The Master Cleanse Diet is a liquid detox diet created in the 1940s by Stanley Burroughs and first introduced via his book, “The Master Cleanser.” Thanks to its numerous celebrity endorsements, Burrough’s Master Cleanse has since then become one of the most popular ways to achieve better health and rapidly lose weight.
The main ingredients of the Cleanse are lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne powder and water. Different instructions call for slight variations of this basic recipe, such as using liquid cayenne instead of powder. The Relaxed Master Cleanse, another variation of the Master Cleanse Diet, allows for light meals alongside the actual drink.
Its popularity has lead health brands to create an all-in-one Master Cleanse powder, though the questions regarding its effectiveness and taste have been debated. Ultimately, the choice is yours and should be made based on your own preferences.
If you’re interested in giving this detox a go, here are the steps you’ll need to follow on your way to purification.
Detox lemonade: ingredients and preparation
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons rich maple syrup
- 1/10 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
- 10 oz spring or purified water
Mix all of the Master Cleanse lemonade ingredients listed above and drink the mixture. This is enough for one serving. You should drink one glass, six to twelve times daily, so you’ll probably want to prepare a bigger batch to save time.
You should also drink a herbal detox tea once per day when on this diet. This will make up for the fiber deficiency you may develop by loosening and dislodging waste from the digestive system. If you don’t drink the herbal detox tea every day, you’ll likely get sick and quit the diet prematurely.
Risks and rewards
The Master Cleanse Diet has grown extremely popular due to celebrities’ praise for its ability to help shed pounds fast. Beyoncé, Demi Moore, Angelina Jolie and countless other celebrities have used it for that purpose and touted its effectiveness.
There are two main reasons for its fast-acting capabilities. Firstly, it acts as a powerful detoxifier, mainly because the absence of harmful ingredients commonly found in processed foods allows the body to release accrued toxins in the digestive system.
Subsequently, this release and lack of calorie intake will result in weight loss. Another reward that comes with the successful completion of the Master Cleanse Diet is a colon cleanse. Trust me, you’ll be spending a lot of time in the bathroom… it will definitely flush out your system.
On the flip-side, there are risks involved that you should know about.
You may experience drops and spikes in your blood sugar and energy levels caused by the drastic shift in calorie intake and nutrients. Although you will get some vitamins from the Master Cleanse diet, it’s far from being nutritious. Because of this, alternative versions of the diet allow for different meals and supplements.
Another possible risk on this diet is tooth decay. Acidic and sugary foods like lemonade and maple syrup can rapidly eat away at your teeth, especially when you consume them every day. The best way to avoid this is to brush your teeth frequently, preferably right after you’ve had a glass of the Master Cleanse drink.
If your goal is weight-loss, once you’re done with the Master Cleanse you should implement healthy habits into your daily routine such as exercise and a diet that include whole foods. Neglecting to do so will likely render the diet pointless.
Anyone who is diabetic, pregnant, nursing or taking prescription medications should consult with a doctor before attempting the Master Cleanse Diet.
Before you get started on the Master Cleanse, it’s best to prepare your body for the shock. Like any other fasting regimen, you should ease your body into it a few days before. The following steps outline how to prepare your body in the days leading up to the start of your Master Cleanse.
- Eliminate all processed, meat, dairy, sugar, caffeine and alcohol from your diet. Eat whole and organic foods instead.
- On the next day, remove all foods except organic fruits and vegetables. If possible, eat only raw fruits and vegetables.
- On day three, transform your fruit and veggie diet to a liquid diet by making fruit and vegetable drinks. Vegetable soups are acceptable.
- You’re almost done prepping your body for the Master Cleanse! By day four, you should drop the fruits and vegetables and drink orange juice only. You may add one to two teaspoons of maple syrup to your orange juice if you feel hungry and crave more.
- Repeat this diet for your fifth day.
The salt water flush
Before you eat anything, begin every morning with something called a salt water flush, which is an important element of the diet according to Stanley Burroughs. Although the salt water flush is proven to cleanse your colon, some variations of the Master Cleanse Diet don’t require it.
If you have a history of serious digestive issues or high blood pressure, you should consult with your doctor before trying this.
To perform a salt water flush, here’s what you need to do:
- Get a jar with a lid and fill it with warm (warmer than room temperature, but not hot) filtered or purified water.
- Add two teaspoons of non-ionized salt to the water. The salt can be pink or any other color, but it must not be ionized.
- Put the lid on your jar or bottle and shake it up to dissolve the salt. Check the bottom to see if the salt is completely dissolved, if not, keep shaking.
- Once the salt has dissolved, drink the mixture in one sitting. Ideally, you should finish it off within five minutes. The best way to do this is by taking large gulps to finish it off in about 30 seconds. A little warning: it doesn’t taste good at all!
- Brace yourself! Soon, you’ll feel rumbling in your stomach and the urge to use the toilet. This is good but you’ll have to hold it until you feel that you can’t hold it any longer. Another warning: don’t pass gas! Plenty of accidents have happened at this stage so don’t let your guard down.
Now that your body is acquainted with a liquid diet and you’ve successfully flushed your body, you may begin your Master Cleanse.
Life after the Master Cleanse
Preparing for the diet is as important as easing your body off of it. This is especially true if you follow the 10-day diet. The purpose of this is to prepare your digestive system for solid foods again.
If you fail to follow these steps you’ll likely feel sick. For the next five days, make sure you drink lots of water to keep you from getting constipated from the abundance of fiber.
- Back to orange juice! On the first day off of your Master Cleanse Diet, drink about three liters of orange juice throughout the day and include a teaspoon of maple syrup with each glass.
- Continue drinking orange juice with maple syrup on the next day.
- On the third day after your Master Cleanse, reintroduce organic fruit and vegetable juices into your diet. Like before, you may also include vegetable soup or broth.
- You’re almost there! Now you may begin eating whole fruits and vegetables again.
- On the fifth day you may begin eating whatever foods you like again. However, you should aim for whole and organic foods.
Maintaining your results
Maintain the benefits of your Master Cleanse by eating whole foods. Stay away from sugars, caffeine and alcohol.
Once you’ve successfully completed the process, you may feel motivated to begin any diet of your choice, including a vegan or vegetarian diet. Whichever diet you choose, make sure that you’re getting all the vitamins, nutrients and minerals your body needs. If you can, take probiotics to improve your digestive system’s functioning.
Avoid over-exerting yourself while on the Master Cleanse Diet. Once you’ve cleared the 5 days following, you should consider setting up an exercise routine. Get a fitness partner, gym membership or a fitness app to help you meet your goals.