If you are a fitness enthusiast or have been scouting for viable weight loss programs, you are likely already familiar with intermittent fasting (IF). This fasting method has been trending for a long time now also because of the level of flexibility it offers. And the benefits of IF are not unknown. IF plans comprise an eating window and a fasting period. While IF doesn’t restrict your food choices, you must eat healthy during the eating period to make the most of this fasting routine.
Off-late juices have emerged as a popular inclusion in intermittent fasting regimens. So, for all those ready to explore more about the variety of juices and the pros of including them in your IF diet, here’s a comprehensive guide at your fingertips.
For readers new to IF, we’ll start with a brief on how it works before delving into the magical juice recipes you must try.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
Intermittent fasting comprises switching between periods of voluntary fasting and eating. You can practice intermittent fasting daily by segmenting your days into eating and fasting windows. Other forms of IF include fasting on certain days of the week while consuming a regular diet for the rest of the week. The popular weekly IF methods include the 5:2 and Eat Stop Eat. The eating window is usually shorter than the fasting periods in IF patterns that involve fasting for certain hours a day. For instance, you have the 16:8 IF diet, where you can eat in an eight-hour window and fast for 16 hours. Similarly, you have the 12:12, 14:10, and other patterns.
So, how does intermittent fasting work?
While IF, your body begins burning fat for fuel once it is in a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic process in which your body breaks down fat cells for energy instead of glucose. This simultaneously results in the release of ketones in your bloodstream due to a lack of insulin.
So, most IF routines aim to reduce your overall calorie consumption so you can enter a state of ketosis. This can help with weight loss, appetite control, improvement of hormone functions, and cardiac health. 
Why Should You Keep a Check on What You Drink While Intermittent Fasting
Consumption of any extra calories, fats, proteins, or carbohydrates during the non-eating window can interfere with your IF goals. As IF can be beneficial in lowering insulin resistance and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, including any form of high-calorie beverages can trigger insulin responses in the body and negate most of the benefits you seek from IF. Moreover, since you are at risk of mild dehydration when fasting, you must monitor the quantity and type of liquids you consume to ensure you stay hydrated without fuelling your body with excessive calories.
How To Improve Overall Health with Juices
With all the health benefits it has to offer, you should try IF. While the fasting window does not allow calorie intake, you can drink healthy juices in the feeding window to suit your nutritional needs, taste, and preferences.
Vegetables and fruit juices are packed with essential nutrients. Fruit juice contains active components that can contribute to your health and decrease the risk of several chronic health issues, including cardiovascular disease. They also contain polyphenols that have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects.
Beetroot, celery, apple, and cucumber are a few popular fruit and vegetable juice ingredients. Fruits and vegetables contain fermentable fiber. These contribute to prebiotic activity. High fiber intake is associated with lower risks of cardiovascular diseases. It can also decrease the risks of type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. The oligosaccharides content in the fiber of fruits and vegetables are transported to the colon, where it gives energy to the gut bacteria. Hence, dietary fiber consumption can play a significant role in improving your gut health.
Some studies reveal that juices have a pre-biotic impact on your gut, enhancing some of the benefits of IF. Intermittent fasting has been linked with positive impacts on the gut microbiota. Hence, the consumption of juices can further improve gut health. [2, 3]
Before sharing recipes, let’s look at the basics of juicing and how it can work with IF.
What is Fruit Juicing?
Juicing involves extracting juice from fruits and vegetables, where the pulp is crushed until it turns into liquid, leaving only the fiber behind. You can extract fresh fruit juices at home using a juicer.
Your juice of choice while fasting should contain all the micronutrients you intend to seek from the selected vegetables and fruits. Some of the benefits of juices on your body include the following:
1. Allows Your Gut to Rest
While fiber benefits your body, juices are lighter on the stomach as they need less time to digest than whole fruits or vegetables. Since juicing removes the fibers from the fruits and vegetables, it can allow your digestive system some rest.
2. Improves Gut Microbiome and Triggers Weight Loss
As discussed earlier, fruit and vegetable juices improve your gut health and provide essential macro (carbohydrates) and micronutrients.
Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of several bioactive components, even in their juice form, making them a good source of phenolic compounds. The bacteria in your colon break down polyphenols into smaller compounds, improving the presence of bacteria in the gut microbiome.
Advantages of Juicing
While eating whole fruits while fasting may provide more nutritional value, some studies indicate that fruit juices are equally nutritious. 
