Are juice cleanses worth it?

Vegetable juices
If only the real juices looked this tasty...
"I reason that vodka is basically a vegetable juice, what with it being made from potatoes, right?"
  • | by Rachel England

In October last year a well-meaning friend sent me a text message.

It read: "Mate, your diet is gross", prompting me to scroll through my Twitter profile where I found a pictorial history of carbohydrates and saturated fat. There was one picture of a banana but I had dunked it in Nutella, so that doesn't count, does it?

Because I'm too lazy to make long-lasting changes to my diet, I found myself intrigued by a three-day juice cleanse. I flung £60 at it and three days later 12 bottles of brown and green liquid arrived… here's how it went down.

Day one

08:15

Woke up with a sugar hangover thanks to a cinema trip last night where I ate an entire 'sharing' bag of Maltesers. Down the first juice of the day, 'Detox', which contains cucumber, celery, beetroot, apple and ginger. It's not horrendous – maybe this won't be so bad?

12:45

Lunchtime, and next up is a 'Calm', aptly titled because my stomach is growling and I'm starting to panic at the prospect of going without actual food for three days. More beetroot. I'm not even sure I've ever eaten beetroot before this.

17:20

Rachel England with an empty invincible juice bottle

'Invincible', which literally could not be further from my current state. I have a headache and I can't focus on anything. Manage to type the sentence "I'll come back to you tomorrow" in an email.

19:30

I reason that vodka is basically a vegetable juice, what with it being made from potatoes, right? And also, it's not food, so it's ok to have one with tonic water, which is basically water.

20:45

I trip down the stairs on the bus. The vodka was a bad choice.

Day two

13:30

There's a reason one of these juices is called 'Flush' – if you know what I'm saying…

17:50

"Rach, do you fancy going for dinner tonight?"

"Can't sorry, I'm doing a juice cleanse." *Lets out comically gaseous belch*

20:30

Make it through the day without any real hunger, just intense cravings. End up watching a food programme with my housemates while one of them eats a steak and I feel like crying into my 'Green Fairy'. See a talking biscuit on the TV and cautiously ask the others if they're seeing it too.

21:45

I cave and have a slice of crackerbread which satisfies exactly 0% of my cravings and leaves me wracked with remorse.

22:30

Go to bed with a headache.

Day three

03:20

Hello, leg cramps.

05:45

More leg cramps.

07:45

GUESS I'LL JUST GET UP THEN.

09:30

See an online advert for sausages and am convinced I can smell them.

12:40

Sing 'No More I Love Yous' to my bottle of mud-brown 'Mean Green' as I realise my cravings have gone away.

12:45

Rachel England with nasty looking juice

I'm so over beetroot now.

16:25

And lo, I suddenly feel zen. I'm not hungry or in discomfort and I don't have any cravings. Is this it? Have I achieved a state of peak physical purity?

19:30

Headache.

22:30

Last juice of the programme and I'm so pleased that I treat myself to a bowl of lettuce. I manage four mouthfuls before I'm totally full and – here's the kicker – I actually don't want to eat any more. This has never happened before.

Conclusion

Just so we're clear, I'm under no illusions about the science – or lack thereof – behind juice cleansing.  At no point did I think I was 'purifying my liver' or 'expelling toxins' or any of that jazz. But I'm a junk food addict, and the last three days have served to make me more mindful of what I eat.

More importantly, however, we've now got lots of extra freezer space. I just have to decide whether I fill it with frozen pizzas or more juice…

Have you ever completed a juice cleanse? Did you see any results? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook