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Detox Diets and Exercise: Should I workout during my cleanse?

Detox Diets and Exercise: Should I workout during my cleanse?

Detox diets turn up everywhere these days. A quick search of the internet, and you will find dozens of suggestions and programs for how to do a detox diet. This makes sense since a detox diet has become a great way to cleanse your body of the toxins that tend to come with our diets these days. The question many people ask is, how do we safely do detox diets and workout?

Detox diets and working out present some specific challenges since a detox diet by its nature deprives your body of nutrients. Detox diets and working out are a potentially dangerous combination since detox diets eliminate many of the foods that provide the proteins necessary to build lean muscle, for example. 

How do you maintain detox diets and work out safely and effectively? What do you need to be aware of while doing detox diets and working out? What are the exercises that are most safe and effective while doing a detox diet and working out? This guide will give you the information you need to take on a detox diet while also working out safely. 

What is a Detox diet?

A detox diet is most often a short-term dietary procedure designed to remove toxins from your diet and to assist your body in eliminating toxins from your body. 

Many detox diets include a period of fasting followed by a strict program of fruits and vegetables, juices from both fruits and vegetables, and water. Many detox diets also include teas, nut milk, and supplements designed to help natural processes like liver and excretory functions.  

There are a few detox diets and protocols that call for things like colon cleanses and enemas. 

The purposes of a detox diet are to remove toxins from the diet and the body and to stimulate natural physiological functions that cleanse the body. Specifically, a detox diet works to:

  • Give your organs a break.
  • Stimulate liver function. 
  • Facilitate elimination through urine, feces, and sweat. 
  • Improve circulation
  • Boost nutrients in your body. 

Keep in mind that many things we eat that are meant to be healthy may still contain toxins that accumulate over time. Even if you maintain a healthy diet, you still can benefit from a detox diet. 

Some of the benefits of a detox diet include improved digestion, alleviate inflammation, and may protect against many serious chronic diseases. 

We should also be aware of the fact that there are numerous types of detox diets. Some involve sticking to a regime of nothing but liquids, while others allow for certain types of solid foods. In any case, a detox diet is designed to rid your body of toxins while simultaneously allowing your organ systems to take a break and regain effective traction on the elimination of toxins.  

Since all detox diets limit your caloric intake and the number of nutrients, carbs, and proteins you ingest on a daily basis, any detox diet can present challenges to your ability to exercise and maintain your normal workout schedule. 

Detox diets benefits

There are plenty of benefits of a detox diet. The kinds of things we eat these days tend to have added ingredients that are toxic to our biological systems. Food additives, preservatives, and even some of the by-products that naturally come from digestion introduce toxic substances into our bodies. As a result, the liver and kidneys become stressed and cannot properly process these things. Some of the benefits of a detox diet include: 

Digestive health

Virtually everything we eat passes through the digestive system first. Toxic substances in food impact the digestive system. A detox diet offers the digestive system simple foods that are easy to break down, thus giving the system a rest. 

Controls food cravings

Since detox diets rely largely on liquids, the body quickly becomes adjusted to a lower caloric load. This gives your body time to re-balance your metabolic rate. With a slower metabolic rate, you will experience fewer food cravings. This is one reason detox diets are great for losing weight. 

Energy boost

By reducing or eliminating the toxins in your diet, your liver and kidneys get a serious break. The toxin levels rapidly decrease, and this tends to increase the number of nutrients your body can use while on a detox diet. The result is more energy. 

Improved mental health

Since all physiological functions involve hormones in some way, a detox diet helps your body regulate these hormones more efficiently—the hormone cortisol in particular impacts moods since it is known to be a stress hormone. A detox diet reduces the stress level on the liver and helps your body eliminate cortisol. The result is better moods and more stable mental health. This, in combination with increased energy levels, elevates your mood in general. 

Exercising on a detox diet

The big question is whether or not you should exercise on a detox diet. This is important because a detox diet necessarily reduces your calorie intake, among a number of other nutrients that are essential for maintaining energy levels and for building muscle while exercising. 

However, you can exercise during a detox diet. In fact, some experts say it is best not to cut out all exercise. You want to maintain physical fitness while on a detox diet, and the physical exertion of exercise can add to the benefits of a detox diet. Sweating removes toxins from the body. Exercise can be a form of detox in itself through the lungs. It also helps organ function while you are detoxing. 

Make sure you take it easy during a detox diet. Keep low-impact workouts to about 20-30 minutes. Avoid high-impact exercises. During a detox diet is not the time for intense strength workouts.

