Whether you’re a veteran juicer or new to the world of cleansing, you’ve probably asked yourself: “Can I work out on a juice cleanse?” While juicing and exercise are a delicate combination, there are plenty of ways to incorporate exercise safely during your cleanse.
How to stay active on a juice cleanse
If you’re naturally a very active person, cutting back the exercise during your cleanse may be difficult at first. That’s why we’re here to tell you that you don’t need to completely eliminate exercise from your daily routine—you just need to scale it back. This is to ensure that you maintain your energy levels, while still getting the fuel you need to power through your day.
We’ve listed our top tips when it comes to juicing and exercise, so you can still work out safely while on a juice cleanse.
1. Avoid strenuous or high-intensity workouts
Skip the high-impact exercises like sprints, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Tabata, or long strength training sessions during your juice cleanse. We understand this may be tempting, especially if this type of training is part of your regular routine. However, placing too much impact on the body while consuming fewer calories may lead to feelings of fatigue, weakness, or dehydration. You may also be putting yourself at a higher risk of injury if you are pushing yourself too hard and too quickly, since the body does not have enough energy to keep up or optimally recover. Take this time to slow down, listen to your body, and be a little more gentle on yourself.
2. Stick to low-intensity workouts
When you’re doing a juice cleanse, you’re naturally consuming fewer calories, putting your body in a caloric deficit. During this detox period, you’ll need to keep an eye on your energy levels as you adapt to a smaller food and nutrient intake. To preserve your energy levels, try sticking to light forms of exercise and movement—you don’t want to burn out too quickly! Try workouts like pilates, restorative yoga, and walking. Light movement will still feel great, without overdoing it.
3. Move in the morning
Throughout the cleanse period, you’ll likely have more energy in the morning. If you’re getting enough sleep each night, you’re giving your body plenty of time to recover and reset—meaning you should feel well rested and rejuvenated by morning. If you want to squeeze in a workout, try your best to get it done before you start your day. That said, you should always do what feels best for you. Use your own judgment when finding the best time to work out. If you feel best in the evenings or at any other time throughout the day, by all means exercise when it feels right.
4. Don't exercise on an empty stomach
You may sometimes hear that working out on an empty stomach has benefits for burning extra calories. However, it’s not always the right choice, especially when doing a juice cleanse. When you work out on an empty stomach, you may end up burning valuable energy sources, leading to a decrease in overall energy levels. If you exert too much energy during your workout, this may lead to lower blood sugar levels, leaving you feeling lightheaded, nauseous, or shaky. Your main priority when doing a juice cleanse should be to maintain your energy levels. That’s why we recommend drinking a Pulp & Press juice before you exercise to ensure that your blood sugars are stabilized.
5. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is always a must, but it’s especially important when you’re cleansing and breaking a little sweat. You’re going to want to make sure you’re staying hydrated before, during, and after your workout so you’re maintaining your electrolyte balance and never dehydrating. During your cleanse, you should always be drinking lots of water (recommended 8-10 cups) and also sipping on some herbal tea throughout the day. For more tips on recovering after a workout, check out our blog on optimal workout recovery.
6. Incorporate gentle stretching or foam rolling into your routine
There are tons of benefits that come from stretching every day, ranging from increasing flexibility, reducing risk of injury, and promoting blood flow to your muscles. As you take a step back from intense forms of exercise, try incorporating as much gentle stretching in your routine as possible. This will help you keep a positive mindset throughout the day, decrease any tension or soreness, and help improve your circulation.
7. Leave the fitness tracker behind
We know how exciting and motivating it can be to see how many calories you’ve burned in a day, or how many steps you’ve taken. While cleansing, we advise that you ditch the fitness tracker so you won’t feel pressured to do more than you should. Don’t worry—you can get right back to tracking once your cleanse is complete!
Don’t feel pressured to work out while you’re cleansing. Just because exercise is part of your regular routine, it’s perfectly fine (and often expected) to take a break while cleansing. If you’re not consuming enough calories, it may be safer to skip the workout altogether and focus on detoxing your body through the cleanse itself.
Easing back into your exercise routine
Although you’ll feel refreshed after your juice cleanse, your energy levels may not be back up to normal just yet—this may take a few extra days. We recommend slowly easing yourself back into your workout routine to prevent injuries or increased fatigue. Start with gentle movement, like yoga, walking, stretching, or swimming before you engage in heavy and more intense forms of exercise. It’s important to allow your body the time to build back the energy stores that it may have lost over the course of your juice cleanse.
Take the pressure off
Remember to use this time to slow down and listen to your body. Although you may feel inclined to work harder and test your limits, a cleanse isn’t necessarily designed for this. It’s important to recognize that you’re already making the commitment to reset, rejuvenate and redefine your health and wellness goals. Completing a cleanse is a huge achievement, so take the pressure off yourself–you don’t need to go above and beyond, and you should never do anything that doesn’t feel right.