearly whites to regain their natural color and shine!

Coffee Disrupts Cleansing Effects

The juices you drink on a cleanse are meticulously designed to flood your body with nutrients and antioxidants to flush out toxins. Coffee works against these cleansing effects because it forces your body to focus on metabolizing the caffeine, which creates acidic byproducts. This hinders your liver’s ability to effectively filter toxins and decreases the amount of nutrients you absorb from the juices.

Coffee Increases Cortisol Levels

Cortisol is a hormone our bodies produce when stressed. High cortisol levels lead to inflammation, weight gain, headaches, irritability, and fatigue. Coffee stresses your adrenal glands and spikes cortisol levels, especially when consumed in excess. A juice cleanse aims to reduce inflammation and rebalance hormones, which is why coffee should be avoided.

Coffee Causes Energy Crashes

The natural sugars and nutrients in fresh juices provide steady, lasting energy without caffeine spikes and crashes. Coffee only gives the illusion of energy by stimulating your nervous system. Once the caffeine wears off, you may experience an energy crash which can cause headaches, fatigue, and moody behavior. Not drinking coffee during a juice cleanse prevents these unwanted caffeine withdrawal symptoms.

Coffee Depletes Nutrients

Juice cleanses aim to overload your body with antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Coffee hampers the absorption of many of these nutrients, especially B-vitamins, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Coffee also influences your body’s mineral balance, often leading to deficiencies over time if your diet lacks proper nutrition.

Nutrient How Coffee Depletes
B Vitamins Stimulates urination of water-soluble B vitamins
Vitamin C Increases excretion through urine
Iron Impairs absorption in the gut
Magnesium Causes excess urination of magnesium
Potassium Elevates potassium excretion through urine
Zinc Inhibits absorption of zinc in the intestines

Coffee Raises Cholesterol

Studies show that filtered coffee raises LDL (bad) cholesterol and total cholesterol levels. This negates one of the major benefits of fresh juice, which is lowering cholesterol naturally due to the fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients in the juices. Keeping coffee out of your juice cleanse means your cholesterol levels can remain optimized.

Coffee Raises Blood Pressure

Coffee contains three different compounds that raise blood pressure – caffeine, diterpenes and niacin. Going coffee-free on a juice cleanse allows your blood pressure to stabilize and reduces hypertension. This is beneficial especially if you already have pre-existing high blood pressure issues.

Coffee Disrupts Sleep

The caffeine in coffee blocks adenosine receptors in the brain which play a role in initiating sleep. As a result, consuming coffee too close to bedtime can disrupt sleep quality and lead to insomnia. Lack of quality sleep defeats the purpose of a juice cleanse, as your body needs adequate rest to effectively detoxify and regenerate.

Coffee Causes Anxiety and Jitters

In some people, the stimulating effects of caffeine found in coffee elicit an anxious response and jitters. These effects are heightened on a juice cleanse as your body is already in a sensitive state of detoxification. Consuming coffee while juice cleansing can lead to increased agitation, restlessness and nervous energy.

Coffee Adrenal Fatigue

Coffee stimulation places stress on the adrenal glands. Over time, overusing caffeine from coffee can lead to adrenal burnout and exhaustion. The juices in a cleanse are designed to heal and rejuvenate the adrenals. Drinking coffee works against this by continuing to overtax your adrenal function during the cleanse period.

The Takeaway

It may seem harmless to want to enjoy your usual morning coffee while completing a juice cleanse, but the caffeine and other compounds found in coffee work directly against the goals and benefits of cleansing. To receive the full detoxifying and restorative effects that juice cleansing offers, it is best to completely avoid coffee and all caffeine-containing beverages for the duration of the cleanse. Stick to just the juices, herbal tea and water to get the most out of your cleanse without any unwanted counteracting effects from coffee consumption.

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