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This Is What Happens When Three Otherwise Sane Men Try A Juice Cleanse

We did it so you don’t have to.

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What it was: Three-day BluePrint Renovation Cleanse.

What we did: Each day we drank six juices, in a particular order, while allowing ourselves to drink as much water as we wanted throughout the day. And that was it. No coffee and no other food. We did this for three days.

Participants:

Matt Kiebus, Age 27: My diet is about 80% pizza, beer and coffee. I haphazardly go for runs to stave off death and stay in shape. I like sports and live a life of regret. I'm terrified of liquid kale and I'm mildly worried about what this cleanse is going to do to my digestive system.

Logan Rhoades, Age 26: My diet is about 40% meat/pasta/pizza, 30% salad/vegetables/fruit, and 30% burritos. I mostly workout when I feel like I need it. I think these juices are going to taste awful and physically drinking them will be the most miserable part of this cleanse.

Raymond Sultan, Age 32: My diet is... fine? Not great, not terrible. Definitely less fried food and melted cheese than your average American, but probably more coffee and booze. I work out almost every day. A few people I know swear by juice cleanses and say they make them feel absolutely amazing, but I'm worried I'll just be really hungry for three days, because I tend to eat pretty big meals.

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DAY ONE

7:41 AM, RS: I want coffee.

8:14 AM, RS: Fuck me.

10:52 AM, MK: After three sips of this green juice I can confirm I no longer think I'm going to get super powers from drinking this.

10:54 AM, RS: This is the worst gazpacho in the world. It's like some kind of wild jungle gazpacho. Wild jungle gazpacho that costs $11 a bottle.

10:55 AM, LR: I can now say "That tastes like Green Juice." Which is pretty cool. Unfortunately, that is not a good taste.

11:09 AM, RS: I think I'm getting a little tired of juice.

11:11 AM, MK: The ingredients of this read like a really bad salad.

11:16 AM, LR: I'm hungry.

11:17 AM, LR: First bottle done. Overall, it wasn't that bad. I wouldn't drink it normally, but for a cleanse it wasn't too harsh.

11:20 AM, RS: This is fucking stupid.

11:22 AM, MK: One juice down, 17 more to go. This is going to be an interesting three days.

11:34 AM, MK: I think I just smelled chips and guacamole and it makes me so sad.

11:45 AM, LR: Those random pregnant woman cravings are starting. "Chips and guac. I only want chips and guac." Now I get it.

11:48 AM, MK: My stomach feels a little weird.

12:40 PM, LR: Pineapple. Apple. Mint. drink is good. I would probably drink this on a hot day.

12:40 PM, RS: This juice is awesome. This juice wants rum in it so bad. It still looked like it had congealed mustard on the bottom of it before you shook it up, but it's rad.

12:41 PM, RS: I have a headache.

12:43 PM, MK: This drink was designed to be an alcoholic beverage. It's refreshing and delicious — as long as i ignore the fact it looked like someone hocked a loogie in the bottom of it.

12:44 PM, LR: Definitely getting a mojito vibe from this badboy

12:49 PM, LR: I think I'm going to drink more drinks with mint in them

12:59 PM, MK: The smell of food is making me physically angry. This cleanse may end violently.

1:13 PM, LR: Bottle 2, done. No joke, I would happily drink that every day.

1:14 PM, RS: Two juices down and it's increasingly clear to me that I'm going to be miserable by tomorrow morning.

1:17 PM, MK: I might have a wet dream about sandwiches tonight.

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1:53 PM, LR: I hate to say it, but I thought I wouldn't be as hungry as I am. I'm used to snacking throughout the day.

1:54 PM, MK: I miss snacks.

2:02 PM, RS: I want coffee. I want coffee so bad. Whatever is legal for a man to do with a cup of coffee, I would like to do that.

2:04 PM, RS: Coffee.

2:16 PM, LR: I really thought I'd have a headache from no coffee, but so far? Nothing. Just hunger.

2:46 PM, LR: Just took a sip of the third bottle, which is Green Juice (again), and it's definitely worse the second time around. Especially after that sweet mojito-ish drink #2.

2:47 PM, MK: And just think we only have to drink it FOUR MORE TIMES!

