5 On Your Side

Consumer Reports: Juice cleanses may not be worth the hefty price

Posted April 12, 2016 5:56 p.m. EDT

— Juice cleanses—a $200 million industry—has many users praising effective weight loss and body rejuvenation.

“I will do a cleanse if I’ve eaten too much; if I’ve been drinking too much, if I’ve been having too much sugar,” said Susan Williams. “I feel like it resets my system.”

The concept is to replace solid foods with juices made from fruits, vegetables or nut milks.

Consumer Reports nutritionists looked at some three-day programs from some top-selling brands, including BluePrint’s Renovation Cleanse, Pressed Juicery’s Cleanse One and Suja’s Original Fresh Start.

The cleanses aim to reset the digestive system, rejuvenate the body, increase energy and eliminate toxins.

“We just didn’t see a lot of evidence to back some of the claims they make,” said Consumer Reports nutritionist, Amy Keating.

None of the cleanses promise weight loss, but it may aid in the short term since most are relatively low in calories.

The juices reviewed also tended to be too low in fiber and protein, and too high in sugars.

Juice cleanses are also pricey. Three days of juices can cost as much as $200.

“If you’re healthy and you do a cleanse for one, two, or even three days, it’s probably not harmful,” Keating said. “But any longer than that just really isn’t smart because they just don’t contain all the nutrients your body needs.”

The most effective way to see change without paying a high price is to make healthier eating and drinking choices.

Consumer Reports reached out to the manufacturers regarding their claims. Those that responded defended the benefits of their products.

The company’s health experts reviewed their information but said they're not convinced the products are worth the money.