Remember when juice meant Capri Sun or Tropicana from the grocery store? Today, juice is considerably more glamorous.
Celebrities such as Blake Lively, Colin Farrell and Nicole Richie have become iconic supporters in the juice world.
Juicing has become a mainstream detox and fad diet that requires consumers to drink six or seven raw fruit and vegetable juice blends for three to seven days at a time.
Barron’s reports that juicing has become a $5 billion industry and is projected to grow by 4 to 8 percent a year.
Fans believe that juicing is a healthy way to add nutrients to your diet in addition to boosting your strength, energy and ridding toxins from your system.
Supporters say they have seen rapid weight loss and positive change in their skin complexion and immune system.
Most juicing sites claim that although eating fruits and vegetables in their natural state does provide a substantial amount of vitamins and minerals, we only obtain the maximum benefits from them when they are in juice form.
The juicing trend has tumbled down from the A-list to catch your everyday Joe’s attention, college students included.
According to Barron’s, more than 6,200 juice bars have opened nationwide, and Starbucks recently spent $30 million to capitalize on Evolution Fresh, a juice organization, in hopes of offering consumers healthier alternatives within this lifestyle trend.
Like any fad detox, health enthusiasts have begun questioning the benefits of juicing, and students have begun questioning the price. Popular brands such as Pressed Juicery or Suja cost around $300 for a five-day cleanse. The juicing expenses are one of many problems students face during the detox.
“The biggest challenge was going out with my friends and not consuming alcohol and eating the late night pizzas that always seemed to appear when hanging out with my friends,” Brett O’Connor, senior mass media major, said.
“Staying on track is pretty difficult because food is such a huge part of our social life. It’s hard to eat with other people because you have a strict diet. You are going to crave bread and meat, so prevailing over that is a huge challenge.”
O’Connor juiced kale, apples, lemons, celery, ginger and carrots among other ingredients for three days before adding solid raw fruits, veggies and nuts back into his diet.
He attempted to create a variety of palatable juice blends, but found out that his options were limited. O’Connor said his advice to people seeking to lose weight and have a healthier body would be to change their overall eating habits to cut out man-made foods. He defines man-made food as anything that humans have extracted from the earth to be used as an ingredient.
“American food is pretty bad for you. Everything is loaded with sugar, enriched flour and corn syrup. Pay attention to the things companies are putting in their food so they can maximize their profits,” O’Connor said.
“Take the Coca leaf for example, it has a lot of health benefits if the plant is consumed raw or used for hot tea. If you extract substance from this plant you get the drug cocaine, which we all know does not benefit your health.”
Sticking through juicing fads may provide a sense of accomplishment and add servings of fruit and veggies to your diet, but long-term lifestyle changes are required to lose weight and keep it off.
“I don’t think the juice diet is necessary, just start to eat foods we were born to eat, not foods that have been ‘invented,’” O’Connor said.