Want to try a juice cleanse but don’t want to skip the gym? Or worried how exercise may affect your results? We've got you covered! We’ll walk you through how to workout on a juice cleanse, the benefits of doing so, and precautions to safely maintain your exercise routine. Let's dive in!
Can I Workout During a Juice Cleanse?
The short answer is yes, it is generally safe to work out during a juice cleanse. However, if you choose to do so, we recommend taking it down a notch. Strenuous exercise during a juice cleanse can increase the risk of dehydration, fatigue, and injury. During a cleanse, you are not consuming enough “fuel” for that type of intense physical activity.
Listen to your body and adjust the intensity and duration of your workouts accordingly. Be mindful of your energy levels and stick to low-impact exercises like walking, yoga, cycling, or light resistance training. These exercises allow you to squeeze in a light workout while still maintaining your strength and conserving energy. Remember to stay adequately hydrated as well!
Benefits of Working Out During a Juice Cleanse
Maybe you’ve pushed yourself hard for 6-8 weeks, and decided to do a juice cleanse to give yourself some recovery time. Great choice – it will allow your body to rest, recharge, and detoxify. But that doesn’t mean you need to completely abandon your workouts. Exercise can enhance the benefits of a juice cleanse by helping to release toxins. Physical activity stimulates blood circulation and lymphatic flow, helping to flush out waste products. Also, exercise promotes sweating, which flushes out certain heavy metals and harmful phthalates. When employed effectively, exercising can help optimize the effects of a juice cleanse.
Precautions to Take
Because it’s such a significant change to your regular diet, only engage in light aerobic exercise during a juice cleanse. And to maximize your results, you should also take the following precautions:
- Drink plenty of water, as well as herbal or decaffeinated tea to stay hydrated.
- Stretch and foam roll daily to improve muscle recovery and circulation.
- Do not exercise on an empty stomach. If you work out in the morning, have your first juice of the day beforehand. This will stabilize your blood sugar levels and provide ample energy to fuel your workout.
- Take a break from tracking your fitness numbers (steps, calories, etc.) and instead focus on the mind-body connection.
- Gradually ease back into higher intensity routines after the cleanse. For example, try swimming, light jogging, or light weight lifting. Allow your body to regain its normal energy stores and warm back up into your normal routine.
Challenges of Working Out During a Juice Cleanse
It's important to manage your energy levels effectively. A juice cleanse involves a high caloric deficit, which can cause fatigue. But you can mitigate this by:
- Consuming the recommended amount of juice, at the scheduled times, with 8 ounces of water in between each, to provide your body with the nutrients it needs.
- Listen to your body's signals and temper your exercise routine accordingly. The goal of a juice cleanse is not to overexert yourself just to try losing a few extra pounds.
- Get plenty of sleep and practice stress-reducing techniques like meditation, reading, and socializing with family & friends.
You probably know that proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are some of the most important macronutrients for an active lifestyle. Your body needs these to fuel your workouts, maintain muscle mass, and store energy. Some fruits & vegetables are high in carbohydrates, but lack proteins & fats.
Now, the point of a juice cleanse is to detoxify your body, give your digestive system a break, and kickstart new, healthy habits. These things can’t happen with a diet that’s high in carbs, protein, and fats. And even so, your body will thank you after 2-3 days of juice fasting, meaning you’ll be able to get back to your normal exercise without slowing your progress.
How to Safely & Effectively Workout on a Juice Cleanse
During a juice cleanse, we recommend only engaging in light exercises that are gentle on the body. These exercises will support detoxification and promote blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. Remember, the primary focus of a juice cleanse is to rest & nourish your body.
Choose Low-Impact Exercises
Low-impact exercises include jogging, yoga, swimming, cycling, and Pilates. If you would rather stick to your normal routine, whatever that may be, great! Feel free to carry on with that, but just tone it down a bit. Listen to your body and avoid anything too high-intensity. If jogging or cycling is too much, try going for a brisk walk or doing an easy hike – both are great choices as well. Increased sweating through saunas, steam rooms, and hot yoga can accelerate detoxification. However, if you choose to do any of those things, remember to drink plenty of water before, during, and after.
The fact that juice is a fluid may provide you with a false sense of hydration during your cleanse. But in reality, you need to drink plenty of water as well to ensure your body fires on all cylinders. This becomes especially important when you throw exercise into the mix. Drink water regularly throughout the day, including before, during, and after working out. And in between each bottle of juice, drink an 8 ounce glass of still water. Herbal and decaffeinated teas are healthy, effective choices as well.
In the 1-2 days leading up to your juice cleanse, we recommend drinking 16-20oz of hot or lukewarm water with fresh lemon juice first thing in the morning. This will hydrate you, stimulate your metabolism, and alkalize your blood. For more information on how to prepare for and perform a successful juice cleanse, please refer to our Cleanse Guide.
Get Ample Rest
Rest is important during a juice cleanse, especially when exercising. Doing so will help maximize the restorative effects of a juice cleanse. During this time frame, aim to get more sleep than usual, at least 7-8 hours per night. Avoid screen time before bed, as blue light can interfere with sleep quality. Also, steer clear of caffeine and other stimulants after 2:00 PM, as they can disrupt sleep patterns. Ideally, any and all stimulants should be avoided for the duration of your juice cleanse. If you place a high priority on rest while on the cleanse, your body will thank you. You’ll end up feeling both recharged and detoxified.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should you exercise during a juice cleanse?
Aim for 3 to 5 exercise sessions per week, each for 30-60 minutes. Be sure to incorporate rest days as well to allow your body to recover and rejuvenate.
Can I consume protein supplements during a juice cleanse?
Protein supplements can interfere with the effectiveness of the cleanse. Some types of protein supplements contain additives or artificial ingredients. These types of elements can counteract the benefits of the natural juice cleanse. Similar to weight training, we recommend taking a step back from protein supplements during a juice cleanse.
Will I lose muscle during a juice cleanse?
Despite the caloric deficit, it is unlikely that you will lose more than 1-2 pounds of muscle mass during a two to three-day cleanse. Most of your weight loss will be water weight.