Juice Cleanse v. Smoothie Cleanse

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Juice Cleanse v. Smoothie Cleanse

Ready to try your first cleanse, but not sure which kind is right for you? Juice & smoothie cleanses are the most common types, but each with their own distinct benefits, considerations, and durations. To clear up the confusion between the two, this guide will explain the key differences between juice cleanses and smoothie cleanses. We’ll cover the basics and benefits of each, and help you better manage your expectations when deciding on the one that’s right for you.

What’s the Purpose of a Juice or Smoothie Cleanse?

Both juice & smoothie cleanses are designed to gently purge the body of toxins and reset the digestive system. The typical American diet is filled with heavily cooked foods, seed oils, processed sugars, and chemical pesticide residues. Shifting to organic, uncooked juices or smoothies loaded with organic nutrients, prebiotics, enzymes, and adaptogens can greatly assist the body in eliminating any toxic residues from the common American diet.

The goal of both a juice or smoothie cleanse is to return the body to an optimal, balanced state, unafflicted by toxic foods.


A juice cleanse is a short-term dietary regimen where only the juices of fruits and vegetables are consumed, meaning all the fiber from the ingredients are removed. Though the ingredients & juice blends may vary, the core principle revolves around eliminating solid foods for a specific period of time, usually 2-3 days. 

Instead of foregoing nutrition entirely the way fasting was done in the olden days, you still give the body a wide range of raw, uncooked plant-based nutrients that quickly enter the bloodstream – essentially giving yourself the cleanest source of energy possible. Since the juices require such little demand on the digestive system and organs, it allows them more time to focus on detoxification, elimination and rejuvenation.

A juice cleanse should contain very little protein. Some people find it concerning that they won’t be getting enough protein during a juice cleanse, but this is actually a feature, not a flaw. Proteins from both plant and animal sources contain amino acids such as leucine that will prevent the body from entering autophagy. This is the body’s ultimate detoxification and repair mode that occurs at the smallest of scales. We too believe protein is vital to a healthy diet, but for the purpose of a juice cleanse it should be strictly abstained from.

One thing to keep in mind when buying a juice cleanse is that most on the market are not organic. Additionally, most companies will substitute powders and concentrates instead of using the real, single strength juice of each ingredient. Many companies forgo quality for the sake of offering a less expensive product. Fortunately, some of us do things a little differently. At Raw Juicery, our juice cleanses are made from only raw, certified organic ingredients like Dandelion Greens, Liquid Spirulina, Peruvian Ginger, Fijian Turmeric, and 26 other powerful fruits, vegetables, botanicals, and adaptogens. 

Juice cleanse should also be made with a traditional cold-press, meaning the ingredients are slowly grinded and squeezed through a cloth-like bag. This yields the purest juice, resembling how the juice exists inside of the fruit more so than any method currently in existence. Many larger juice companies hate this method because it is actually a really slow and laborious process, so they’ll cut corners with centrifugal or double-auger type juicers instead. These juicers are much faster than a cold-press, but they extract with heat & spinning blades that alter flavor, cause oxidation, and defile the heat-sensitive enzymes and nutrients simply for the sake of lowering costs. 

Additionally, because they’ve essentially ruined the juice with their faster juicers, they’ll add anti-foaming agents and stabilizers that do not need to be declared on the back panel for consumers to see. This is an exploit in the food and beverage industry because these agents are considered “processing aids” and therefore not required by the FDA to list them. However, if the cleanse you buy is certified organic and truly cold-pressed, you don’t need to worry about these dirty little tricks that many larger juice companies play.

Health Benefits

There are a number of benefits associated with juice cleanses such as weight loss, increased nutrient absorption, healthy microbiome seeding, and of course, rapid detoxification. By abstaining from a typical Western diet for only a few days, your body can more easily enter autophagy and focus on rejuvenation. This is because the GI and organs aren’t busy processing any new incoming fibers, seed oils, processed sugars, proteins, or saturated fats as they normally do.

Though there is a bit of skepticism surrounding the science of juice cleanses, several studies have concluded that fruit juices increase the level of antioxidants in the body, reduce oxidative DNA damage, and stimulate immune cell activity. Furthermore, they can and typically do aid in short-term weight loss and boost gut health.  

Tips You Need to Know Before Starting

  1. In order for the body to enter autophagy and maximize the detoxification process, the minimum recommended duration for a cleanse should be 2 days. We believe 3 days and 3 nights is the sweet spot.

  2. In the days leading up to the cleanse, begin to completely remove processed sugars, seed oils, and alcohol from your diet. Consumption of animal proteins, caffeine, and highly baked or grilled foods should be reduced. You should also increase your water intake and concentrate on getting 8-10 hours of sleep. Sleep will continue to be absolutely critical in minimizing fatigue and maximizing detoxification during the cleanse. 

