As the name suggests, juice fasting is the consumption of only juice for a specified amount of time, usually one to 14 days, but can also last much longer. Juice fasts are sometimes marketed together with supplies, supplements, and support groups. Many of these groups have strict rules as to how the juice fast should be administered.
For example, proponents of a raw food diet insist that a juice fast must only contain fresh juice obtained from organic fruits and vegetables processed through a juicer or juice extractor, and that prepackaged juices cannot be used because they have been pasteurized. Furthermore, they recommend that the fresh juice be consumed within one half hour of having been processed and it cannot be refrigerated.
Advocates of juice fasting believe that it enhances the body’s ability to expel the normal byproducts and toxins of metabolism. Some adherents believe that the human body is incapable of processing or excreting these byproducts under normal circumstances and that juice fasting stimulates this elimination.
Juice fasting is performed at facilities and retreats all over the world. The Buchinger clinics in Germany have conducted supervised juice fasts for 90 years. Although the Buchinger clinics call their method “therapeutic fasting,” this could be considered a misuse of the term since peer-reviewed research has defined therapeutic fasting as water-only fasting.
The Buchinger website defines their therapeutic fasting protocol as follows: Buchinger’s therapeutic fasting method is a modified fasting method. It supplies primarily carbohydrates (fruit juices and vegetable consommé) of approximately 250 kcal per day. These ingredients can be supplemented according to individual need by proteins in the form of milk products, and micro-nutritional elements (minerals, vitamins, micro-biotic foodstuffs).