2:51 PM, LR: The thing is, it's not bad enough that I have to force it down, it's just like, "I don't want to drink this anymore."

3:13 PM, MK: I'm struggling with the green shit.

3:44 PM, LR: Third bottle gone. I take it back. That was not enjoyable at all. First time around was a fluke.

4:00 PM, MK: Has anyone pooped yet?

4:01 PM, RS: No. I have to head home early today for a delivery, though, so I very much intend to try.

4:55 PM, LR: Juice #4 is good. Spicy Lemonade. Good stuff. It tastes exactly like lemonade spiked with something. Very light kick of something at the end (I'm assuming the cayenne)

4:59 PM, RS: One poop in the books. I rarely poop in the afternoon, so this was more of an anxiety poop than anything else; I just wanted to make sure I still could. I would describe it as a light smattering of poop. A dusting, even.

5:01 PM, MK: Starting to get worried about my lack of poop.

5:09 PM, LR: I usually poop after coffee. No coffee today, no poop yet.

5:53 PM, LR: I can't remember how many pee trips is too many. Do I normally take a piss three times in a day? Because I'm about to.

6:28 PM, MK: I'm starting to imagine smells. Like guacamole is everywhere according my nostrils.

6:46 PM, RS: I'm tired and my head hurts and I'm drinking fucking beet juice. It tastes like some kind of DIY cleaning product. (I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way.) I guess all I'm hoping for tonight is to fall asleep pretty early, since it's not like I can go sit at the bar and hang out or do anything else.

6:57 PM, MK: I'm so sad.

7:13 PM, RS: I would kill a man for a slice of pizza.

7:39 PM, RS: I, too, am now so sad.

7:40 PM, LR: That beet juice one was rough. Guarantee it will be my least favorite. It also left a film on my teeth, which I really did not enjoy.

8:42 PM, MK: I just had that moment where I realized I can't eat food for another two days.

8:47 PM, RS: Tomorrow is going to be the worst day, isn't it?

8:50 PM, RS: Cashew milk is weird. Who the fuck ever looked at a cashew and thought, "Yeah, let's milk that?" It tastes pretty decent, like some kind of pastry or ice cream -- it's got cinnamon and vanilla in it -- but it's much thinner than it looked in the bottle, much less like a hearty-ass milkshake than I was praying it would be.

8:53 PM, RS: I kept shaking the cashew milk because it looked like there was still sediment on the bottom and now it's sort of… gravelly? Fuck me.

9:00 PM, LR: I have a headache and I'm hungry.

9:40 PM, LR: I shook this last bottle for longer than I shook anything else. It's not as smooth as the other juices, but I actually like the taste. It's sort of like tapioca or rice pudding.

9:42 PM, MK: Holy shit I wasn't paying attention when I went for my last sip of the cashew milk and I swallowed CHUNKS of it. I almost projectile vomited all over my computer — no exaggeration. This is fucking terrible.

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DAY TWO

8:36 AM, RS: Took a fairly normal dump; smaller than usual, obviously, given the fact that there's basically nothing in my body, but hey, it happened, so that's good news. I slept from 10 PM to 8 AM. I literally never sleep that much under any circumstances anymore, even when I'm incredibly drunk, which I think shows the extent to which trying to live on juice takes it out of you. I'm going to attempt to work out a little bit now. Pray for Raymond.

9:00 AM, LR: I actually slept pretty good. But I felt a little weak this morning and much hungrier than I normally am. I don't eat anything for the first few hours after I wake up and today I felt like I needed to eat something.

10:23 AM, MK: I still haven't pooped — and it doesn't feel like there is one on the horizon. I'm slightly worried. But on the bright bright side I get to drink my first of two liquid salads RIGHT NOW!

11:27 AM, RS: This was a terrible mistake. Today is going to be awful.

12:23 PM, RS: My head hurts. This is like Yom Kippur but worse.

12:27 PM, LR: My head hurts, as well. This whole no coffee thing is killing me.

12:36 PM, LR: I just saw a picture of Cappuccino flavored Lays and thought to myself, "Damnit I wish I wasn't on this cleanse so I could try one of those!" Maybe this cleanse is for the best.

12:55 PM, MK: I'm still not entirely sure what I'm "cleansing." This feels more spiritual than physical.