  3. Once you start the cleanse, drink 8-10 ounces of water in between the juices – even though you’re drinking 6 or 7 bottles of juice per day, you’ll be urinating far more frequently than usual. This can and will cause dehydration by day 2 if not addressed, so don’t let that happen! Continue to prioritize sleep by going to bed 1-2 hours earlier than normal and avoid blue light or excessive screen time.

  4. Post-cleanse, reintroduce solid foods slowly. Start with protein-heavy whole foods from either animals or plants. Raw foods and healthy plant fats from tree nuts are also encouraged. Continue drinking your healthy beverages such as teas and juices– coffee is also allowed again. Post-Cleanse is all about implementation of your desired food habits and goals, so enjoy your fresh start!

Smoothie Cleanse Basics

A smoothie cleanse incorporates blended fruits & vegetables, as well as proteins and healthy fats from tree nuts to nourish the body with clean, plant-based foods only. The premise is similar to that of a juice cleanse, but with all the macronutrients, calories and fiber of a healthy diet. 

Since there is no caloric restriction and normal digestion is still taking place, smoothie cleanses can be considered more of a diet rather than a cleanse or fast. Comparatively, a smoothie can have 5 to 10 times more calories than a green juice, which means it takes much longer than 2-3 days to experience any sort of results. Any hopes of reaching autophagy, experiencing rapid detoxification or short-term weight loss should be set aside while on a smoothie diet.

This is why smoothie cleanses regularly span 5-10 days or more. For many people, this is still a massive improvement if they are substituting ingredients like leafy greens, berries, bananas, tree nuts, nut butters, seeds, and avocados instead of eating typical American foods that are highly cooked, processed and filled with sugar, seed oils, and saturated fats.

Health Benefits

As with juicing, smoothie cleanses provide a number of health advantages. With a diet of fibrous, nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables and nuts, smoothie cleanses can definitely set you on the right track for a healthier lifestyle. People that are overweight or not used to eating healthy on a regular basis stand to see the best results over time in terms of weight loss, changes in skin, hair, mood, etc. Smoothie cleanses can be an easier transition for those who are new to healthy foods or who struggle to consume a sufficient amount of protein or fat; smoothies are an easy way to supplement those macros with little effort. 

Tips You Need to Know Before Starting

  1. Just like a juice cleanse, you’ll need to phase out processed foods, caffeine, and alcohol beforehand to see the fullest results possible when the cleanse is complete.

  2. After the smoothie cleanse ends, which could be up to 10 days or more from the start date, you’ll need to slowly transition to your regular nutrition habits that you’ve set aside for yourself while cleansing. 

  3. The extended duration of a smoothie diet can be difficult for some. Strong cravings can arise throughout the entire journey, because regular digestion is still occurring, and detoxification is happening much more slowly. The same flavors and blends for 5-10 days may begin to tire or fatigue, and bloating may still occur if you’re sensitive to the big increase in plant fiber and tree nuts.

  4. Results may not be what you expect. Again, smoothies are more of a diet rather than a cleanse or fast. Weight loss can be quite minimal, or may actually result in a gain. It’s tougher to predict how the individual will feel at the end of a smoothie cleanse over a juice cleanse. Nonetheless, you will still likely be in a better place than when you started, so enjoy your new beginning!

The Difference Between a Juice Cleanse & Smoothie Cleanse

Benefits & Health Considerations

Both juice & smoothie cleanses offer enhanced nutrient intake, healthy gut seeding, and detoxification among many benefits. Juice cleanses tend to be more rapid at achieving the desired results, such as digestive relief, nutrient absorption, weight loss, and cellular-level detoxification effects. On the other hand, smoothie cleanses can have some of the same results over a longer period of time, and tend to leave people with more of a full feeling while providing essential macronutrients throughout the process.

Practicality & Level of Difficulty

Difficulty of each cleanse depends on the individual and how mentally prepared they are. It also depends on the company, the quality of their blends, and how well they inform you in terms of pre, during, and post cleanse instruction. It’s important to note that any fast, cleanse or diet will always be a little more difficult than carrying on how you’d normally eat– but that’s why we do it. How can we make real change unless we do something that’s a little harder than we’re currently doing?

At Raw Juicery, we make things as easy and simple as possible. We only have 2 day or 3 day cleanses available as an option, and offer only 2 different types of cleanses to choose from. Each comes with 7 bottles a day, with each flavor having been carefully developed over 12 years and sourced 100% certified organic. We ship everything to you in just 1 shipping day, unfrozen and raw. We even include a nice physical copy of our Cleanse Guide, and can opt in to our text message guidance to remind and motivate you when & what to drink.

We can’t really speak about anyone else’s smoothie cleanses, but we know there are plenty of good ones out there to consider. Just remember to look for something that is certified organic and raw! But if you think you’re ready to embark on a juice cleanse with us, our best selling cleanse is the 3-Day Signature.