Cleanse Vs. Detox: What’s The Difference?

Can we use these two sentences interchangeably?

Cleanse Vs. Detox: What’s The Difference?
Written by Our: Editorial Team
Medical Fact Checked by: Dr. Bryan Havoc
Last updated:
You’ve probably been on the internet long enough to stumble across different mommy blogs talking about doing a detox or cleanse. You probably have also seen advertisements for companies or products on store shelves that claim to help promote a cleanse or detox, but what exactly are they? 

While you may see both words used together, or see the words used interchangeably, there is actually a difference between a detox and a cleanse. However, you first need to understand what they are individually before you can understand the differences between the two buzzwords from healthy-living bloggers.

What Is A Cleanse?

A cleanse stays true to the meaning of the word; it cleans your body by getting rid of harmful toxins. From the air that we breathe to the ingredients in our diets, we are almost always exposed to harmful toxins.

Our bodies may cleanse on its own, but it could benefit from additional cleansing products. Our body produces enzymes naturally to aid in the function of the important digestive organs such as the stomach, small intestine, and pancreas.
Eventually, without the proper cleanse regimen, the buildup of toxins can indeed turn your gut into a toxic environment.

Having an unhealthy gut can lead to a number of issues ranging from mild mood and mental health issues to more serious autoimmune or even cancer risks.

What Is Detox?

When you think of Detox, you think of the thousands of articles telling you how to detoxify your system.

Detox plans normally have you drinking certain drinks or laxatives, or taking certain diuretic and vitamins.

However, your body utilizes certain organs to naturally detoxify your body through your kidneys, liver, and digestive system. Following a detoxification program could help aid in your body’s detoxification regimen, bu.

What Is The Difference Between Detox And Cleanse?

Both a cleanse and detox essentially do the same thing: removing harmful toxins from your body.

Think of cleansing as cleaning out your gut, and detoxing as cleaning out toxins from everywhere else (urine, sweat, etc.) It’s healthy to cleanse your system from time to time.

While your body can naturally detox, you could benefit from a supplemental detox product or program. The only thing that could hamper your body’s ability to detoxify is by adding an extra load to the organs that detoxify your body through alcohol, sugar, and processed foods.

While detox plans have you avoiding certain foods, cleanses have you ingesting specific foods for the sole purpose of cleaning out your system. Cleansing is about taking in healthier fuel for your body to essentially flush out your system.

Both detoxifying and cleansing your body are not long-term options. Depriving your body, or only ingesting one type of food or drink, is essentially starving your body of vitamins and minerals that come from a balanced diet.

Cleanse How To’s And Benefits:

If you choose to cleanse your body then you should be aware of the how to’s and benefits of a short-term cleansing. A cleanse is not necessarily for weight loss, but it can help with starting you on a path to losing weight.

However again, cleanses are not a long-term option, because, in order to clean your body from toxic waste, you’ll need to deprive yourself of certain food and drink and only follow a specific cleanse to replenish your cells with the vitamins and minerals they need to get back on a nutritional track and reduce your cravings for toxic food. Juice cleanses are some of the more popular cleanses, because who can turn down a delicious cup of juice?

Unfortunately, for the average consumer, this could get a little pricey because “juice” doesn’t mean the concentrated juice you pick up on store shelves. The juice you should be drinking is a mix of fruit and vegetables.

The first thing you’ll want to do during a cleanse is clean out whatever waste already stuck in your digestive system. Many suggest a laxative in order to remove the unwanted waste and fecal matter, however, you run into an issue where it cleans out everything.

It is important to drink plenty of water during this process. In fact, you could mix electrolytes into the water or purchase water with electrolytes to aid in your cleanse or detox regimen.

However, if you’re cleared to cleanse, and you do end up cleansing your body to reset your gut then you’ll want to consume healthy food and drink to replace what you’ve lost. You’ll need plenty of vitamins and probiotics to replace the good bacteria in your gut. After your gut is cleaned, you’ll want to move on to detox for your kidneys and liver.

Detox How To’s And Benefits:

While your body naturally detoxifies on its own, there’s nothing particularly wrong with enhancing and supporting your body’s natural detoxification system.

The first step in detoxifying your body is cutting harmful intakes that do more harm to your organs than good. For example, your liver has a hard time metabolizing alcohol

In fact, the enzymes in your liver metabolize the alcohol to a chemical known as acetaldehyde, which can increase your risk of cancer. Drinking alcohol also causes massive fat buildup around your liver, which also increases your risk for cancer.

Since your liver is one of the stronger fighters in your detoxification system, you’ll want to do your best to take care of it. Your kidneys are the next best organs in your system to process and dispose of waste in your body.

When you think about your kidneys, you think of urination, the process of removing waste from your body, but what do you need to do in order to urinate: drink fluids, specifically, water.
Water is the best detoxifying liquid for your body.

Another method of naturally detoxifying your body is to cut back on processed foods and sugars. Doing so will make it easier for your liver and kidneys to detoxify your body without adding any more harmful chemicals to the process.

The salt found in processed food will cause your body to retain too much fluid, which in turn will affect your liver and kidneys. In fact, too much salt in your system acts as an anti-diuretic which will keep your body from detoxifying because when it retains water, you won’t be able to urinate.

Obviously, before you start any new cleanse or detox regiment, it would be best to consult with your doctor to make sure it’s right for your body. For some, especially those who suffer or are at risk for diabetes, you’ll want to make sure you’re not doing more harm than good attempting a cleanse or detox.

It isn’t advised to self-undergo any new changes to your body until you’ve consulted a doctor. However, if your doctor gives you the green light to cleanse or detox your body, you’ll feel the positive effects of getting a much-needed tune-up that isn’t reserved just for cars.

*This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.