There are a lot of arguments against juicing. Well, they aren’t so much arguments as they are assertions. I have yet to seen a coherent, cogent argument establishing juicing is not beneficial. (Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the 3 Biggest Benefits of Juicing.)
Indeed, the reason I started Fit Juice was because there was no juicing source for men like us.
Juicing gurus, for example, treat juicing as the cure-all. Juicing will cure cancer and every other disease. But you must go on a lengthy juice fast and consume nothing but juices. I have never made any claims like that, as I don’t write for obese people. Juice fasts can be highly beneficial for obese people, but otherwise healthy men will see great benefits from 8-16 ounces of juice a day.
What about men who want to get in more servings of vegetables without falling for hype or New Age nonsense?
However, some arguments against juicing are your fault, as they are the result of cognitive errors and illogical thinking. Namely, people don’t put juicing in context. They don’t think through the implications of their arguments.
If you learn two concepts about juicing, you will understand why all of the arguments against juicing fail.
- People treat juicing as an all-or-nothing dietary change.
Either you drink juice and eat nothing at all (i.e., go on prolonged juice fasts), or you don’t drink juice at all.
- People treat “juice” as if “juice” is the same thing and not the end result of what you put into the juice.
This group of people talks as if kale juice is nutritionally identical to apple juice. If kale is not an apple, then how can arguments against apple juice (for example, apple juice is too high in sugar) apply to kale or celery juice? It makes no sense.
When you realize those two misconceptions are behind most of the juicing hate, the arguments against juicing refute themselves.
1. “Juicing is a fad diet.”
What isn’t a fad diet?
By definition, anything new or trendy is a fad. That something is new or a fad doesn’t make it ineffective. What is the point of calling something a fad diet?
The Paleo diet is a fad diet. High carb and low fat is a fad diet. Atkins is a fad diet. Intermittent Fasting is a fad diet.
In any event, I don’t advocate juice fasts or suggest making juice a central part of your diet. Juice is something that is beneficial.
Thus, juicing is not a fad diet. Juicing is not a diet at all.
Drinking a glass or two of juice is a simple way to get in 8-12 servings of vegetables and fruit each day. That’s all juicing is to me.
2. “Just eat your vegetables and fruit.”
Do you eat 8-12 servings of vegetables and fruit each day? If you are eating 8-12 servings of vegetables each day, please post a link to your Instagram. I’d like to see that!
If not, then why are you going around telling people to do something you don’t even do?
The truth is that fewer than 10% of Americans eat an adequate amount of vegetables. Eating vegetables takes a lot of time. How long does it take to eat 5 cups of carrots? You’d be munching on carrots all day.
One 8-ounce glass of juice is equal to 8 servings of vegetables.
3. “Smoothies are better than juicing!”
Great. Make smoothies. Joe Rogan drinks a kale shake every day.
Some days I make smoothies and other days I juice. A kale shake can be pretty gross and hard to take down, though, and one way to achieve dietary success is by making life easier on yourself.
Some foods are actually better in a smoothie. For example, juicing blueberries is difficult. Berries and cherries are better in a smoothie.
Also, I’d rather eat canned pumpkin (to make a pumpkin superfood smoothie) than go through the process of juicing pumpkins.
If you’re drinking green smoothies every day, hey, keep on keeping on.
If you’re not drinking kale shakes, then you shouldn’t be a busybody who worries about whether someone is drinking green juice. That makes you a keyboard warrior.
“4. Juice has too much sugar in it!”
I would answer that assertion with a question of my own:
- How many grams of sugar does the average green juice contain?
If you can’t answer that question, then why are you saying juice has “too much sugar” in it? You simply don’t know and are repeating statements you read somewhere else.
Do some research and think before forming strong opinions about the world.
- Does an 8 ounce apple juice contain the same grams of sugar as 8 ounces of kale juice?
Of course not. The truth is that you can make many low-sugar juices.
5. “Juice really does have too much sugar in it!!”
