Someone has bottled Gwyneth Paltrow's magical glow, and now we're all drinking the Kool-Aid. And yes, we're literally drinking it.
Juice cleanses have become so ubiquitous that, despite their exorbitant price tag, consumption has extended beyond celebrities to us regular folk. Though the health benefits of a detox cleanse have been debated, everybody's trying it anyway. Sure, there's the promise of feeling better, looking brighter and younger, and functioning like a well-oiled machine, but let's be real. You're really doing a cleanse because you want to drop a few pounds.
Here's what we really want to know: Do any of these cleanses taste good enough and satisfy us enough to be worth some major dough and food deprivation? Is anything worth food deprivation? Because I've got a homemade blueberry pie on my counter, and you're going to have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands.
Health claims aside, we're here to see how drinkable these cleanses are. If the juice doesn't taste good, chances are you'll end up throwing money down the drain, along with that putrid cabbage-kale juice.
First of all, a quick education on how cleanses work. Most juice cleanses consist of six juices a day, which are delivered fresh to your door. These aren't your typical Mott's apple juices -- they're pressed, raw, unpasteurized juices made from fruits and vegetables, with no sugar added. Start the cleanse immediately, because the juices' nutrients allegedly begin to deteriorate after three days (with the exception of BluePrint, which lasts six days). Drink a bottle of the juice every two hours, with a glass of water in between, and eat absolutely no food -- herbal tea is your only other allowance (not even gum!). The typical cleanse lasts three days, but you can tinker with the length of the duration. The cost, on average, is $75 a day. Yep, you read that correctly.
We conducted a taste test of the five major brands that will ship their juices directly to your home, no matter where you live (as long as it's in the United States, that is). Despite our worst fears, we found we actually enjoyed the flavors across the board, making the prospect of a cleanse seem almost realistic. A juice with red cabbage in it actually tastes like a popsicle. Would we want to drink these juices all day long? Sure we would. But there are some differences from brand to brand, so we've put together a tasting guide in the slideshow below. Check it out to see which cleanse best suits your taste buds.
The consensus: Even if you've never considered naming your child Apple, we think a juice cleanse is doable. All five brands are drinkable, even if you want to chug them down with a cheeseburger and some fries.
As always, this taste test was in no way influenced or sponsored by the brands included.