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.
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.
•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.
•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:
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.