Do you not consume any sugar? You do not eat dessert, cookies, ice cream, granola bars, cereal, cake, syrup on waffles, honey, jam on an English muffin, pancakes, or drink wine?
“But cake is delicious! I want to eat cake but not waste my carbs and sugar intake on juice.”
Great, eat your cake.
I eat my share of junk food and do not pretend otherwise.
But if you are not on a zero-sugar diet, you are arguing for the sake of arguing rather than trying to improve your own life or help improve the life of others.
6. “No, I’m serious. There’s too much sugar in juice!!!”
If carbs are a concern and you are afraid the sugar in juice is going to spike your blood sugar, then use nutrient timing for your juice. Nutrient timing means you consume more carbohydrates before, during, and after your workout than you’d otherwise consume.
It amazes me to no end that bodybuilders and lifters treat the post-workout window as a medical emergency. They rush to slug down corn polymers post-workout or else they won’t get those gains. (Bodybuilders and bros also take nitrates in pre-workouts. Beet juice is rich in nitrates.)
“Sugar! Sugar! Sugar! Otherwise the body will go into a catabolic state and your training session was wasted!” Why can’t those sugars come from green juice?
Why can’t you drink a glass of “high sugar,” carrot juice or NO2-rich beet juice before or after lifting?
Is sugar evil or isn’t it? Be consistent and coherent.
7. “You need the fiber that is taken away from the juice.”
Unless juice is your sole source of nutrition, why is this even a point? You don’t have fiber when you drink post-workout shakes. You don’t get fiber from protein shakes.
Wine and beer do not have fiber. Pasta, bread, pancakes and countless other foods you eat don’t have much fiber. Some foods have no fiber at all.
Some would claim juicing is a special case, because the lack of fiber means the magic sugar in juice will kill you. That myth has already been busted. (See above, “There’s too much sugar in juice!”)
8. “There’s too much fructose in juice. Fructose makes you fat.”
There has never been a study showing fructose-related weight gain in otherwise healthy subjects. In fact, the research on fructose has been sensationalized to the point of absurdity.
This is what the science actually says about fructose:
- Consumption of 100% fruit juice and risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome: findings from the national health and nutrition examination survey 1999-2004. (“Compared with nonconsumers, those who consumed 100% fruit juice were leaner, were more insulin sensitive, and had lower odds of obesity and metabolic syndrome.”)
- Soft drink, 100% fruit juice, and vegetable juice intakes and risk of diabetes mellitus. (“Soft drink but not pure juices consumption was associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes in Japanese women.”)
- Relationship between 100% juice consumption and nutrient intake and weight of adolescents. (“In conclusion, when compared with non-juice consumers, adolescents consuming 100% juice did not show mean increased weight measures.”)
There are countless other studies, but let’s do a reality check: Where are all of the people who got fat from eating too much fruit?
Sometimes you need to take a step back from PubMed, stop being a keyboard warrior, and look around at the world.
Where are all of the people who got fat from drinking too many green juices?
Also, I would ask you the same two sugar-related questions I asked above:
- How many grams of fructose are in a glass of green juice?
- Does an 8 ounce glass of kale juice contain the same amount of fructose as an 8 ounce glass of apple juice?
Apple is a high-fructose containing fruit. An 8 ounce glass of apple juice (which I have never advocated drinking pure apple juice) contains 13 grams of fructose, which the body can easily process.
I have my blood work done regularly. This is what my latest blood work showed:
Cholesterol. Total, 160.
Why don’t I have elevated triglycerides if fructose from juice is the Devil’s tonic?
Is there any real-life example of someone getting fat or having elevated triglycerides from drinking green juice? If so, I would like to meet that person.
What does your blood work show? Post your full labs, gurus.
9. “Juicing won’t fill you up.”
If this is a concern, eat something with your juice. Again, I do not advocate consuming 100% (or even 25%) of your daily calories from juice. That said, I have consumed up to 50% of my calories from juice without any deleterious effects.
