A juice fast is a type of fast, usually undertaken for health reasons, that involves the short-term consumption of only liquid nutrients. While on a juice fast, an individual consumes only fruit and vegetable juices supplemented by water. This type of fast typically lasts at least a day and as long as a week, although some individuals may fast longer. There are many health benefits associated with juice fasting, with two of the most common being weight loss and detoxification. However, like all types of fasting, there are risks and side effects associated with juice fasting, as well.
Drinking juice while fasting is often popular because it does not seem as rigorous or demanding as fasting while taking only water. Juice is a good source of carbohydrates and vitamins, and because it is a liquid food, it is very easy to digest. Ease of digestion is important while fasting, as it means that the body is expending less energy on the digestion process.
Not just any juice will do for a juice fast. Most individuals who choose to fast in this manner avoid purchasing bottles or cartons of juice at the supermarket, as these juices are not truly fresh and frequently have artificial additives or a high sugar content. Instead, the person fasting will most likely make fresh vegetable or fruit juice at home using a juicer and fresh produce, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, beets, cabbage and bean sprouts. Some juice drinkers will dilute their juice with water to ensure that they stay hydrated during the fast, while others prefer the taste of undiluted juice and instead alternate drinking glasses of juice and water.
While a juice fast may be undertaken for any number of reasons, including religious or spiritual beliefs, most often people choose this kind of fast for health reasons. The juice fast is often used as a detox diet by individuals who wish to remove toxins and impurities from their bodies. It is also an effective method of weight loss. Juice fasting has also been said to cure any number of ailments, from depression to cancer, but many of these claims are unverified.
Like other types of fast, a juice fast is not for everyone. Young children, pregnant or nursing women, diabetics, and people on certain types of medication should not attempt any kind of fasting. Side effects associated with limited food intake, such as headache and fatigue, may arise during a juice fast. Also, juice fasting results in a very low fiber diet, which can lead to constipation. In general, a person planning to attempt any kind of fast should consult a doctor first.