THE TRUTH ABOUT THE MASTER CLEANSE
The world of nutrition and fitness sees commercialized diets and exercise routines come and go as quickly as the fashion trends on a Paris runway. Some of these trends disappear for good reason. Many of these fads hit the market without any research to back up their claims, and what’s worse, the research eventually proves how bad they truly are. Unfortunately, as a consumer, you often have to be the judge and jury of which claims and methods are valid and which ones aren’t.
A simple philosophy to approach the nutrition and fitness game with is to practice what’s been well studied, is founded in basic principles any doctor would adhere to, and didn’t just come out of the gate yesterday. Science takes time to build up cases for what works and what’s harmful. Fortunately, enough work has already been done that you can get started on an effective health plan without waiting for a magical system to be invented. And, there are multiple to choose from.
One particular fad that has been making waves is this idea of intermittent fasting (IF) and cleansing—particularly the Master Cleanse or “Lemonade Diet.” It’s a bit foolhardy to lump it in with everything else that dies out as quickly as it becomes popularized because this concept isn’t exactly new. If you think about it, humans fast every day between their last nighttime meal or snack until they wake up and eat breakfast. This can be as long as 12 to 14 hours without consuming a single calorie. Beyond that, the history of mankind shows centuries of IF be it for religious purposes like observers of Ramadan or simply battling food scarcity as hunters and gatherers or during harsh winters and droughts.
Does intermittent fasting work? There is a lot of research starting to come out about its positive benefits, but suffice it to say if your ancestors survived for hundreds of years with this lifestyle, it can’t be too bad. Splintering off of this concept of intermittent fasting enters the less historical cleansing movement. Although, it has its history as well.
Back in 1940, a man by the name of Stanley Burroughs published The Master Cleanser, the original Master Cleanse, which has many nicknames—the lemonade diet, the cayenne pepper diet, the maple syrup diet, and the Beyoncé diet. The one nickname it doesn’t have actually points to its original recipe, the sugarcane juice diet. The original Master Cleanse recipe as written by Stanley Burroughs is 10oz sugarcane juice (medium hot or cold), 2 tbsp lime or lemon juice, 1/10 tbsp cayenne (red pepper). But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The Master Cleanse was originally devised to help battle stomach ulcers, but to reach the masses, it was quickly marketed as the ultimate cure-all. Consume nothing but this simple, concoction for 10 days and enjoy the good vibrations inside your mind, body, and soul, while also losing a few pounds. Naturally, you’ll lose weight on a diet that consists of nothing but liquids, but is it healthy?
Fasting of any type, even if the Master Cleanse isn’t exactly a fast, is recommended in small doses. Your body needs a variety of nutrients, and when it goes too long without getting its fill, negative consequences like muscle depletion will result. What often results from a cleanse isn’t so much the direct benefits of the cleanse itself as it is with the health decisions you make in the future. By consuming the same beverage six to 12 times a day for over a week, you begin to eliminate the various temptations and cravings you’re used to having on a daily basis. When these cravings wither away, you have an unbiased decision making ability when it comes to your first solid meal. A vegetarian, vegan, or raw vegan meal might look tantalizing when 10 days ago, you would have slightly gagged at the thought of a meatless plate of food. By adhering to a strict consumption (or lack thereof) plan over the course of three to 10 days, you have greater power in asking, “what does my body really want?”.
This question leads to an interesting point of discussion. What if you could embark on a Master Cleanse and use it to transition your drinking habits while practicing the diet itself? One of the main ingredients in the popularized Master Cleanse is maple syrup. But, did you know the original ingredient was actually sugarcane juice? This powerful and naturally sweet beverage with its researched health benefits gave the Master Cleanse concoction a much-needed energy boost that didn’t solely come from sugar like maple syrup.
If you decide to go on a Master Cleanse, opting for sugarcane juice rather than maple syrup will enhance your experience, and give you a healthy beverage to keep with you in the next iteration of your lifestyle journey. With the Master Cleanse or any other intermittent fasting, it is important to incorporate healthy eating habits and exercise into your lifestyle after your fast so as to continue to live a healthier life otherwise all the gains made during your cleanse will go down the drain.
Of course, before you choose to take on any diet practice that certainly has an extreme nature to it, consult with your doctor about what best fits your health profile. There are many reasons not to start diets and cleanses of many varieties, so don’t go in without a professional’s guidance. And, if the Master Cleanse isn’t recommended, we guarantee the sugarcane juice will pass with flying colors.