I often drink a V8 with dinner. There’s even some evidence that taking some fat like coconut oil or Udo’s oil can help your body absorb the beta carotene in carrots.
What’s more is that juices are actually filling. Your body absorbs all of the nutrients.
The two biggest causes of hunger are dehydration and malnutrition. Sometimes the best way to avoid eating a snack is to drink 16-32 ounces of water. Others drink a green juice.
Your body encourages you to eat more because it needs nutrients. In fact, up to 50% of obese people are actually malnourished.
When you drink juice, your body is nourished. You are actually less hungry.
As counter-intuitive as it seems, drinking juice is more satiating than eating most meals.
10. “Drink chocolate milk instead of juicing!”
One well-known nutrition guru (who doesn’t post his blood work) recommends men drink chocolate milk after lifting weights. This same guru has spoken out against juicing, making many of the same fallacious arguments I addressed.
Chocolate milk is loaded with sugar, including the dreaded fructose.
Why is chocolate milk a great post-workout drink where carrot or beet juice (with some whey protein or BCAAs) isn’t? Again, if sugars are such a concern, why not use nutrient timing to your advantage, drinking high-sugar juices post-workout?
The truth is nutrition gurus haven’t giving juicing much thought, instead believing all juice is like that.
Not all juice is like that.
Some juices are high in sugar. Some juices are low in sugar.
The juice recipes I share tend to use only small amounts of fruit, instead relying on kale, spinach, collards, and other leafy greens.
What are the benefits of juicing?
The benefits of juicing are the same as eating vegetables.
Maybe you’re able to extract more nutrients from the cellular wall of the plant fiber. It’s hard to say and I’m not going to make magical claims.
That said, nutritional analysis has shown that 1 cup of carrot juice or celery juice, for example, has the same nutritional value as 5 cups of carrots or celery. Claims that you’re missing out on some nutritional factors by juicing rather than eating whole vegetables are ignorant. End of story.
The benefits of juicing are too many to keep track of.
Juicing boosts your immune system.
Four week supplementation with mixed fruit and vegetable juice concentrates increased protective serum antioxidants and folate and decreased plasma homocysteine in Japanese subjects:
Important antioxidants were elevated to desirable levels associated with decreased risk of disease while markers of oxidative stress were reduced, and folate status improved with a concomitant decrease in homocysteine, and these benefits occurred to a similar extent in smokers when compared to non-smokers.”)
Exogenous stimuli maintain intraepithelial lymphocytes via aryl hydrocarbon receptor activation:
AhR activity can be regulated by dietary components, such as those present in cruciferous vegetables, providing a mechanistic link between dietary compounds, the intestinal immune system, and the microbiota
Juicing may decrease your chance of getting cancer.
See, Diet and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma risk. (“An association between dietary intake and the risk of NHL is biologically plausible due to immunosuppressive effects of fat and animal proteins, and antioxidant properties of vegetables and fruits.”
Juicing makes you better looking.
Can dietary intake influence perception of and measured appearance? A systematic review: Dietary intake and appearance:
Nineteen studies were assessed as being of “positive” and 4 of “neutral” quality. All observational studies (n = 4741 participants) indicated that there was a significant association between various aspects of dietary intake and skin coloration and skin aging. The majority (16 studies, 769 participants) evaluated the effect of dietary supplements on skin appearance among women. Only 1 study examined the effect of actual food intake on appearance. Significant improvements in at least 1 actual or perceived appearance-related outcome (facial wrinkling, skin elasticity, roughness, and skin color) following dietary intervention were shown as a result of supplementation.
What is the best eBook on juicing?
There is no competition. Juice Power is loaded with scientific studies (like the ones cited above) as well as juice recipes and juice reviews.
@PlayDangerously thanks mike! Your juicing ebooks have worked wonders! After my post surgery blood work, my doctor is ordering his own copy!
— Wayne Earl (@RedpillReboot) February 10, 2015
— MaleDefined (@MaleDefined) February 10, 2015