The Lemonade Diet

The Lemonade Diet

The Lemonade Diet is more like a fast than it is a diet. Originally it was called the Master Cleanse Detox Diet. This diet was created by Stanley Burroughs way back in 1941 and made popular by Peter Glickman in his book “Lose Weight, Have More Energy and Be Happier in 10 Days: Take Charge of Your Health with the Master Cleanse” which promotes his regimen to a more modern audience.

Although the recipe varies from one source to the next, the ingredients are generally the same. The Lemonade Diet involves eating no solid food. Instead, you drink a mixture of:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • A small amount (about 1/10th teaspoon) of Cayenne pepper or other suitable concentrate of a plant with a high position on the Scoville Scale (hot).

This mixture can be taken either hot or cold. While you do get some nutrition from these ingredients they do not provide a complete source of macronutrients. It does provide some essential vitamins and minerals, and some sugars, which avoids the ketosis experienced on by those on the Atkins diet or from pure water fasting. The Cayenne dilates capillaries and is said to be primarily used for its medicinal effect of promoting metabolic activity.

Because you don’t eat solid food with this diet, it is necessary to help the digestive system eliminate material and avoid constipation. You do this in two ways: a laxative tea is taken every night, and in the morning, a large volume of lukewarm salt water serves as a top-down enema. The salt in the water (roughly 2 rounded teaspoons to a liter/quart of water) is salt-balanced compared to the blood. The salt level in your top-down enema is sufficient that the intestines do not easily absorbed by the water, yet not salty enough to make one gag as it is drunk or suffer from excess salt symptoms. This passes through the digestive system extremely quickly, about 30-60 minutes.

You stay on the Lemonade Diet for a recommended minimum of ten days, although it is not uncommon for people to stay on the cleansing diet for longer periods of time.

Although proponents of the Lemonade Diet say that it eliminates the toxins and congestion that builds up in the body it should be considered more as a safer form of fasting than just water fasting.

Some people have credited it with helping them lose weight, increase energy, and even alleviate some chronic diseases.

One of the problems of being on the Lemonade Diet for long periods of time is that intestinal cultures (the normal digestive bacteria in your intestines) needs to re-develop and mucus linings re-build. This requires careful breaking, as well as drinking “full strength” juices for a day or two while slowly adding in soups, then fruit, then nuts and vegetables before resuming a regular diet. This is an ideal time to add probiotics to re-establish a healthy intestinal culture.

Now the bad news: Any weight you loose with the Lemonade Diet will come back quickly. And because of the lack of protein, vitamins, and minerals there are some side effects you may want to watch out for such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Delirium
  • Fainting
  • Flu like symptoms

As with any liquid diet your gut may stop passing food, resulting in constipation, or may make the consumption of food immediately after the fast painful. There is also a risk that the saltwater will remove beneficial bacteria from the body. People with intestinal conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome may experience added discomfort while on this diet.

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