What is a Lemonade Cleanse?

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  • Written By: Christy Bowles
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 22 January 2020
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The Lemonade Cleanse, or Master Cleanse, as it is often called, is a ten to 14 day diet and detoxification plan designed by a Stanley Burroughs. The lemonade cleanse replaces an individual's normal diet of solid food with a lemonade mixture that provides the necessary daily calorie requirements. The liquid mixture consumed during the lemonade cleanse is a combination of water, grade-B maple syrup, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper. Individuals on this cleansing diet typically do a daily colon cleanse using a mixture of sea salt and water.

An individual performing a Lemonade Cleanse typically drinks 33.8 to 67.6 ounces (1 to 2 liters) a day of a lemonade mixture. The lemonade is prepared with 10 ounces (295.7 ml) of water, 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of grade-B maple syrup, and 0.1 teaspoon (about 0.46 grams) of cayenne pepper. The grade-B maple syrup provides the required daily calories, and the lemon juice and cayenne pepper provide required vitamins and minerals.


The detoxifying properties of the Lemonade Cleanse are, in theory, created by the lack of solid food intake and the cleansing properties of lemon juice and cayenne pepper, both of which are believed to aid in the removal of toxins in the body. The colon is emptied due to a lack of food intake combined with the use of a daily "salt water flush." The salt water is made with 33.8 ounces (1 liter) of water and 2 teaspoons (9.6 grams) of sea salt, and after drinking this mixture an individual will have repeated bowel movements that empty the colon. According to Burroughs, this also creates a detoxifying effect, as the colon contains a high amount toxin-rich waste.

Experts note that the Lemonade Cleanse can help and individual lose weight through the loss of water and solid waste. Individuals may also lose muscle mass from a lack of proper protein intake, which creates an enhanced weight loss. Doctors note that body fat levels may stay generally the same after the Lemonade Cleanse.

According to medical experts, the liver naturally works to detoxify the body and the Lemonade Cleanse does not contain a healthy daily calorie intake. Doctors note that keeping the liver healthy and avoiding smoking will naturally ensure that the body stays toxin-free. Experts also warn that this diet can kill off healthy bacteria in the intestines, which can lead to lowered immune system response and difficulties with healthy digestion of food. Dieters using this plan often gain weight back after returning to solid food because they are often hungry from fasting.


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