Advocates of short duration juice fasts suggest that the discipline of restricting dietary intake to freshly juiced fruits and vegetables for a specific period of time offers a number of exceptional health benefits, including enhanced fitness, extra energy and loss of excess body fat. Does it work? T.J. Murphy, Editorial Director for Triathlete Magazine and Inside Triathlon, fires up a juicer and gives it a try.

By T.J. Murphy

Leaf through a few pages of “The Juice Fasting Bible” by Sandra Cabot, M.D., and you start to wonder why health care reform doesn’t include incentivizing juice fasts. Dr. Cabot suggests that by embarking on a 1, 3 or (for the experienced and deeply committed) 7-day juice fast will enable a tidal wave of benefits:

“Discover the power of all-juice diets to restore good health, lose weight and increase vitality.”

“You will become as convinced as I am that there is no better way to improve your overall health—and you’re quality of life.”

“We must get rid of the toxins that are building up in our bodies, otherwise those toxins—probably sooner, rather than later—may very well get rid of us. The good news is the best method of toxin removal starts with [juice] fasting.”

“For many people, raw juice fasting supplies more nutrients than they were getting in their day-to-day diet.”

“During juice fasting, when no solid foods, proteins or fats are consumed, your body will decompose and burn all the diseased and inferior protein and fat tissues.”

Trust me, this is only the beginning, and while I’m skeptical of just about anything making incredible promises, it’s hard not to want to check it out. I figure that if I were to reap just one of the benefits it would be worth it. Mostly, to be honest, I just want to burn off a few pounds so I’ll slide up a little bit closer to a satisfactory racing weight. Plus, it’s not some futuristic pharmaceutical conjured up in a chemistry lab. It’s juice. So what the hell?

During the month of April I will experiment with juice fasting per Dr. Cabot’s recommendations, and report back on the experience and anecdotal results. Tomorrow I’ll chat some about the overall guidelines I’ll be following as I attempt to burn off a few pounds and explore what happens when you spend a few days not worrying about having to chew.