Fresh Juice vs. Coffee


Dear Beloved Readers of my blog!

I love freshly squeezed juice (spinach, celery, apple & carrot is my fave) with a shot of wheatgrass and a zip of ginger! I began this love affair a few years ago when I made it a habit to ride my bike over to Fresh Juice Bar on Queen West, grab a juice – either the “refresher or the “detox cocktail”, and head over to Trinity Bellwoods Park to soak up some Vitamin D on a park bench alone with my thoughts or a good magazine.

After a long run on Monday, I was delighted when my running partner friend introduced me to this NEW juice bar in the building across the street from where I live! How awesome is that…. a juice bar that is a hop, skip and jump across the road! Living in downtown Toronto in a sea of concrete condos you wonder if there IS healthy places inside dark mammoth sized office buildings and YES my friends, there is – at Bay and Queens Quay. If you live in the area, I suggest you hit up this juice bar and you won’t be disappointed!

When I drink a fresh juice of mostly greens, the benefit is that it makes me feel AMAZING and I know that it does my body good first thing in the morning (not like Milk  – remember the ads? “does the body good”… yikes! If they only knew the truth).  If you are reading this post and have been to one of my nutrition talks then you will know that I’m not a fan of coffee or caffeine containing beverages for my morning jolt. Since I am the princess of lists, I am going to share with you the reasons why you should grab a fresh juice in the morning instead of your cup of java!

One small cup of coffee (think of those styrofoam cups from the 80′s) has a WHOPPING 150mg of caffeine! Mamma MIA. Now for most of you, getting your Grande or Venti size Starbucks Mild coffee is double or triple that. Okay I hear you… you are thinking, ya Joy, that’s precisely why I love it so much, it gives me a good kick. Allow me to tell you why this is NOT good.

1. Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system in SAME manner that stress does from a lion jumping on your back. The body does NOT recognize the difference. This leads to a flood of stress hormones, mostly cortisol, to deal with this wicked amount of caffeine. Excess cortisol leads to fat on your belly and an array of health issues. Cortisol has been labeled by many as the “death hormone”.

2. Caffeine dehydrates the body and may leach vital minerals from your body because it is a diuretic (makes you pee). For every cup of coffee, you need to drink  at least 2-3 cups of water and that’s on TOP of the 6-8 glasses you should be drinking. :) Dehydration leads to health issues – premature aging, high blood pressure, dry skin, lack of mental energy, headaches, bloating (water retention), high cholesterol and so on.

3. Caffeine causes blood sugar imbalances that lead to mood swings, carb cravings and headaches.


A shot of wheatgrass in your juice is like liquid love for your body. It is an ENERGIZER of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, sulphur, cobalt, and zinc – this may translate to the energy you get in 2 cups of coffee! It’s incredible for your blood and made of 70% chlorophyll, which is a “blood builder”.  Wheatgrass is a cleanser and detergent for your body – carries away toxins and helps aid in weight loss. Now these are just the benefits of getting a shot of liquid love into your juice. I haven’t even begun to talk about the benefits of the rest of the juice!


1. The National Cancer Institute has advised that getting more fruits and veggies into your diet via juicing reduces the risk of THESE  cancers: Breast, colon, stomach, lungs, ovaries, esophagus and rectum.Why? Juicing gives you a mega dose of antioxidants – these are the soldiers of your body. They neutralize the “free radicals” that are damaging to your cells and cause cancer.

2. Phytochemicals and vitamins like A and C – all prevent cancer and keep your cells happy and smiling. You have thousands of cells in your body. Phytochemicals specifically, protect your cells from damage.

3. Enzymes! These are your body’s work force. They act as catalysts in hundreds of THOUSANDS of chemical reactions throughout your body. They are essential for digestion and absorption of food, conversion of food into body tissues and production of energy. Enzymes are responsible for pretty much every metabolic process in your body every second of every day. Enyzmes are found in raw food and of course, juice!

Juicing is not the ONLY way to ensure you get these amazing benefits, of course, eating the whole food has even more benefits such as fibre (I could write a whole blog  just on the benefits of fiber).  Juicing is a nutrient dense, cancer fighting way to give your body unconditional love, a jolt of healthy energy -  instead of coffee, that “takes” from your body and has consequences with long-term health effects.

Happy Juicing!

Eat Well | Live Well | Be Well.


Joy McCarthy

Joy McCarthy is the vibrant Holistic Nutritionist behind Joyous Health. Author of JOYOUS HEALTH: Eat & Live Well without Dieting, professional speaker, nutrition expert on Global’s Morning Show, Faculty Member at Institute of Holistic Nutrition and co-creator of Eat Well Feel Well. Read more...

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