Kale-ginger-beet-goji berry juice anyone? This year, Americans were filling up on veggie juices for “juice cleanses” lasting three days or more. There is no shortage of juicing books and the juice industry is still booming. Even Starbucks joined the craze by buying luxe juicemaker Evolution Fresh for $30 million. The idea behind juicing is relatively simple: the aim is to fast on pure fruit and veggie juices to detox and purify the body to feel healthier, more energized and perhaps a couple pounds lighter.
The problem with juice diets are not their taste–although some varieties are quite bitter. There’s simply a lack of evidence that they really provide sustained weight loss and boost energy levels. Typically, only water weight is lost on a juice ‘cleanse,’ and the pounds tend to creep back after the first bite of solid bread. “There have been no clinical studies that validate their cleansing properties,” Dr. Leonard Bielory, an allergy specialist at Rutgers University, told TIME writer Josh Ozersky. And then there are the uncomfortable side effects, since what goes in eventually gets broken down and comes out. “Drinking only juice for three days or more doesn’t do much but put the individual in an uncomfortable position,” he says.
TREND TRIGGER: Celebrities, Dr. Oz. Fresh fruit and veggie juice is not only tasty, it’s trendy.
CLAIM: “Cleansing” your body of toxins.
IS IT FOR YOU? Depends. If you want a kick-off for healthier eating, it’s alright, but don’t expect the weight loss to stick.