Health and Nutrition

The Master Cleanse

I recently tried, on a whim, this hugely popular lemon, cayenne pepper, maple syrup fast, aka The Master Cleanse. Normally, I’m not one to get swept up into these fad diets, or whatever you want to call this, but I’ve heard so many enthusiastic firsthand reports from friends at the yoga studio, I decided to give it a shot.

At the time, I was feeling kind of slow and lethargic, and felt I was in need of something like a rejuvinating cleanse. Here’s how I did it. (As a disclaimer, I should say loud and clear that I’m not promoting The Master Cleanse, I don’t recommend others to do it, nor do I claim that it is beneficial in any way.)

I did this cleanse for a total of four days. In a one-liter bottle, I mixed two tablespoons of Grade B maple syrup, two tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a few dashes of cayenne pepper. This was basically my sustenance for the entire time, in addition to many glasses of just plain filtered water.

The first day of this, I was really tired. By the second day, though, I started to feel rejuvenated, and, in a strange way, energized. I’m sure it was the sugar hitting my system, not some kind of magically energy derived from the concoction I was drinking, but whatever the cause, this spurt of energy was welcome and surprising.

Not eating food for a stretch of days is difficult, especially if you live with someone else who is not fasting at the same time. But this could not be avoided, so I went four days smelling food, coffee, and other delicious things in my apartment, while restricting myself to sweet lemon pepper water.

I had initially planned to do the fast/cleanse for ten days, but I stopped after four for a number of reasons. First, I didn’t know what the purpose was of continuing on with it. The Master Cleanse is promoted as a way of losing weight, but I’m not someone who really needs to lose any weight. In fact, I’m constantly trying to put on weight, so dropping several pounds was the last thing I wanted to accomplish with a fast or cleanse.

Most importantly, though, the more I read about The Master Cleanse, the more skeptical I became about its supposed health benefits. What do these notions of “cleansing toxins out your body” and “cleaning your colon” really amount to? Are these claims verified scientifically, or only anecdotally? Personally, after four days of drinking lemon, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper, I was starting to feel more like a fool than a cleansed, renewed person.


5 thoughts on “The Master Cleanse

  1. good for you for stopping! (and after only four days) looks like all that grad school was worth something, haha.

  2. I highly recommend reading Kris Carr’s latest blog on a healthy way to fast.
    Drinking vegetable juices provides nutrients and gives your digestive system a break so that your body can focus on healing and resting. There is a lot to be said about cleansing your colon, but this is usually done through enemas and colonics. This can also be read about at Kris’ blog.
    Yogis have been fasting for centuries! Happy reading:)
    Be Well,

  3. Thanks for sharing your experience. I wrote the Master Cleanse link above & help people connect energetically. In yoga we learn to listen. We are clearing a lot with our practice, yet our bodies can get stressed with the constant digesting of foods & toxins we come in contact with. A cleanse gives your body a break, while releasing the old buildup. Dr. Young shared that it would take the average person 2 years to cleanse what is inside, but most people do 2 days & think that is enough. Overall I think it’s important to listen to your body, especially if you are tuned in. I have known people to cleanse 10 days & feel great. Personally I like my energy & didn’t want to lose muscle so I included protein shakes with my cleanse & stopped the 3rd day.
    Take care,

  4. Fasting is good and cleansing is also good, but you don’t have to do it for days on end. I do one day fasts finishing it by drinking lemon water with a good amount of salt. The salty lemon water does the trick of cleaning the colon, and the one day fast is great too.

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