by Amelia Murray-Cooper
photography courtesy of Pressed Juicery
In recent years, juice cleanses and wellness shots have become all the rage. To prospective users, these concoctions often seem like a fast and simple track to improving health, purifying the body and losing weight. However, emerging evidence suggests that they are not as effective as they often seem in the media.
Before deciding whether to start a cleanse, it is important to know what exactly the cleansing process will accomplish. Toxins can accumulate naturally or from manmade pollutants in the body when ingesting food, liquids and breathing.
According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, even organic produce isn’t necessarily safe from toxins including E. coli and salmonella, which can lead to illnesses.
The juice cleanses and wellness shots endorsed by celebrities are often praised for their magical detoxifying powers, but science does not support these claims.
Juice Cleanse Myths
As it turns out, the human body already does a pretty good job of flushing out the toxins that accumulate on a daily basis.
Many advocates for juice cleanses also support colon cleanses. According to Mayo Clinic, cleansing the colon isn’t helpful, since the digestive system and bowels are already effective in removing waste material and bacteria from the body.
Margaret Frawley (SAR ’18) said these trends are nothing more than glorified colon cleanses.
“You get a nice little boost of vitamins but it’s all short term food weight,” said Frawley. “Once you start eating normally again, you gain that weight right back.”
From a medical perspective, cleanses are typically not beneficial, since the body already has multiple lines of defense against toxins.
In fact, cleansing can interfere with the body’s natural detoxification process, ultimately causing more harm than good.
Wellness Shots to the Rescue
Instead of going on a juice cleanse and limiting daily food intake, people looking to boost their health can turn to wellness shots as a safe and convenient alternative. Wellness shots are small doses of juice that target specific health benefits. They’re also cheaper than full juice cleanses, so they’re perfect for a college student budget.
After a long night of a little too much fun, or after an exhausting week of college classes and assignments, wellness shots can provide a much need pick-me-up without posing the health risks associated with full juice cleanses.
“These are essentially packed with vitamins and minerals, so they can only be beneficial,” said Frawley.
According to Women’s Health, wellness shots offer a variety of health benefits, such as fighting against the flu, boosting metabolism, reducing indigestion and stabilizing moods. Each shot has specific ingredients and vitamins that target different advantages, from ginger to cumin to kale. These small juice doses are definitely worth a shot, but beware—they don’t always taste the best.
Luckily for Boston University students, there are plenty of places to pick up wellness shots around Boston. Pressed Juicery on Newbury Street, which is just a few minutes from campus, is a high-end regional chain that specializes in juices and shots. They can also be found in most organic grocery stores, like Whole Foods, as well as online retailers.
Ultimately, while it doesn’t hurt to enjoy an occasional juice or wellness shot, no one should completely base their diets on them.