Juicing is amazing and if you do it right, you are opening your body up to a new world of awesome nutrients that you might otherwise have struggled to get in your diet. It is one of the best ways you can flood your bloodstream with a high dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that will give you an amazing boost of life.
I’ve been juicing for years and have picked up a few tricks of the trade along the way that I wanted to share with you. Remember, even if you are making some of these mistakes, you are juicing and therefore are on the path to better health and that’s better than not juicing at all! I hope those tips can help you make the most out of your juice.
- 1 Some Common Sense, Please
- 1.1 Timing is (not) everything
- 1.2 Too Many Sweet Fruits And Vegetables
- 1.3 Letting Your Juice Sit for Too Long
- 1.4 Using the same ingredients over and over every single day
- 1.5 Not Cold Pressed
- 1.6 Gulping as Fast as You Can
- 1.7 Not Drinking It Right Away
- 1.8 Not Buying Organic Produce
- 1.9 Using only fruits without any vegetables
- 1.10 Your Juice Isn’t Clean
- 1.11 Not rotating the produce you put in the juicer
- 1.12 Drinking Your Juice In 3 Seconds Flat
- 1.13 Darling, Can You Clean the Juicer?
- 1.14 Thinking Juicing is a Miracle Cure
- 1.15 Thinking Juice is a Replacement for Solid Food
- 1.16 Not drinking immediately afterward
- 1.17 Not Drinking Enough Water
- 1.18 Giving Up After Mistakes
Some Common Sense, Please
But if you drink nothing but juice for an extended period (let’s say a week) and not know what to expect, you’re asking for trouble.
If you’re new to juicing you’d definitely want to read this so you won’t experience any of the horrific pains mentioned above or suffer any negative long term health effects.
So without further ado here are the mistakes and ways to avoid them.
Timing is (not) everything
Probably one of the most frequent questions people ask me is when is the best time to drink my juice? Can I juice in the evening? Can I juice after a workout? Is really juicing in the morning really the best time?
These are pretty tough questions. Because everyone’s metabolism works differently. For my body, it really doesn’t matter when I juice because I always feel great after a good glass of vegetables.
Technically, the best time to drink juice is in the morning – before breakfast, because the body can absorb all the nutrients without having to digest anything prior. So as a general guideline, try to drink your first juice in the morning on an empty stomach.
If you go to the gym, I would highly recommend drinking juice after a decent workout. Glucose reserves are pretty much empty and need to be refilled after intense sessions at the gym. Even if you add fruits to your juice, chances are the sugar is not going to be converted into fat.
Too Many Sweet Fruits And Vegetables
Juicing is an awesome way to get nutrients into your body as they are absorbed straight into your bloodstream. It gives your body a direct effort of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. One of the common mistakes though of newcomers to juicing is adding too much fruit into their fresh juices. Although fruits are filled with vitamins and minerals, they also disclose your body to a large amount of sugar in the form of fructose.
Dr. Mercola as featured in Hungry For Change says, “Fructose is not your friend. It is one of the enemies of helping you slow down the aging process. You have to limit fructose, especially in the form of juice.”
Now, that’s not saying you can’t add a bit of fruit to your vegetable juices to give it an extra boost of flavor, but too much fructose can cause your blood sugar levels to spike, which isn’t great for sustained energy and is also not good for people suffering from Candida and diabetes.
If you do find it hard to swallow the taste of vegetable juices, trying adding lemon or lime to your daily concoction, as they’re low in sugar and high on flavor!
Letting Your Juice Sit for Too Long
Juices start to lose their nutrients in a matter of minutes as they come out of the machine, especially if a centrifugal juicer was used. Oxygen and heat are the worst enemies of vitamins and minerals.
You want to avoid letting the juice sit for too long after it has been extracted from produce. Try to drink it immediately after juicing (not quickly, just immediately).
If you have a masticating juicer, feel free to store the juice for a longer period of time in the fridge (three days max.), however, I personally would even avoid that. The sooner you can drink the juice the better.
Using the same ingredients over and over every single day
A lot of people are guilty of this. Juicing is a great way to introduce nutrients to your body like antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. But along with that, you’ll also digest toxins that can be lethal in higher doses.
These toxins are the plant’s natural defense mechanism against attack.
Read more about natural toxins in vegetables here.
These toxins include:
- Oxalates that can cause or worsen kidney stones are found in fruits such as bananas, cherries, grapes, mangoes, melons, and vegetables such as chives, cauliflower, spinach, radish to name a few.
- Atropine found in tomato leaves and to a lesser extent green tomatoes can cause tummy aches, dizziness, and headaches.
- Cyanogenic glycosides (or cyanide) found in the pits of apple, plum, peaches, apricots, and cherries can be fatal if Cost in large doses. Don’t forget to remove the seeds prior to juicing those fruits.
- Goitrogens that are found in cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, kale, mustard seeds, and cabbage can hamper the function of the thyroid gland, particularly when eaten raw in large doses.
I could be going on and on with this list. But I’ll stop here because I just wanted to illustrate the importance of diversity when juicing because not only will you get all the vitamins and antioxidants that you’ll need.
