The Master Cleanse diet has reemerged recently as a way to detoxify the body by removing food from one’s diet. Stanley Burroughs conceived of the diet in the 1940s. Peter Glickman, self-appointed Master Cleanse guru, has published books touting its effectiveness, and celebrities have tried the diet, garnering renewed attention. However, there are medical experts who say the diet deprives the body of essential nutrients for proper functioning and muscle development. As with any other diet, if you are contemplating the Master Cleanse, keep health risks in mind and consult a medical professional beforehand.

Diet requirements
The Master Cleanse diet requires you to stop eating for a minimum of 10 days. Glickman’s official webpage claims that some dieters stay on the diet for 45 days. You drink salt water and herbal laxative tea in the morning, six to 12 lemonade drinks throughout the day and another herbal laxative tea in the evening. The lemonade is comprised of water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Eating solid food and ingesting supplements are forbidden.

Side effects
According to Glickman’s Master Cleanse website, some side effects are cravings, tiredness, irritability, physical aches and pains, nausea and vomiting. People often turn to this diet for weight loss, but keep in mind that you will not be getting essential nutrients and protein that come from food. Some people also experience headaches initially as they begin to remove the toxins from their bodies.

Breaking your fast
It is advised to ease your way back to solid food, starting with certain vegetable juices, and to take probiotics after the cleanse. Probiotics are live microorganisms similar to the ones found naturally in your intestines. They support your digestive system and overall health.

Additional alternatives
The Mayo Clinic recommends getting approval from your primary care physician before adopting a detox program and says a healthy diet is based on fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein. If you have trouble deciding which foods will help you the most, consider hiring a nutritionist or asking your doctor a few questions.