Your glass of juice isn’t free of calories, but you can be assured that they have fewer calories than your creamy smoothies and beverages with added sugars. Fresh home-pressed juices can replace high-calorie snacks during your IF feeding period. As juices can improve your gut microflora, they can facilitate weight loss, helping your IF goals. [5, 6]
Another advantage of juices is that they are nutrient-dense. A glass of juice may have more than one fruit, making it a convenient option for individuals who dislike eating whole fruits and vegetables. However, the fiber goodness in fruits and vegetables should not be undermined.
In that context, if you are using sweeter fruits, it is likely to add natural fructose and glucose into your body. Adding refined sugar to your juice can spike your sugar levels and interfere with your IF goals. Added sugars in your juice can lead to poor glycemic profiles and increased oxidative stress markers. 
Potential Drawbacks of Fruit Juices While Fasting
While juicing can increase your nutrient intake, some of the potential risks associated with juicing could be as follows:
- Juices could add unwanted calories to your bottom line if the portion sizes aren’t watched, hurting your weight loss goal.
- The calories in juices can be attributed to their sugar components. If you are simply juicing and discarding the fiber, the absence of fiber can slow down sugar absorption, resulting in spikes in blood sugar levels. Hence, combining low-sugar fruits with vegetables could make a better choice. 
- Just as fiber is crucial for digestive health, protein is essential for muscle growth, cell repair, and many other functions. Juices usually contain neither. Hence, you should add juices to ensure a balanced diet in your IF eating window and not overly depend on juices.
Alternatively, you could also try blending your fruits and vegetables instead of purely relying on juicing. Unsweetened blended smoothies can feature protein and fiber components, making them more filling than juices. Your fruit and vegetable juices can be blended with various nuts, seeds, or yogurt, as it can keep you satiated for longer than juices alone.
Tips for Juicing While Intermittent Fasting
You can adapt IF juices to your needs. Here are a few tips that can come in handy in the process:
If you spend considerable time traveling between work and home and can’t spend much time in the kitchen preparing juices in the morning, you can make them the night before. Although drinking fresh juice has benefits, you can prepare your juices or smoothies at night and refrigerate them for the following day. However, fresh food or beverages have a higher nutritional content.
Include green juices and smoothies
Green is not just pleasing to the eye but has several benefits for your gut health as well. Adding greens to your smoothies and juices can balance it’s fructose content. Sometimes, fruit juices can make you hungrier or even hypoglycaemic. A dash of greens can neutralize the sweetness of the fruits in your juices.
Relax and sleep well
You must get appropriate rest to make the most of your exercise or fasting routines. Have a bedtime schedule to ensure you meet your daily sleep goal. It can also prevent late-night hunger pangs. You can always indulge in a lukewarm bath before calling it a day, as it can calm you down, allowing restful sleep.
Step-by-Step Juicing Process
If you are excited to include juices in your IF diet, follow these steps to get the most nutritional value out of them:
- Thoroughly wash all the fruits and vegetables.
- Cut your fruits or coarsely chop your vegetables. Remove the seeds of certain fruits before churning them.
- You can use a juicer to squeeze fresh juices with less effort. Hand-pressing juices can make the process tedious. Also, it can lead to a lot of wastage if not done well.
- When adding the ingredients for your juice, consider adding the most delicate ingredients first. So, if you are using a mix of fruits and veggies in your juice, you can add the leafy greens and herbs first and follow it up with softer vegetables or fruits such as berries, tomatoes, etc.
- Finally, add the relatively harder vegetables or fruits. These could comprise apples, celery, etc.
The best way to enjoy your juice is to consume it fresh. However, if you need to store it, you can refrigerate it for a day.
6 Juice Recipes For Intermittent Fasting
Although you can use a single variety of fruits or vegetables in your juice recipe, you can also combine them to get the best out of real fruits and vegetables.
Here are a few easy-to-make juice recipes that can be prepared at home and included in your IF eating window diet. You can use the normal juicing process for all the recipes listed below. Chopping the fruits and vegetables can make it manageable, ensuring a smoother juicing process.
Here are a few things to ensure before preparing fruit or vegetable juices:
- Choose fresh fruits for juicing. Frozen fruits may not be a great idea.
- Clean your fruits and vegetables with plain water before juicing.
- You can cut your fruits into small pieces before tossing them into the juicer, as it would reduce its load.
