Many people tout the health benefits of adding freshly squeezed juice to our diets, but with all the conflicting information out there it can be hard to know what is true and what is not. When talking about adding fresh squeezed juice (fruit or vegetable), we are referring to the fresh juice that you can easily make at home if you have the right equipment.
Juicing gets rid of the toxins in your body
Myth - Drinking juice can't flush pesticides or other toxins out of your body. As a matter of fact, your body does a fantastic job of "detoxing" on its own through your liver, kidneys, lymph glands, colon, lungs and skin.
Drinking fresh juice helps to keep you hydrated
Truth - Drinking a cup of juice before or after your workout will hydrate your body and also give you the carbohydrates you need to keep your energy up. Be aware that fruit juice can provide a lot of calories, so try not to over do it.
It speeds up the recovery process
Truth - Studies have shown that certain juices can be beneficial to the recovery
process, such as pomegranate and tart cherry. These two types of
juices tend to be more easily obtained in a store, however, if you decide to
buy any of these juices, avoid buying juice with added sugar.
It gives your digestive tract a break
Myth - In fact, your stomach, intestines, and colon are muscles that need to be used in order for them to work properly. If left for too long on a juice only diet, your digestive tract may actually slow down.
It increases athletic performance
Truth - Once again, studies have shown that certain juices improve performance. Currently, there is information that states that beet juice can have a positive affect on performance. It's not clear how it works, but researchers suspect that it's due to the large amounts of nitrates in beets. The nitrates turn into nitric oxide in the body, which reduces the amount of oxygen required to perform exercise.
It's full of nutrients
Truth - When you squeeze fresh produce, fruit or vegetables a large amount of nutrients are transferred to the juice. Dark leafy greens, berries, oranges and carrots are the high performers.
It's good for weight loss
Myth and Truth - If you drink only juice for days, assuming you stick to the low sugar juices you will lose weight. Juice fast diets are not a healthy way or sustainable way to lose weight since it affects many aspects of your body, including your ability to recover from intense training and can negatively affect your immune system.
Overall, juicing is probably not any healthier than eating whole fruits and vegetables since there is no solid scientific evidence that proves otherwise. However, if you have trouble getting the required amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet, it can be a good way to incorporate it into your lifestyle.
References from the SIRC Collection:
1. Bhardwaj R, Pandey S. Juice Blends-A Way of Utilization of Under-Utilized Fruits, Vegetables, and Spices: A Review. Critical Reviews In Food Science & Nutrition. July 2011;51(6):563-570.
2. Hamitton A. Beat a PB with beetroot juice. Cycling Weekly. February 9, 2012;:37.
3. Kordich J. The Joys of Juicing: Fresh juice is a quick, delicious way to
consume nutritious fruits and vegetables raw and in quantity. Yoga Journal. August 1993;(111):18.
4. Marsh T, Cullen K, Baranowski T. Validation of a Fruit, Juice, and Vegetable Availability Questionnaire. Journal Of Nutrition Education & Behavior. March 2003;35(2):93.
5. On the Beetroot Juice. Joe Weider's Muscle & Fitness. October 2010;71(10):32.
6. Perry M. can juice really make you healthier?. Shape. June 2008;27(10):166-172.
7. Spalding L. the big squeeze. Yoga Journal. August 2010;(230):35-38.