Debunking Bad Advice: Coffee & Juice Cleansing

Should you stop drinking coffee for your juice cleanse?

As I said in the last post, there are lots of people out there with their own opinions about what someone should or shouldn't do before, during, or after a juice cleanse. We already talked about the all too familiar "where do I get my protein?" question, as well as why being hungry isn't a bad thing, but is actually an important part of losing weight with a juice cleanse. 

Here's the next biggie...

BAD ADVICE #3 Stop drinking coffee leading up to and during a juice cleanse

"To prepare for the cleanse, cut out coffee two to three days before."

While it is a good thing to cut out alcohol, meat, dairy, and as much processed foods (that are high in sugar and salt) as possible before starting a cleanse, cutting out coffee is a completely different matter. 

Caffeine is a Drug.

Coffee contains caffeine which, for lack of a better word, is a drug. And a powerful one at that!  It is no secret that Americans are addicted to coffee. If you take notice, you will find that whether you are in a big city or a suburb, there are coffee shops on every other corner, in strip malls that line the highways, and even on fast food menus. Coffee is everywhere.

Caffeine withdrawal is a serious thing. I've never suffered from migraines, but I have suffered through caffeine withdrawal, and let me tell you it is the worst headache you could possibly imagine. Let me tell you a personal story...

A few years ago (before I woke up to the fact that I was treating my body poorly and changed my lifestyle) I was drinking 2-3 large cups of full strength coffee a day. I actually needed it to get through my work day (I'm sure some of you can relate). One day I came down with a serious cold or flu of some sorts and was put on medicine. I had not had any coffee for a few days while I was sick and had come down with a SERIOUSLY debilitating headache. I went back to my doctor for a checkup because of the headaches. She perked up and calmly told me that one of the side effects of the meds I was on was brain bleeding.

Haha, I laugh now because of how ridiculous the medical industry is as I picture one of the countless commercials for a medicine that "helps depression" but "may cause blurred vision, memory loss, loss of muscle function, cardiac arrest, cancer, and even death."  

As I'm sure you could suspect, I internally freaked out and drove myself into an anxiety attack (this was before I fixed that issue too :) The doctor sent me over to another doctor to have my eyes checked to see if my optic nerve was swollen (a sign of said brain bleeding issue). On the way home from the second doc, I stopped at Starbucks and got a coffee, went home, got into bed and drank my coffee seriously depressed and completely freaked out. 

Shortly after my headache was completely gone. 

It took me a little while to figure out that the coffee I had just consumed (the first after 3 or 4 days of not drinking it while I was sick) was the cure to the insanely crazy headache that my doctor thought might be brain bleeding. 

I really can't explain how angry I was at the whole situation after I realized this whole thing happened because I was addicted to caffeine.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY.... If you are drinking full strength coffee every day, DO NOT, stop cold turkey.

If you are planning your cleanse for a few days from now, keep drinking coffee, however... drink it black without any milk, cream, flavored creamers, sugar or sugar substitutes. 

If you have enough time before you want to start your cleanse (4 weeks or so) you can slowly ween yourself off of full strength to decaf by increasing the amount of decaf you drink each week by 25%. (Week One- 25% decaf, Week Two- 50% decaf, Week Three- 75% decaf, Week Four- 100% decaf). (This might be a good thing to consider regardless of your plans to do a juice cleanse.)

Another option is to get your caffeine fix from matcha green tea. Read more about the benefits here

Keep reading...

Written by Jessica Rosen, Raw Generation's Co-Founder & Certified Holistic Health Coach