How to Get Started with the Master Cleanse

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Cookie Monster
May 6, 2016

The Master Cleanse was invented in the 1940s by nutritionist Stanley Burroughs and popularized as a dieting method in the health-craze of the 1970s. By the late 1990s, the Master Cleanse regained popularity through an article in the New York Times and health books touting the drink as natural remedy to lose weight, gain energy, and become happier.

The Master Cleanse, which is often known as the lemon water detox has been used by models, rock stars, and celebrities, including Anne Hathaway, Oprah, Beyonce, David Blaine, and Denzel Washington.

Health Benefits

The Master Cleanse is more than a diet or weight loss plan. Through a three to ten-day fast, the Master Cleanse removes toxins and allows the body to naturally purge itself of waste and pollutants. The Master Cleanse relieves constipation and resets the gastrointestinal tract for better digestion.

Digestive problems contribute to many conditions from irritable bowel syndrome to acne. Antibiotics, poor diet, and digestive problems are several of the leading causes of imbalances in the healthy intestinal flora. Yeast imbalances in the gastrointestinal tract have been linked to chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and recurring yeast infections.

The Master Cleanse starves these organisms and creates an inhospitable environment for yeast, so the healthy bacteria can re-establish themselves. The simple lemon juice concoction is designed to stabilize the blood sugar while providing essential minerals and nutrients throughout the fast.

Key Ingredients

The Master Cleanse is made from three simple ingredients: lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper, which are diluted in water. Fresh-squeezed lemon juice is the most important ingredient in the Master Cleanse.

The low pH of citric acid makes lemon juice a natural antibacterial cleansing agent. Lemon juice also provides potassium, which is one of the most important nutrients lost during fasts. Most Master Cleanse recipes call for Grade-B maple syrup or blackstrap molasses to provide energy, minerals, and balance blood sugar.

Grade-B maple syrup is recommended for the Master Cleanse because it is less expensive and contains more nutrients. Always look for products that say pure maple syrup. Bottles labeled pancake syrup are made from artificially flavored corn syrup that is not suitable for the Master Cleanse. Cayenne is the final ingredient, which provides vitamins, promotes blood flow, and fights harmful germs and organisms.

Master Cleanse Recipe and Regimen

Generally, the Master Cleanse is completed as a three to ten day fast, but it can also be used as a meal replacement. For optimal results, most fasters complete the Master Cleanse as a seven-day regimen. The drink’s inventor recommends between six and twelve glasses daily for the duration of the program although many health practitioners have reduced this amount with good results. The Master Cleanse may also be combined with saline beverages in the morning followed by a laxative tea in the evening for complete cleansing.

For one serving combine:

  • two tablespoons lemon juice

  • one to two tablespoons of molasses or maple syrup

  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered cayenne pepper

  • one glass of filtered water

Many fasters eventually modify the original Master Cleanse recipe to suit their individual tastes. Some people find the Master Cleanse is easier to drink when warm while others prefer it at room temperature or chilled. When preparing the drink, add ingredients too taste.

Molasses or maple syrup sweetens the lemonade, however, adding too much will make the drink unpleasantly sweet. There’s no right or wrong way to drink the Master Cleanse; some prefer to chug the drink in one gulp while others prefer to take small sips over the course of an afternoon.

What to Expect

The effects of the Master Cleanse vary for everyone, however, most find the first few days are the hardest. The Master Cleanse can cause an upset stomach followed by some time visiting the bathroom. Most fasters find the body releases large amounts of waste and toxins least one day during the fast.

After three days, carb carvings and hunger subside and by fifth day fasters report increased energy, glowing skin, and brighter eyes. Although the Master Cleanse is commonly used as a fast, workouts, jogging, and vigorous exercise are fine and will increase the weight loss effects of the cleanse.

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