1:06 PM, RS: Yeah, I don't really get how being hungry and miserable for three days is actually good for you. I am feeling uncleansed so far.

1:11 PM, LR: Not gonna lie, my energy is REALLY low right now. I feel kind of unmotivated.

1:36 PM, RS: Very hard to work like this. Not easy to start new projects.

1:49 PM, MK: Zero energy. Headache. Currently curled up in a pod. I'm yawning every 3 minutes and I got 9 hours of sleep last night.

2:04 PM, LR: I slept really well last night too and I am super tired right now. Actually, scratch that. Not super tired. Just kind of like "meh" toward everything. Juice No.3 starting now.

2:21 PM, MK: I'm listening to John Mayer acoustic songs, and questioning every decision in my life.

2:49 PM, MK: I'm 19 minutes late for a meeting. I just don't have the energy.

3:04 PM, RS: I hope I never drink another green juice again after this. The really gross thing about this is all the sugar; all the juices are so sweet. I feel like that has to be a factor in our headaches: It's like the hangover you get from too much Jack and Coke or whatever.

3:38 PM, LR: That's really interesting. It sort of is like that hangover feeling. The lack of caffeine mixed with the low energy and hunger is sort of how I feel after a night of heavy drinking. I just don't feel sick.

3:44 PM, LR: Putting the juice back in the fridge and taking a walk. Maybe some sun will make things better.

3:54 PM, RS: Too much peeing.

4:16 PM, MK: This isn't funny anymore.

4:16 PM, LR: The hunger isn't like I haven't eaten food for a day and a half. It's like I forgot to eat breakfast and now it's getting late to eat lunch. Like "Holy crap! I haven't eaten anything today and it's 4 o'clock. I'm really hungry. I should eat something" But instead, we have juice and that sucks.

4:40 PM, RS: All this juice would be the envy of five-year-old me. I feel like I'm in kindergarten. I want my mom to pick me up and make me real food.

4:42 PM, MK: The lemonade is actually making me smile.

5:52 PM, LR: Good poops are really underrated.

6:13 PM, LR: I would just like to note that Kiebus is now playing with a basketball in the office.

8:24 PM, MK: I feel fantastic. I have no clue what happened, but my headache is gone and I have a ton of energy. Either the juice is working OR I'm about to die.

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DAY THREE

12:46 AM, RS: I'm hungry. The pizza place down my block is so good. Fuck.

10:28 AM, RS: I might have broken through some kind of wall here. I don't have a headache yet, and I just ran on the treadmill for 20 minutes (lightly, but still.) I feel… fine. That said, I didn't shit this morning and that's fucking weird.

10:37 AM, MK: I definitely have lost a little weight.

10:38 AM, RS: This green juice tastes like shit.

10:48 AM, LR: Had another good night sleep, but woke up really tired and felt pretty weak.

11:24 AM, MK: I've slept like a baby the last couple days, but no matter how much sleep I get my body refuses to get out of bed.

11:28 AM, RS: Headache beginning to settle back in.

12:12 PM, RS: Water helped alleviate the headache. Is this cleanse… working? Am I being purified? Am I a better man than I was a few days ago? Am I going out for a drink at midnight? These are all good questions.

12:18 PM, MK: I DO feel like a better man. Food no longer controls me. This juice is changing my life.

12:28 PM, LR: Aaaaand I have a headache. Damn you, no coffee!!

12:54 PM, RS: My body threw me a bone in the form of a piddling little shit. Dark-brown, nearly black gummi worms of hard-packed juice. Hey, it's better than nothing. My head feels fine right now.

4:52 PM, RS: The good news is, I never have to drink another green juice in my life, and I get to drink a lemonade now. The bad news is, I still have beet juice and CASHEW MILK to go, before yet another night spent alone in my house waiting to be unconscious.

5:16 PM, LR: I felt like crap at this time yesterday. Today? Not so bad. I'm a little weak and hungry, but I'm not as down as I was yesterday. And I can't stop thinking about how good it's going to be to eat ACTUAL FOOD

7:42 PM, RS: The beet juice is sort of growing on me, which means that this shit needs to end right now.

