Instead of [BLANK], Try [BLANK]

Instead of juicing, try increasing your water intake!

I’d like to make it clear that I AM NOT A DOCTOR, NURSE, OR MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL IN ANY CAPACITY (I cannot stress this point enough). But it doesn’t take a medical degree to know that water is good for you. The human body is composed of roughly 60% H2O, with the brain claiming a whopping 90% water composition. Water is necessary. Not necessary in a I can’t believe you’re not on Facebook how do you even survive way, but in the more immediate basic needs mandated by the United Nations without which you will literally die sense of the word.

And after reiterating that I am not a physician, surgeon, nurse, dentist, chiropractor, acupuncturist, or shaman, I’d like to offer my personal, non-medical opinion that juicing is total bunk. Many people (particularly those with health-related Pinterst boards) are attracted to the promises of rapid weight loss, vitamins, antioxidants, increased energy, curing cancer, ending global suffering, and the kitchen sink. The truth is that juicing is potentially hazardous to your skin health (among other things). Luckily, the benefits touted by members of the juicing clan can be gained by other, less risky means.

First I’d like to discuss a specific kind of juicing called the juice cleanse. It may last anywhere from a weekend to 10 days. Contrary to some bullshit on the internet, juice cleanses will not rid you of toxins* or jump-start your metabolism. More pointedly, they will not lead to lasting weight loss. A cleanse is, by its very nature, a temporary dietary event. It’s not sustainable, it’s not a lifestyle change, and once it’s over the weight will come back. Rather than suffering a grueling period of hunger pangs, crankiness, and waves of diarrhea, it’s best to skip the cleanse altogether and introduce some permanent healthy changes. Put down the expensive juice and drink some free water. Moreover, yo-yo diets such as juice cleanses can cause your weight to fluctuate, which is tough on your heart, your metabolism, and (oh, sweet vanity) your skin. The repeated and prolonged skin stretching/slackening cycle of yo-yo weight gain and loss leads to stretch marks, sagging, and premature wrinkling.

Those who look to supplemental juicing for health and weight loss may find that, counter-intuitively, they gain weight. Adding juice to your normal diet may increase your vitamin intake, but it also increases your calorie intake (despite what any toxin-removing, metabolism-boosting juice propaganda might claim). Juice is very energy-dense, by which I mean it contains lots of calories relative to its volume. You can drink a large quantity of fruit juice without getting full in the way you would eating those same component fruits of the juice. Moreover, since juice’s calories come almost exclusively from sugar, it is difficult to maintain consistent blood sugar while juicing. I would not deign to suffer energetic bursts and sluggish slumps as my blood sugar oscillates like an unregulated roller coaster, only to wind up gaining weight anyway. Water, on the other hand, has no calories. It’s kind of a no-brainer.

Juice isn’t an acceptable replacement for fruits and veggies, either. It seems like a dream solution for those who don’t have the time or palate for consuming their daily recommended dose of leafy greens, but juicing removes virtually all the colon-loving, hunger-abating, heart-disease-and-diabetes-risk-reducing fiber. Yes, dietary fiber, that magical stuff that makes the world go ’round and digestive tracts go regularly. So, if it won’t help you manage and maintain a healthy weight, reduce your toxins (whatever that means), or fulfill your need for fruits and vegetables, what is juice good for? [Crickets chirping]

Conversely, the benefits to water consumption are numerous. Hydration is important to all-over body health, from your skin to your digestive tract to your waistband. Properly hydrated skin boasts decreased appearance of cellulite and wrinkles as compared to dehydrated skin. Water helps with weight management, both as a substitute for high-calorie beverages and a means to increase the feeling of fullness. Water can also ease muscle cramping and relieve headaches brought on by mild dehydration.

At the end of the day, my laywoman’s opinion is not medically relevant, but I sincerely think water is the clear (lol, water puns) winner.

*On the subject of body toxins: What toxins, specifically, are these bozos talking about? Your body doesn’t need help cleaning itself. The liver and kidneys already do a fine job eliminating waste. These so-called “toxins” don’t accumulate over time; your body is constantly processing and filtering out ingested toxins from processed food, alcohol, and medicines. Environmental toxins from air pollution, heavy metals, etc. can’t be easily removed from the body, and definitely not by carrot juice.

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