- You must peel some fruits before juicing. For instance, if you use oranges or mangoes, peel them first. The edible peels of fruits and vegetables can boost the insoluble fiber content. It can also be a high source of antioxidants.
- It is a great idea to choose a variety of flavors when selecting natural fruits and vegetables. You can start with the fruits and vegetables of your choice and gradually expand your palette.
Check out the following juice recipes for IF.
1. Ginger Beetroot and Carrot Juice
- 1 beetroot (large), peeled
- 1 apple (medium-sized)
- 2 carrots, peeled
- 1 orange, peeled
- An inch of fresh ginger
2. Punchy Cabbage ‘n’ Raspberry Juice
- 1 apple
- ¼ cabbage
- 1 ½ cups Raspberry
3. Tangy Pineapple Spinach Juice
- ¼ pineapple, peeled
- 1 mango
- 2 cups of spinach
- 1 cucumber
4. Verdant Celery Juice
- 3 stalks of celery
- 1 cucumber
- 5 kale leaves
- 1 pear
- 1 apple
- A sprig of mint leaves (optional)
5. Zesty Lime and Broccoli Juice
- 1 broccoli stalk
- 1 apple
- 1 small lime
- 2 medium carrots (peeled)
6. Spinach and Pineapple Juice
- 1 whole pineapple
- 1 mango
- 1 cucumber
- 2 cups spinach
Juicers For Preparing Your Intermittent Fasting Juice Recipes
Use a good-quality juicer or blender that uses high pressure to ensure optimum yield and maximum nutrient retention. Slow juicers can work great in pressing juices from leafy green vegetables.
Most modern juicers are designed to crush, grind, and squeeze out the pulp of your fruits, vegetables, or herbs you may want to juice.
You can find two main types of juices in the market — high-speed and low-speed juicers. The faster machines are also known as centrifugal juicers, while the low-speed juicers effectively use the cold-pressing or slower revolution technique.
For first-time users scouting for viable juicer options, here’s more about the appliance types:
High-speed juicers are great for processing fruits and vegetables at a high speed. These appliances use the centrifugal force. Some models leave the pulp in the shredder basket, while others with automatic injection facilities discard the waste into another waste basket. These juicers are relatively cheaper. However, the high motor speed can break down the nutrients of your ingredients.
Low-speed machines extract fruit and vegetable juices at a comparatively lower speed. These appliances produce less heat and may be less noisy. The low-speed machines can help extract more juice than their counterparts that run at higher rates. Low-speed juicers can make a better choice if you plan to juice green leafy veggies such as spinach, kale, celery, etc.
Juicers come in different shapes and capacities and offer varying functionalities. Choose a model that fits your storage space and required juice quantity and is easy to maintain.
Use a good-quality juicer or blender that uses high pressure to ensure optimum yield and maximum nutrient retention. Slow juicers can work great in pressing out juices from your leafy greens.
In addition to the process, make sure that you wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly before juicing them. Unwashed fruits and vegetables can be contaminated. Simultaneously, wash and clean your juicer beakers to prevent microbial contamination. 
Smoothies For Intermittent Fasting
If you wish to give juices a break and try something that offers similar benefits but has a richer consistency and is comparatively wholesome than juices, you could include a few smoothies in your IF diet.
Healthy smoothies are packed with nutrients; the best thing is that you can customize them to meet your needs. Like juices, you can make smoothies at home. Here are the elements that you can add to your smoothie:
Fruits and Vegetables
You can add fruits and vegetables to your IF smoothies. Choose fruits that are low in sugar levels, and consider a variety of berries or avocados for your smoothie, as they can make a great source of fiber while not raising blood sugar levels. If you like vegetable smoothies, you can add veggies of your choice, such as leafy greens like spinach, celery, or cooked carrots and beetroots, to enjoy flavourful smoothies.
You can enrich your smoothie with ingredients that form a good source of protein aside from the fruits and vegetables you will be adding to it. Greek yogurt or cottage cheese can be great additions to smoothies. Protein can keep you satiated for longer. Some people use protein powders in their smoothies.
Like juices, smoothies contain a liquid base, varying from plain water to other nutrient-dense liquids. For your IF diet, add a low-calorie liquid such as coconut milk, unsweetened almond milk, or low-fat animal milk. Some individuals also consider using bone broth for their savory smoothie recipes.
