The benefits of juicing are immense. If you’ve read my articles such as Juicing – the Easy and Delicious Way to Get Nutrition, or The Optimum Nutrition Most People Ignore you know that juicing is crazy awesome! I started juicing a short while ago and it’s amazing how it’s changed my life. But there are common juice fasting side effects you need to know before you get started.
When you first begin to juice and especially when you do a juice fasting cleanse you are changing the entire ecosystem of your body. This is no small feat and you need to pay attention to signs your body gives you during this overhaul. While cleansing, people commonly experience side effects such as headaches, fatigue, difficulty thinking, moodiness, stomach pain and hunger pangs.
Let’s look at these side effects in more detail. Remember, you may get all of these side effects, or none of them or just a few of them. Everyone is different and it’s important to listen to your own body.
One of the first things most people notice are the hunger pangs. I personally didn’t have these but some of my friends have had them. Just so you know, this is totally normal. Your body is transitioning from traditional chewing of its food to delivering food through liquid. After a few days the hunger pangs will subside as your body becomes use to this process of digestion and as any lingering older food is finishing being processed.
Don’t let a temporary increase of bowel movements throw you off of juicing. It doesn’t last long and remember the reason bowel movements increase during the first few days is because a major health benefit!
Listen to this, first of all fruit has a natural laxative effect on your body. This means your body is figuring out what to do with all of this nutrition. This will even out within a few days.
Also if you look at your stools you’ll notice they are probably thick, tarry and maybe even a bit of mucus. They may be dark in color too or have an foul odor. All of this is normal. This means the juicing is clearing out toxins and old fecal matter that have been stuck in your digestive system for a while. How awesome that your body gets to take out all of this old.. well… crap so that it’s not sitting in your system possibly leading to later disease or infection.
Remember we talked about how juicing clears out the old fecal matter stored away in the dark reaches of your bowels and digestive tract? Well the bloating is actually what is helping that process along. There are a lot of activities going on with the microorganisms inside your digestive tract that release gas during this time of cleansing, which is why you may feel bloated.
Drinking lemon water or lemon-ginger tea will help to alleviate or even eliminate the bloating. Try to drink more than your usual amount of water to help flush out extra toxins being released through the power of juicing.
Bad Breath and Body Odor
When you start juicing you may want to hold off on date night for a few days. Juice Fasting causes your body to clean house and get rid of toxins which can lead to some slightly interesting body smells.
Toxins are removed through the digestive tract as well as through every pore of your body. This is why you may notice a slightly foul body odor as your body removes the bad stuff.
Your tongue may also appear coated after a few days of juice fasting because it is removing and eliminating toxins too. Coated tongue and bad breathe are common during a juicing fast detox. Be sure to keep your tongue clean and help it out by gently brushing it with your toothbrush every time you brush your teeth.
Fatigue & Physical Weakness
There’s a lot going on in your body during a juice fast or as you begin regular juicing, so be kind to yourself. You may experience fatigue or even physical weakness in the first few days as your body does some major repair and healing.
If you have an autoimmune disease like I do, then allow yourself even more time to get over the initial fatigue and physical weakness. If you have an autoimmune disease you have even more garbage to eliminate. I have Fibromyalgia and I was extremely tired my first few weeks of juicing. I had to resist the urge to want to drink coffee all day and instead allowed myself to go to bed early and I drank a ton of water during the day.
So it’s okay if you want to rest more or even nap during this time period. In fact, this is a great time to remind yourself it’s okay to slow down and take time to rest. The body heals when it is as rest and this will be a time to allow your body to do the hard work of cleansing and repair.
Aches & Pains
Many people will report an overall reduction in aches and pains over time. Healing with ailments such as arthritis or disease rooted in inflammation easily occur with juice fasting.
However you may notice pains during the cleansing period. Rejoice in knowing this is your body clearing out the toxins. Again, drink plenty of water and rest. The pains should clear up in 3-7 days or slightly longer if you have an autoimmune disease or other inflammation. If you experience pain lasting longer than seven days or accompanied by swelling then stop juicing and consult a physician.