You also avoid assimilating the same toxins over and over again which can be harmful.
You’d want to rotate greens every day such as using Kale as your main ingredient on Monday. Then on Tuesday spinach, Wednesday romaine lettuce, Thursday wild greens and so on.
The more variety you have the more nutrients you’ll absorb the better for your body.
Not Cold Pressed
If you’re tossing up whether to buy a cold press juicer (also known as masticating or slow juicer) or a centrifugal juicer, we’d recommend spending a little bit extra and investing in a cold pressed juicer. They not only produce superior quality juice, but they also allow you to extract more juice from your fruit and vegetables, and will save you money in the long-term!
A cold press juicer slowly compresses fruits and vegetables to ‘squeeze’ out the juice instead of using high-speed force to separate the juice from pulp as a centrifugal juicer does. Cheap centrifugal juicers also initiate heat and oxygen in the process and destroy the enzymes and nutrients in your fruits and vegetables.
If you don’t have a cold squeezed juicer, that’s ok! Remember, any juicing is better than nothing as you’ve already initiated to make a difference to your health!
If you are thinking of buying a new juicer and want to know more about the differences between centrifugal and cold press juicers, check out our Juicer Buying Guide. It includes a wealth of information about the differences between the two and handy tips you might not have known.
Gulping as Fast as You Can
Okay, let’s look at it this way for a minute: you spend maybe $300 on a juicer, purchase high-quality organic produce, spend maybe 5 to 10 minutes extracting the juice from the fruits and vegetables, another five minutes are spent on cleaning the juicer. Now, why would you drink your juice in three seconds flat? Give yourself some time to enjoy the juice! Really taste and savor it.
The digestion starts in the mouth. So keep your juice there for a couple of seconds and taste all the wonderfully fresh, green awesomeness. Yes, juicing takes time. There is no way around it; anybody who says differently is talking crap.
It really helps to create a ritual that you can perform each and every day in the morning, to make a habit of juicing everyday. Once a habit is formed, juicing won’t feel bothersome and you’ll become more efficient.
Not Drinking It Right Away
Juicing does take a short amount of effort and dedication, but the effects your body will feel are well worth those extra 15 minutes in the morning! As handy as it might be to make up a large jug of juice and keep it for a few days, you are robbing your body from the huge amounts of nutrients it could be receiving.
Try to drink your juice straight away! After 15 minutes, light and air will pulverize a lot of the nutrients and also all the awesome antioxidants will begin to lose their potency. If you are strapped for time and can’t drink it avowedly away, transfer it to a dark airtight container in the fridge and try to consume it within 24 hours. It may not be as nutrient dense as super fresh juice, but it’s still better than not drinking juice at all.
Not Buying Organic Produce
I’m a big advocate of organic produce, and that’s because organic produce tastes better and has more nutrients compared to conventional produce.
Also, organic fruits and vegetables contain fewer pesticides than regular produce.
Yes, organic is more costly, juicing isn’t very cheap either.
But the benefits of organic produce outweigh the cost by a long shot. Now, if you don’t have the budget for organic produce, juicing conventional fruits and vegetables is OK. However, make sure to wash them very thoroughly. Using conventional food is better than not juicing at all.
Using only fruits without any vegetables
Did you know that apples contain 13.3 grams of sugar per 100 grams, mangos contain 14.8 per 100 and a 355ml can of coke contains 39 grams of sugar.
If you do the math, they pretty have the same sugar ratio.
Even though fruits have a healthier natural sweetener called fructose it wouldn’t matter if you’re insulin resistant (in short you have diabetes).
Drinking fruit juice every one day actually worsens it.
By the way if you’re interested in the complete list of sugar content in fruits and sodas check out the articles here If you really love your fruit juice and have to have your fix, experts say that it’d be better to use a blender because it will retain all the fibers that slow down sugar absorption in the bloodstream but for your health’s sake do so in moderation.
The introduction of fruit in a juice recipe is to act as a sweetener but it should not, I repeat should not be the main ingredient. Include almost 1 or 2 types to go along with greens and other vegetables.
Your Juice Isn’t Clean
Juicing removes the fiber from your fruit and vegetables, which helps you absorb the nutrients quicker, but the downfall is that your body will also be digesting pesticides and chemicals if you’re not using organic produce. If you want to buy organic but can’t deliver to buy everything organic, check out the clean 15 dirty dozen shopper guide that shows you which fruit and vegetables have a higher pesticide rating and should be bought organic if possible.
Not rotating the produce you put in the juicer
This is one of the biggest mistakes that people make not talked about more often than it should.
For centrifugal juicers
Rotating ingredients helps maximize the amount of juice that you’ll be able to fertilizer. This applies to ingredients such as leafy greens. Since these are light, the blade will have nothing to grab too since it lacks mass.
What I like to do is unite let’s say kale with something hard like an apple or carrot. The weight of a carrot or apple will help push down kale over the blade, allowing the blade to extract more juice from it.
Another benefit of rotating ingredients is that you’ll have an even distribution of flavor without having to mix it.