You can also supplement your detox with a few foods that provide key nutrients. Quinoa is worth incorporating into your detox diet as it is rich in fiber but low GI, giving your body a steady supply of energy throughout the day. Quinoa is also high in protein. Bananas are excellent for combating tiredness, while leafy greens such as spinach are packed full of nutrients to keep energy levels high.

Types of exercises on a detox diet


Yoga works multiple areas of the body at once. This is one of its principal benefits. Yoga also works breathing capacity, which is essential during a detox. Keep your yoga routine to low-impact stretches and poses. Pay attention to your body, and if you feel woozy or faint, go into the child’s pose to regain balance and breath. 

Foam rolling 

This is ideal for working out during a detox diet. It involves stretching and rolling in ways that enhance blood circulation. This helps release toxins that have built up in muscles while it unlocks knots in muscle groups. Foam rolling will increase blood flow and keep muscles healthy while you rest them during the detox diet. 


We tend to forget about the benefits of a simple walk since we are so focused on exercise that gets results quickly. We have been led to believe that we need to seriously stress the body for something to count as exercise. A brisk walk increases blood flow and stretches out muscle groups in ways that are low-impact and will not over-tax your metabolism. 

Cycling and jogging

Some folks are simply not going to be content with all of these calm, low-impact workouts. You can continue cycling and jogging during a detox diet, but it is recommended that you up your protein intake if you are going to do this. There are modified detox diets that can accommodate more strenuous workouts during a detox. 

Exercising on a detox diet side effects

You need to be especially careful with workouts and detox diets. By limiting your caloric intake and drastically reducing things like carbs and proteins, your body is in a fragile state for exercise while detoxing. Some of the side effects of working out while on a detox diet include:


This is probably the most likely side effect. You should always drink plenty of water on a detox diet anyway, but you need to be particularly attentive to hydration while working out. 


 Fatigue and simply tiring out quickly are common side effects of working out while on a detox diet. The limited calories and nutrients that characterize a detox diet will limit your energy levels. 

Stomach and intestinal problems

Some people experience nausea, intestinal cramps, and diarrhea while working out during a detox. 

Nutrient deficiencies

Because a detox diet severely limits the full spectrum of necessary nutrients, you may experience deficiencies during exercise. 

Most of the side effects of a detox diet can be avoided or alleviated by using a sound professional detox plan. Certainly, there are plenty of things out there that will profess to give you a detox diet plan. But it is best for your overall health to go with a detox diet plan that has science and experience behind it.

The best detox diet plan available is the Spartan Detox Plan. Spartan offers several plans designed to meet your specific needs. Whether your goal is to lose weight or to bolster your immune system, Spartan Detox provides plans that include the juices and smoothies that will help you meet your goals. 

Spartan Detox Plans are made from natural juices and smoothies are prepared every day using the best quality fruits outdoors, offering an exceptional taste and drink experience that will help your body feel energetic. 

Spartan Detox also provides support through your detox programs. 

Exercising on a detox diet FAQs

What is a detox diet?

A detox diet is most often a short-term dietary procedure designed to remove toxins from your diet and to assist your body in eliminating toxins from your body. Some detox diets also include teas, nut milk, and supplements designed to help natural processes like liver and excretory functions. 

What are the benefits of a detox diet? 

A detox diet can help you lose weight, restore proper liver function, boost your mental health, and combat inflammatory conditions. 

Can I work out while on a detox diet? 

You can maintain a workout program while on a detox diet. 

What kinds of exercises are best for a workout while on a detox diet?

Low-impact exercises are the best while on a detox. Consider things like yoga and foam rolling. 

Are there side effects from working out during a detox diet? 

Yes, there are some potential side effects from working out while on a detox diet. You may experience dehydration fatigue, and stomach upset. 


Detox diets have gained traction in recent years because people are discovering the great benefits of detoxing safely. As we come to understand the toxins that get into our food and that build up from normal digestive and metabolic processes, we have also come to understand how important it is to detox periodically. 

Since detox diets have become a feature of health and wellness routines, the question remains, is it safe to work out while on a detox diet? This is a worthwhile question since a detox diet by its nature limits the number of nutrients, carbs, and proteins you take in, and these are precisely the things we need when we are working out. 

It is safe to work out while on a detox diet. The main thing to keep in mind if you want to exercise while on a detox diet is to take things slow. Keep your workouts to low-impact exercises, and do not push things. If you decide you need to do more strenuous workouts while detoxing, it is best to add some carbs and proteins to your detox diet to compensate. 

While the side effects of working out while on a detox diet are few, they can occur. These are usually minimal and can be dealt with quickly by backing off your workouts. Sticking with a reliable detox formula like the kinds available from Spartan Detox will also help ensure that you can safely detox and exercise at the same time.