8:58 PM, MK: Finished the last beet juice, thank god. I've noticed I hold my breath for the green, beet, and cashew juices. Looking forward to my magenta poop cloud.

10:06 PM, RS: THIS BOTTLE OF CASHEW MILK IS MY FUCKING DINNER.

10:35 PM, MK: FOOD HAS NO POWER OVER ME.

10:46 PM, RS: I did not enjoy this at all.

12:30 PM, MK: Brushed my teeth for 5 minutes before bed. I felt like I was spitting out the remnants of the beet juice for two minutes.

POST-CLEANSE DAY ONE

7:21 AM, RS: COFFEE. NOT JUICE. COFFEE.

7:42 AM, RS: Just took another very small, too-red shit; sort of a cloud of red in there. Fuck that. I plan to at least quintuple the size of that motherfucker in the morning.

8:50 AM, MK: Bacon egg and cheese on an everything bagel with a large coffee. Fucking fantastic. Bring on the diarrhea, baby. My body is ready. I can't believe I went 84 hours without eating. Absolutely amazing.

12:32 PM, LR: I've had a bagel w/ cream cheese and a large coffee. No stomach pain or anything. No poop yet. Maybe that's what the cleanse did: It made us all stronger. Our bodies can now take anything!

1:15 PM, MK: Boy oh boy is it beautiful outside. Weather-wise it's like the Hall and Oates Greatest Hits — it's THAT perfect outside.

REFLECTIONS

MK: I completely underestimated how much the cleanse was going to suck. I love grease, alcohol, and one of my favorite hobbies is bored snacking. I didn't do this in an attempt to endorse a healthy lifestyle or to "find my zen." I had zero desire to drink liquid salad and beet juice, but I thought writing about my pain might make other people laugh. Going into the cleanse I thought it would be a breeze — I don't eat breakfast and I routinely skip meals to save money, so replacing a handful of meals with some juice did not seem like a big deal — in theory. In reality, I couldn't focus and my productivity suffered tremendously. I felt weak and incredibly hungover — the way you feel after a 3-day bender. The whole experience simply felt like an exercise in self-restraint or impulse control. I never — even for one moment — felt like the cleanse was affecting me in a positive way. It was a memorable experience in the same way having the chicken pox is memorable — it's really annoying, not very painful, but you'll never forget it. I'll never look at juice the same way — and I'll NEVER take pizza for granted again.

LR: Well, that was a big waste of time. At no point during that process did I feel better about myself or cleansed in any way. In fact, I felt like I was punishing my body. It's like when you squeeze and twist a towel to get all of the remaining water out. My energy was low, my attention was wandering, and it just made me want to eat extremely unhealthy food once it was done. Which I'm pretty sure is the exact opposite result these cleanses are supposed to have. Overall, it's just not worth it. I could see replacing one meal every now and then with a healthy juice, you know, just to feel better about yourself, but as a whole, I'm not a fan of the cleanse. Plus, it's extremely expensive. If you're going to spend that kind of money, you might as well get good/healthy food that you want to eat.

RS: I don't get it. I don't get it at all. Setting aside the theory behind the cleanse thing -- the idea that giving your digestive system a rest is tremendously beneficial, and allows your body to essentially make a fresh start -- what sustainable benefit can possibly come from this? Cool, so you spend three days drinking juice. But even if you follow official post-cleanse protocol and spend the five days afterwards eating very lightly, you're still going to end up going back to your normal diet, and then what? (In my case, I was back to my normal diet the next morning. Bagels and lox 4 lyfe.) What have you actually learned by doing this: that consuming nothing but juice for three days makes you lose a few pounds? A cleanse is a crash diet, plain and simple. (To say nothing of the pure, cultish weirdness of the idea that you need to be "cleansed.") As it happened, I had been eating vegetarian for the week-plus leading into this, and that was legitimately productive; I learned that it isn't actually difficult to cut back on meat, and therefore to raise the average nutritional level of my weekly diet. There was real, practical value there, as I could see the outline of habits that would help me be healthier in the long term. But the whole idea of a juice cleanse is an impossible magic bullet. I simply don't believe that better health is a matter of just flipping a switch. You want to be in shape? Eat better and go to the gym. It's that easy, and that hard.