Arguing we have teeth for a reason, a sceptical George Fenwick takes on a three-day juice cleanse.

The promise:

The Cali Press three-day juice cleanse requires you to ditch food in solid form and drink eight juices a day. Said to "detoxify, nourish and hydrate your body" as well as "increase mental clarity, energy and vitality" and leave you with a "smooth, more slender waistline", I went in with an open mind - even though I think we have teeth for a reason.

The menu:

A selection of juices from Cali Press. Photo / Instagram
A selection of juices from Cali Press. Photo / Instagram

1 x Pocket Rocket

Filtered Water, Lemon, Maple, Cayenne


1 x Popeye

Kale, Spinach, Cos, Celery, Cucumber, Parsley, Lemon

1 x Evergreen

Pineapple, Pear, Cucumber, Kale, Parsley, Ginger, Watercress

1 x The Enigma

Carrot, Orange, Green Apple, Turmeric

1 x The Gapple

Green Apple, Celery, Ginger, Lemon

1 x The Cali

Green Apple, Celery, Cucumber, Spinach, Kale, Lemon, Mint

1 x Popeye

Kale, Spinach, Cos, Celery, Cucumber, Parsley, Lemon

1 x Vanilla sky

Filtered Water, Almonds, Dates, Manuka Honey, Vanilla Bean, Sea Salt

The science:

It's patchy, to say the least. "Detoxing", for starters, is largely a myth: a 2009
study from UK charity Sense about Science found manufacturers of 15 products
(from dietary supplements to shampoos) that claimed to "detoxify" couldn't provide evidence for what that meant or to which "toxins" they were referring.

An investigation by Vice magazine into juice cleanses details how fruit and vegetables offer important fibres that prevent sugar from being absorbed into your bloodstream in large portions. When you juice fruits, that doesn't happen, and sugar that would otherwise have been diverted makes its way into your liver.

And a 2017 study from The University of Louisville did find juice cleanses lead to short-term weight loss, "because they lead to extremely low caloric intake for short periods of time," but they "tend to lead to weight gain once a normal diet is resumed."

The reality:

George on day one of the three day cleanse. Photo / Supplied
George on day one of the three day cleanse. Photo / Supplied

Day 1

I've had a headache all day and I'm very hungry. Some of these juices are absolutely repulsive, while some are kind of delicious. I'm also painfully aware that I've thrown out eight single-use plastic bottles (in the recycling, I promise).

I lay in the park on my lunch break and I broke into a dizzy spell on standing up. I'm finding it very hard to concentrate at work. Did I mention I'm hungry? I am painfully, achingly hungry.

Day 2

Look, yesterday wasn't great, but last night I had one of the best sleeps I've had so far this year. My eyes were drooping by 8pm and I slept for a solid nine hours. I'm aware it may have just been a sugar-induced coma.

I have to admit: I cheated last night and skipped "Vanilla Sky". It was honestly just too gross to stomach, tasting strangely like liquefied white bread.

My teeth feel weird. I think these juices are wearing away the enamel. I'm also so, so tired. I can feel I'll crash early again tonight, which is cool, but it's not at all worth feeling this drained for a whole day.

I've also decided to give the "Pocket Rocket" a miss today. I'm sorry I keep cheating, but this is one firey juice and let's just say it seems to be ... accelerating my digestion. I know that's the point, but using laxatives for weight-loss disturbs me. If this is the journey to a flat stomach, I don't want a part of it; that, to me, doesn't feel healthy.

Day 3

I cheated last night. Badly.

I was desperately hungry and my friend asked if I wanted to get Tiger Burger with her. I couldn't resist. I know a burger is maybe the worst thing to eat on a cleanse – it was bready, meaty and oily – but wow. It was so damn good.

On "mental clarity, energy and vitality", one of the ways I seek this out is through social interactions, and further to that, sharing food with friends. (I'm well aware this is not a revolutionary idea).

I got Tiger Burger with my nearest and dearest pal, and as I do with every interaction with her, walked away feeling mentally and emotionally replenished. Not saying this juice cleanse wouldn't provide that too but grabbing a burger with a buddy feels like an easier, quicker and cheaper way to go about it.

I'm still so tired.

The verdict

Let's face it – I completely failed at this entire thing, so I have no authority over whether it works or not. I don't understand how anyone with a job and a life can carve out three days to go through with it. Concentrating at work was impossible and I felt like a zombie when I saw my friends.

I imagine this cleanse may be beneficial to someone with gut and digestion problems, but it mostly just left me with a scrambled mind and sore teeth. A healthy lifestyle is important, but I'm not sure these juices are part of the journey. Maybe grab a salad instead.