Juicing- Fact and Fiction

The other day I was at the gym and had just finished a six mile treadmill run.  When I got into the locker room there was a girl sitting by my locker literally chugging a gallon of orange juice.  Next to her was a half gallon of lemonade.  I was kind of shocked to see this and it took awhile of observing her behavior and hearing conversations to understand what was going on.  Sadly, she was “juicing” before her workout.  The gallon of orange juice was for before her workout and the half gallon of lemonade was for after the workout.

Juicing is something that can most definitely help your diet or even help you kick start a lifestyle change.  However, if you don’t clearly understand what juicing is, you can completely destroy your diet.  This was the case of what was going on at the gym and it made me extremely sad.

This isn’t the first time I have seen this happen.  I have had family members that started juicing plans in an attempt to lose weight.  However, they just added the juices to their normal diet and didn’t make any other modifications or changes.  While they were getting an added amount of nutrients to their diet, they were just adding on calories to an already unhealthy diet.  Drinking a juice doesn’t counterbalance a Big Mac.

On the flip side, swapping out a meal or having a light lunch and a nice detox juice can work wonders on your body.  I know people who wisely add these to their diets and not only look amazing but they feel great.

Juicing

What is juicing?  Basically juicing is the act of extracting the liquid part of raw of fruits and veggies to get a concentrated amount of their vitamins and minerals.  Many people use this as a meal replacement or a way to get vital nutrients into their diets.  Juicing can also be used as a detox.

What is not juicing?  Typical store bought juices such as orange juice or lemonade are loaded with sugars and additives.  The average gallon of orange juice has approximately 1,760 calories.  It would take 18 minutes of running or 38 minutes of bicycling to burn off a cup of orange juice.  That’s over four hours of running just to burn off that gallon!  These are not full of nutrients and you are much better off eating a whole orange than consuming a small glass of store bought orange juice.

Juicing Facts:

•This is a great way to get a variety of fruits and veggies into your diet if you don’t normally eat them.

•By juicing raw fruits and veggies you end up with a liquid that is both low in sugar and has no added sugars.

•This type of juicing gives you a load of nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, all of which are great for your diet and for athletic performance.

•It is a great way to quickly fuel your body and can especially make for a great breakfast.

•Replacing some meals with juices can help you lose weight or detox.

Juicing Myths:

•This is not the perfect meal replacement to do for every meal for several days.  Juices do not contain protein, an essential part of your diet and necessary for muscle and nerve function.

•By extracting the juice from the fruits and veggies you do lose the fiber component because the pulp is removed.

•Contrary to some beliefs pulling the juice of the fruits and vegetables does not help your body absorb the nutrients faster.  Our bodies are already capable of absorbing these in their natural form.

The Bottom Line:

Juicing3

There is nothing wrong with juicing.  In fact, if you are looking to jump start your diet or feel you are lacking some key nutrients this might be a great way to go.  Keep in mind though that these juices are typically meant to either be a meal replacement or a light snack during the day.  Adding these to your normal daily diet can lead to weight gain.  If you do want to juice, invest in a nice juicer and don’t purchase generic juices from the grocery store.

 

 

20 thoughts on “Juicing- Fact and Fiction

  1. Nice article. I’ve had my share of experiences with juicing and I agree that MANY people don’t actually “get” it. I’ve done juice cleanses where I make juices on my own or order them from a company that specializes in juice cleansing. There are a few really good ones out there. If you juice, it is so important that you are either making the juices fresh right before you consume them (they oxidize and lose nutrients if you wait to drink them) or buy them from a company (like BluePrint Cleanse) that specializes in juicing. They can package fresh juices in a way that they can be consumed within a few days. Also, it is really challenging for competitive athletes to participate in a full on juice cleanse unless they are in the off season. It is a great way to detox and often does leave you full of energy, but it is important to keep physical activity on the lighter side (as in, don’t go for a 20 mile run on a day where you are doing a juice cleanse!). Not enough people understand the role juicing plays in a diet, thanks for writing this!

  2. I really like juices. I own a juicer but never use it, but I like to get a cup from the Earth Fare store occasionally. I think it helps me get more veggies in my diet and just helps with digestion sometimes. Beet juice is actually really good for athletic performance, I’ve read. I don’t like the traditional juices in stores though, I’ve never been one to drink orange juice with breakfast or anything like that.

  3. good thoughts. i enjoy juicing, as i actually like the taste of all the veggies, but i will only either make my own (yay for a juicer) or stick to the “good” juices from whole foods (which are always expensive, so i don’t do it as often as i’d like). i don’t mind swapping out a meal or two now and then, but i’m with you — it’s more of a good habit to form to keep yourself accountable to staying healthy, and something you have to do right in order to reap benefits from.

  4. 38 minutes to burn off a cup of OJ? How slow are you riding? I can kill off the gallon in an hour and a half, maybe two hours if I’m taking it easy. I know this for a fact. 22-24 mph on the road, not on a spin bike.

  5. I am pretty much anti-juicing, but I do like the occasional cup of juice. I would just rather have the whole fruit or veggie, or blend them into a smoothie.

    The reason I have problems is the ‘juice cleanse’ or ‘detox’ … because they are crap. Your body is a natural detox machine ,and really you should be focused on balanced eating rather than using your mouth as a garbage disposal then pumping yourself full of liquid diuretic to chain you to the toilet. Weight loss? Sure … but not long term – and like you say, it won’t counteract that Big Mac!

    But like you say – if you don’t eat fruit and normally drink soda … this is better, and the more natural your juice the better as well!

    • I am completely in agreement with you. I personally have never juiced and likely never will. I too prefer to just plain eat the whole fruit. I wish everyone could just understand that the best and only true way to lose weight and be healthy is to eat a healthy and conscious diet. Pay attention to what you put in your body. Juicing for a few days will likely help you lose weight but once you go back to old habits you will just gain back those lost pounds. We are always looking for the quick solution. It gives you quick results but not long lasting. You are a wonderful example of long term health and it’s long lasting effects. Not really a diet but a lifestyle.

  6. I use a nutri-bullet (keeps the pulp) to create a “smoothie” with kale, spinach, a banana, mixed berries and mixed nuts (heart healthy mix) as a meal replacement a few times a week. It tastes decent enough and keeps me full enough to get away with a light snack later in lieu of dinner. It’s a nice shot of veggies and fruit that I normally wouldn’t get and I figure that aint bad. I’m definitely anti “juice fast”. Mix it up and balance your non juice meals so that they are healthy, and so that you get the essential nutrients the juice is missing and everything will work out!

  7. Yikes yikes YIKES! This makes me cringe so much! I completely agree with you in the fact that if people are going to adopt these new health behaviours, they need to inform themselves about it and do it properly! I also agree that juicing might not be for everyone, but I personally am a firm believer in juicing. That being said, just because I juice doesn’t mean I don’t ever eat fruits and vegetables. I look at juicing as more of a “bonus” to my diet. I still eat plenty of fruits and veggies every day, and when I do juice, it is a nutrient bonus that my body loves!

    • That is a great way to look at juicing. I like the idea of an “added bonus.” It breaks my heart to see people so mininformed and doing more harm than good when they think they are doing the right thing.

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