What is the Master Cleanse?
Popularized by various celebrities such as Beyoncé, the Master Cleanse (also known as the Lemonade Diet) is a liquid-only diet used to flush the body of toxins and chemicals among other health benefits. The Master Cleanse consists of very minimal ingredients in its recipe and requires the consumption of only three types of liquids — a spicy lemonade-like drink, saltwater, and an herbal laxative tea.
The idea behind the Lemonade Diet is pretty straightforward: consume the three beverages for 10 days and you’ll lose weight, detoxify your body, which will help you to feel more energetic, improve your mental clarity, cause you to be happier and healthier.
Developed by Stanley Burrough, the Master Cleanse Diet's recipe was first introduced in, The Master Cleanser, a book written to help treat any ailment. Later, the diet became wildly popular by people looking to lose weight quickly and detoxify their bodies in the process.
How Do You Follow It?
The Master Cleanse is an all-liquid diet with amazing benefits such as helping you lose weight quickly and detoxifying your body. The master cleanse diet recipe is centered around a homemade spicy version of lemonade made up of lemon juice, water, maple syrup, and just a pinch of cayenne pepper. Over the course of 10 days, you’ll consume only saltwater, the lemonade drink, and a herbal laxative.
Here’s what a typical day looks like when following the Master Cleanse (along with the very simple recipe ingredients!):
- Morning: Start each morning with a saltwater flush. Add 2 teaspoons of sea salt to a quart of lukewarm water and drink on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.
- Daytime: Drink 6 to 12 glasses of the Master Cleanse lemonade recipe throughout the day. Each glass contains roughly 8 oz of spring or purified water, 2 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoon Maple Valley syrup, and 1/10 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
- Nighttime: Take a nightly herbal laxative (over-the-counter laxatives work) to induce daily bowel movements and help clean out your system.
Leading up to and following the cleanse, you also have the option to follow a brief, three-day “ease-in” or “ease-out” period. These are meant to help your body adapt more easily to the clean. The “ease-in” phase consists of eating only “living” foods, such as vegetables and whole grains on, day 1. Eat broths and fruit/veggies juices on day 2. And only orange juice on day 3.
The “ease-out” phase is essentially the reverse of the “ease-in” phase. Day 1 consists of only orange juice. Day 2 consists of broths and fruit/veggies juices, day 3 consists of “living” foods.
Why Have Master Cleanses Become So Popular?
This cleanse have become increasingly popular because of the potential for rapid weight loss. The diet is also known to help the body become healthier and cleanse any harmful toxins or chemicals. Here are some of the main benefits you may experience when doing the Master Cleanse:
- Weight loss: Due to the deficient caloric intake, you will lose weight following the cleanse. According to “The Master Cleanser,” weight loss of 2 pounds per day is typical. However, this is usually a short-term fix since this level of caloric intake is unsustainable.
- Detox: Although not supported by research, the Master Cleanse claims to detoxify the body of harmful toxins, chemicals, and ingredients.
It is also said to help you:
- Curb your cravings
- Feel more energized
- Improve mental clarity
Although the cleanse promises quick weight loss, there are some challenges you should be aware of if you plan to follow along.
- Nutrient deficient: The main thing consumed during this diet is the Lemonade mixture, which is deficient in vital nutrients such as carbs, proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
- Not calorie-dense: The detox diet is well below the recommended 2,000 calories diet for the average adult.
- Exercise: Due to the low-calorie nature of this diet, exercising will be difficult when following the Master Cleanse
- Little scientific evidence: There isn’t much scientific evidence that supports that the cleanse actually removes toxins from the body.
- Willpower: This extreme cleanse is a liquid-only diet. Since no other food is allowed, following this diet requires a great deal of willpower to fight through hunger.
Concerns About Master Cleanse
Despite its popularity, the Master Cleanse is a fad diet that only provides a short-term solution to a larger problem. It may be a decent way to kickstart new healthy habits; however, if you’re looking for long-term results, focus on eating a balanced, healthy diet.
As with starting any new diet program, speak with your physician to ensure there aren’t any immediate health concerns.
Resources About Master Cleanses
Due to quick weight loss claims, this detox cleanse has become extremely popular. As a result, there are many free resources that will walk you through the Master Cleanse step-by-step.
Here are some great resources:
- What Is the Master Cleanse Diet?
- The Master Cleanse: Pros and Cons
- WebMD: The Lemonade Diet/Master Cleanse