Another way of juicing prolix greens in a centrifugal extractor would be stacking them up into a massive roll then following it up immediately with a carrot. This minimizes little bits of leaves that will float on the juice.
For masticating juicers
Especially vertical gear types like the Hurom slow juicer.
You have to watch out when juicing high fictitious greens like spinach that are stringy because it tends to clog up if you put in a whole batch.
You lessen this problem by alternate it with another hard vegetable like a carrot or cucumber.
Don’t forget to chop these stringy greens so it won’t sabot the pump outlet. I’ve written an article on how to juice celery on a slow juicer. Make sure to check it out. This principle will also apply to other fibrous greens like spinach greens.
Drinking Your Juice In 3 Seconds Flat
The juice is not meant to be thrown back and gulped within 3 seconds like a shot of tequila. Sit down and take your time sipping your juice. Treat it with respect and even swirl it around in your mouth before swallowing. This allows for your gastric enzymes to start working and will help your body digest your juice faster.
Our stomach and digestive systems are very sensitive. If you are rushing and drinking on the run, your body is in a state of fight or flight and can compromise the digestive process and uptake of nutrients. Take a seat, take your time and enjoy your juice in a relaxed state and with intention.
Darling, Can You Clean the Juicer?
I know you are lazy, I am too. And that’s okay. Especially when cleaning a juicer takes five tell myself; well, I’ll do it later.
Juicers get really sticky because of the sugar that is inside fruits, also, some vegetables like broccoli do leave a very nasty sticky pulp inside the blades and containers – which should be removed immediately.
So, after finishing with juicing, wash your juicer with warm water and once a week soak the spinning blades of your centrifugal juicer in water and a little bit of white vinegar to get the blades thoroughly cleaned. Avoid using the dishwasher – your machine will thank you with a long life.
Thinking Juicing is a Miracle Cure
Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love that you want to try juicing. But juicing is not going to be the miracle cure you might be hoping for. It will not make you lose 50 pounds in two weeks, it will not cure you of cancer or other diseases.
What juicing will do, however, is make you more aware of the food you’re consuming and help you stick to a diet or workout regimen better and for longer periods of time.
Besides that, juicing can help you get the necessary veggies if you’re having a hard time including them in your meals. Just don’t look for the juice to be the answer to all your health problems.
Thinking Juice is a Replacement for Solid Food
People who start juicing might get overeager only swallowing their juices during the day. However, juicing can’t be a replacement for solid food for the longest periods of time.
It is okay to go on a juice cleanse for a couple of days. But if you rely on juices for too long you put your body into starvation mode and you will not lose any fat.
So I recommend juicing to be a supplement to the regular food that you prepare at home.
This is important.
You need to prepare your meals yourself with fresh produce to have control over what you eat.
Diet success depends on 80% or more on what you eat – the rest is exercise.
Stay away from processed foods as much as you can and start enjoying your own meals.
Not drinking immediately afterward
To get the maximum amount of nutrients from fresh produce, you NEED to drink it immediately afterward.
The longer the juice sits manifested to air, it’s nutrient content, enzymes, phytochemicals, all the good stuff will oxidize.
This lessens the number of nutrients available which is why you juice in the first place.
Drink within 15 minutes food babes recommends that you drink it within 15 minutes of drainage.
Now let’s say you have work and can’t juice at your workplace, store it in an airtight container placed inside a bearable cooler which will keep it fresh between 24 to 36 hours (if you use a press juicer it can stay fresh for up to 72 hours).
When you get to work, store in a fridge (if available) or drink it as soon as you can.
Also, AVOID letting unpasteurized freshly squeezed juice get warm because bacteria can grow in there that turns it to a harmful drink rather of a healthy one.
This can lead to food poisoning.
Use glass containers
One of the best storage containers for fresh juice in glass according to experts.
Glass does not contain any of the detrimental chemicals found in plastic and great for storing fresh juice inside a fridge.
Another option would be storing it in a stainless steel thermos.
Fill it to the edge, if possible overfill it to take out excess air inside.
Not Drinking Enough Water
The beauty of juicing is that many fruits and vegetables already contain more than 50 or 60% water, so generally, your hydration levels will be all right if you juice regularly. However, I want to stress the importance of drinking plain water during the day.
Hydration is one of the most common problems people are struggling with. People feel hungry when instead they are thirsty. Drinking 2 or 3 liters of water per-day ensures enough hydration for the body. People who exercise regularly need to drink more water than people who don’t.
Giving Up After Mistakes
You will make mistakes when juicing. Maybe you bought the wrong juicer and figured out after three weeks of juicing that you want to juice more wheatgrass instead of cucumber. Or you are making terrible tasting juices in the first week and are struggling with getting the right amounts of vegetables and fruits. Fear not! Mistakes are all right, learn from them and improve upon them. Mistakes shouldn’t discourage one from continuing a journey towards better health.
If after a couple of weeks you think juicing is not for you, don’t worry – just leave it. But do me a favor: try it for at least 30 days and see if you can’t iron out some of the inevitable mistakes we all make at the beginning.
Once juicing becomes a habit, things are getting easier and may actually start enjoying the process.