Ask the Health Coach: Are Juice Cleanses Safe?

Maura gets the skinny on the benefits of juice cleanses and how often to do them. Bonus: Find out where a new Jar Bar location recently sprouted up!

Dear Maura,

What’s your take on juice cleanses? Is it ok to drink just juice for a period of time? If so, how long would you recommend is safe? And how often should a person do a juice detox?

Thanks for your help,


Hi Chrissie,

Thanks for writing in with this question. While I love juicing and green smoothies—heck, I did one earlier this year and blogged about it here on Be Well—I reached out to a local expert for this one. Joel Odhner, co-owner of Jar Bar (113 South 12th Street) and creator of Catalyst Cleanse juices, is a health-food guru and has worked with such celebrities as Dr. Oz. Here’s what he has to say about juice cleanses.

Many people I know are doing juice cleanses these days, and they do it for many reasons. Juicing is an awesome way to get all your nutrients, vitamins and minerals without all the chewing. When you drink fresh juice it goes into the body and can assimilate much quicker, which in turn gives you more energy and feeds your cells exactly what they need in order to function optimally. At the same time, the juice helps the body eliminate toxins in a very efficient manner. When you flush with juice, you give your digestive system a break—kind of a mini-vacation. I recommend doing three to five days of juicing at a time; it’s a great way to “reset” your whole body, gain mental clarity, increase your energy and maybe (just maybe) lose a little weight.

A great practice is to juice at the change of each season, so four times a year. That said, many people do it monthly. A lot of athletes juice as part of training as it gives them more energy since the body uses 20 to 30 percent of its energy just to digest food. Doing 10, 20 and 30 day cleanses can be an excellent way really reset you whole mind, body, and spirit.

Want to start small? A great daily practice is to have a green juice or blended drink each morning. By doing so you get loads of vitamins, minerals and nutrients while continuing to give your digestive system a break until your next meal time.

Chrissie (this is Maura now), if you plan to do an extended juice fast, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor. This goes for all readers, especially anyone that is dealing with current medical conditions. Better safe than than sorry, right? Otherwise, drink up!



P.S. Not in Philly? You’re in luck! A new Jar Bar location on the Main Line is now open. It’s inside the Philadelphia Sports Clubs gym in Radnor at 555 East Lancaster Avenue. Yippee!

>> If you have a question for Maura,  email it or tweet it at us; your question could be answered in a future column. Find more of Maura’s advice here.

Related: Fresh Press: The Best Juicers to Buy Right Now


Maura Manzo is a yoga teacher and health coach specializing in integrating diet, health and wellness. She supports others in becoming their best possible selves. Maura is available for private instruction and coaching, as well as on-site corporate classes and speaking engagements. She is co-creator of the Beyond Asana 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training and the Art of Letting Go: Maya Tulum Mexican Yoga Vacation. Learn more about her teaching schedule, coaching practice and yoga trainings at

Around The Web

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • alyssa

    It seems a bit biased to ask the owner of a juice bar/juice cleansing business his opinion about the benefits and safety of a juice cleanse. I have done juice cleanses a few times and can appreciate them but I would think you might ask someone like a doctor.

    • thejuiceman

      interesting point alyssa.

      however my friend who is a doctor shared that he only had to take one nutrition class. ONE NUTRITION CLASS?!

      thats the big problem with listening to doctors–
      that they dont hold all the answers- and if it comes to advising their patients on what to eat- they dont know their wheatgrASS from a hole in the ground.

      my friend, who is a doctor, recommends the stupidest diets to people, based upon what HE LIKES TO EAT.

      I know of other doctors who are still recommending HIGH PROTEIN DIETS. what a fat joke.

      a juice cleanse is extremely healthy and needed by 99% of the population in my humble opinion


      there are times when people should NOT DO THEM.

      but…if even the possibility to do a juice cleanse is showing up in your realm, then you must be doing something right, huh?

      unfortunately most of the population does not understand how powerful juicing is. the juicer is the invention that will restore human health. its an extraordinary machine. yet people still don’t know about it…

      Steve Jobs would not commit to juicing and I still believe that man would be alive if he chose to juice Apples instead of just selling them–

      So.. how does one determine if they are ready for a juice cleanse?

      Affordability + A knowledge transfer about the power of Juicing to combat the physical change that takes place(watch Fat,Sick,&Nearly Dead).


      Its YOUR CHOICE. Not your DOCTORS. They don’t know it all. And they especially don’t know how to prescribe nutrition!

      This is your machine and you can clean it whenever you would like!

      IN HEALTH.

  • There are so many benefits of juice cleanse diets but proper diet plan is very necessary. Always take advise from health advisers and try to follow the instructions very carefully. This post is very much informative and unique. Thanks for such fresh content.

  • Morgan

    This article is biased. What are the negative side effects of juice cleanses? What are some recipes? What should one be prepared for when one does a juice cleanse?
    This is a poorly written article.

  • I agree with Morgan. I think the article doesn’t match completely the main title. Nevertheless I like the article. It’s very positive. The safety of juicing is not completely understandable. You get an energy boost from juices but don’t get useful fibers. I think juicing may be an addition to your everyday meals but not instead. It’s very important to eat normal food too.