Additionally, you can add healthy fats to your smoothies. Good fat sources include chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, nut butter, or other healthy nuts. For your IF diet, consider the following smoothie recipes:
3 Delicious Smoothie Recipes
1. Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
- Low-fat milk – 1 cup
- Banana – 1
- Peanut butter – 2 tablespoons
- Oats – ¼ cup
- Greek yoghurt – ½- 1 Cup
- Add all ingredients to the blender.
- Blend for 1-2 minutes until smooth. You can add extra liquid to adjust the consistency.
- Relish it!
2. Ginger and Pumpkin Smoothie
- Almond milk – 1 Cup (Unsweetened)
- Pumpkin puree – ½ Cup
- Freshly grated ginger – 1 tablespoon
- Banana – 1
- Apple cider vinegar – 1 tablespoon
- Almond or cashew butter – 1 tablespoon
- Pumpkin spice and vanilla extract (optional) – 1 teaspoon each
- Ice cubes
You can also add maple syrup, although syrups have high sugar content. Follow the same process of blending the ingredients until smooth and adjust the consistency accordingly.
The anti-inflammatory properties of fresh ginger, healthy fats derived from almond milk and almond butter, and the dash of spices can make this recipe a healthy and delicious smoothie.
3. Green Smoothie
- Coconut water – 1 cup
- Banana – ½
- Unsweetened protein powder – 1-2 scoops
- Pineapple – ½ cup
- Mango – ½ cup
- Avocado – ½ cup
- Leafy greens – 2 cups
- Chia seeds – 1 tablespoon
Note that drinking your smoothies right away is always a good idea. However, you can also refrigerate them overnight if need be.
Other Beverages You Can Consume While Intermittent Fasting
Some drinks that you may consider adding to your IF fasting window include:
Plain or sparkling water can be added to your diet as it contains no calories and keeps you hydrated even during fasting.
Warm Water With Ginger And Lemon
You can infuse some lemon drops and ginger in plain water as it contains no calories or sweeteners and can keep your blood sugar levels in check.
When consumed without sweeteners or creamers, black tea is a calorie-free drink that can be consumed even during your fasting window. However, as it contains some caffeine, ensure not to drink too much tea as it can leave you dehydrated. You may restrict it to a cup or two throughout the day.
Like tea, black coffee is calorie-free when consumed without adding sugar, cream, or milk. Although drinking a cup or two of black coffee may not break your fast, too much of it can cause dehydration.
Diluted Apple Cider Vinegar
Add 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your drinking water to refresh yourself. This can reduce hunger and also curb cravings throughout your fast. However, make sure not to overdo it and avoid it during fasting, as even the minimal calories can lead to a metabolic breaking of your fast.
Also, consider skipping drinks like soda, bone broth, alcohol, etc., in your fasting period.
Can I drink juices any time of the day during intermittent fasting?
Even unsweetened fresh juices contain calories that can break your fast if consumed during the IF fasting period. So, you must limit them to your feeding window.
Can I add a little sugar to my juice?
You should ideally consume juices without adding sugar or artificial sweeteners. Moreover, as fruits and vegetables already contain fructose and glucose, they can spike sugar levels and add calories to your body.
What vegetables or fruits can I use for juicing during IF?
You can choose from various vegetables and fruits for your IF juice recipes. These could include kale, cucumber, carrots, celery, zucchini, beetroot, spinach, lemons, limes, blackberries, apples, blueberries, kiwis, or any other fruits and vegetables that have low sugar levels and are packed with anti-inflammatory antioxidants. You may also consider adding nutrient-rich herbs such as ginger, turmeric, basil, cilantro, mint, or parsley to boost the flavor of your IF juices.
Is juice fasting the same as intermittent fasting?
No. Juice and intermittent fasting are unique approaches that offer different health benefits. Juice cleansing involves consuming fruits and vegetable juices for a specific period. This could range from a few days to a week. Use of fresh or organic fruits and vegetables is recommended in the process. In IF, you can include juice recipes in your eating window as a nutritional source, along with other healthy food that you eat through your non-fasting periods.
You can drink juices during the eating window of your IF routine. The quantity of nutrients you get from one cup of juice is typically more than that from one serving of fruit. Hence, juices can boost your daily fruit and vegetable intake. Although fruits and vegetables are healthy, it is best not to replace all your food with juices as it can cause protein and other essential nutrient deficiencies.
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