5 things you should know before doing a cleanse

Dr. Marita Schauch

As you’ve probably noticed, there are a ton of cleanses on the market, especially in spring since it’s a natural time to detoxify and shed winter weight.

Contrary to popular belief, a cleanse goes deeper than simply losing a couple pounds or making up for bad eating habits over the winter - it affects the entire functioning of the body. Cleanses affect people differently depending on a person’s current state of health as well as health history. It’s important to take a cleanse seriously by properly preparing your body, staying hydrated, allowing time to rest, minimizing stress, and staying active (without over-exerting yourself).

Here are a few ways you can set yourself up for success on your cleanse:

Prepare your body

As tempting as it may be to enter a cleanse after one last indulgent night of pizza and beer, before and after your cleanse is just as important as the cleanse itself. This time period can influence how effectively your body can remove toxins, so it’s important to eliminate all fried and processed foods, refined flour and sugar, and alcohol at least three days before and after your cleanse.

Stay hydrated

Detoxification requires water, and without adequate hydration, toxins can’t properly be eliminated and may re-accumulate. I recommend drinking at least 1-2 litres  of filtered water while you’re cleansing to ensure a safe and effective detox.


During the cleansing process, it is not uncommon for fatigue, brain fog, anxiety or sadness to come up. Make sure your prepare for these symptoms and plan to spend more time on self-care during the cleansing period. Honour where you’re at and the changes in your body by spending extra time resting, relaxing, sleeping, meditating and nurturing yourself to provide to complete the cleanse feeling revitalized.

Minimize stress

When you’re under stress, your body uses up vitamin C and B, which are essential during the detoxification process. Without these nutrients the body cannot cleanse adequately, which can compromise your health. It’s a good idea to plan your cleanse at a time when you won’t be overly-stressed and employ stress-reducing techniques throughout the process, such as yoga and meditation.

Stay active

While I don’t recommend over-exerting yourself, it’s a good idea to do some light exercise. If you have enough energy, try going for a 30 minute walk each day of your cleanse. Exercise stimulates lymphatic flow and blood circulation, and improves the function of your kidneys, digestive tract, lungs and liver, which are all responsible for processing and eliminating toxins.

Riley Webster