T Nation

Considering giving up juice....

…no not THAT juice (I am natural)…

Anyways, I love juice. Orange, apple, grape, gatorade, powerade, lemonade…whatever…I like it.

But after reading a few of the recent articles here, I am considering giving them up and going 100% water. I want to see if this tactic can sharpen up a blurred physique.

Has anyone you else done this and have any tips on how to stay on point?

Most fruit juices, even 100% natural, derive almost of their carbs (and calories) from sugar. Definitely not the optimal choice if you are looking to “sharpen up a blurred physique.”

Water is definitely a better alternative. If you still feel the need for the fruit juice hit, you could alternate the water with Crystal Light.

Okay, while we’re on the topic of juice, there’s something that I’d like cleared up if anyone happens to know.

I’ve heard it said that juice is not a good choice for your post-workout shake because fructose is absorbed too slowly to have a large impact on insulin, and the goal of a post-workout shake is to raise insulin rapidly in order to replace depleted glycogen stores quickly and jump-start recovery (hence the maltodextrin in Surge). Fine.

Now, I have also heard it said that juice is something you must avoid at all costs if trying to get lean. Why? Because it’s primarily sugar and sugar causes a rapid increase in blood sugar and hence insulin, which tends to result in fat storage.

See what I’m getting at here? So, what, juice doesn’t produce enough of an insulin response for it to be valuable post-workout, but too much of an insulin response to be valuable as a base for a meal replacement shake (i.e. added to Low-Carb Grow)?


Take a look at the ingredients of Classic vs. Low-Carb Grow! Both products only contain ~1g of sugar per scoop. Sugar is not the main carb contributor for either of these products.

For a diet, bulking or cutting, there are better carb choices than sugar. What would be your reasoning for wanting to add mostly sugar into a meal replacement shake, even if it were a low glycemic sugar such as fructose?

The crystal light tactic may be what I need to do. Do you know if it contains any harmful artificial sweeteners?

Problems with juice post workout:

  1) Chris, you're correct in stating that it does not cause an increase in insulin large enough for recovery purposes.

  2) Fructose is metabolized by the liver. Its good a refilling liver glycogen, not so good at refilling muscle glycogen.

  3)If your liver is overburdoned with fructose metabolism and glycogen stores are full, guess what the carbs are metabolized to? Thats right, fat

As far as drinking juice during the day:

  1) Ya gotta get your calories from somewhere right? Proteins, carbs, or fats. Drinking your calories in the form of mostly nutritionally devoid fruit sugars is not the best way to go.

  2)Again with the liver glycogen. You're drinking juice all day, getting lots of extra carbs which are keepin that liver and those fat cells full.

  3) In a caloric deficit, the fat storage is not much of an issue, BUT, being in a caloric deficit, why the hell would you drink fruit juice to get mostly useless calories? When dieting you eat to hit numbers and then try your best to make palatable filling meals. I dunno about you, but I can drink a gallon of OJ and still be hungry.

  4)Fruit JUICE lacks all the fiber and phytonutrients that its FRUIT had. Its defeating the purpose of fruit to make a tasty drink.

Crystal Light all the way!

homemade juices made with fuits and a blender are a much better and healthier alternative to the fake highfructose corn syrup juices sold at the market. fruits have a lot of chemicals that are beneficial to us. I believe this outways the negatives. The sugars from fruit also take a long time to digest. Just don’t combine juice with a high fat meal. Some juice in the morning when glycogen levels are low in the liver is not a bad idea considering that you want to jump start the metabolism and keep muscle mass sustained. The best time for carbs is upon awakening and post workout if your goal is fat loss. laters pk

Maybe I’m missing something here, but the first carbohydrate ingredient listed on Classic Grow is maltodextrin, which is the primary carbohydrate ingredient in Surge specifically because of its ability to raise blood glucose and insulin better than sugars (including fructose).

So what is the reasoning? You’re avoiding adding a lower GI ingredient such as fructose (in the form of juice, therefore contributing a large number of additional micronutrients, phytochemicals, etc.), in favor of a HIGHER GI ingredient like maltodextrin?

I can understand that for post-workout purposes, but not as a meal replacement, when the goal is to keep insulin levels moderate.

Where am I going wrong here?


I see your point then, if indeed additional fructose that exceeds liver capacity is simply stored as fat. Seems odd to me that the body wouldn’t just go ahead and put that glycogen where it’s needed (i.e. the muscle), but I don’t really understand the physiology enough to disagree with you.

Personally, I can fill up on a Low-Carb Grow + OJ smoothie with ice. But that’s just me. I always felt that the phytonutrients in juice were equivalent to those in fruit, sans the fiber. But if you’re correct, then juice is no healthier than Kool-Aid made with fructose. How’s that possible when you read the nutrient label and there’s a ton of vitamins and minerals? Where do they come from if not the fruit?

Damn, this will really suck if I can’t have my Low-Carb Grow + juice smoothies anymore. They’re one of the few things that make my dieting bearable.

I like to dilute orange juice with some club soda. 4 oz. of OJ with 6-8 oz of club soda is good

Chris, Classic Grow! has casein protein and other stuff in there to dampen the carb impact. As I recall, the GI response is pretty low with Classic.


You have to consider goals and allotted nutrients as well. If you’re looking to gain muscle and have a reasonably good ability at keeping bodyfat low, then fruit sugar smoothies are not gonna kill you.

I personally wouldnt do it, but it’s not gonna matter much in practice if your total carbs protein fats and calories fall into place with what you’re trying to achieve.

However, sitting around drinking fruit juice all day in addition to the food you’re eating is a recipe for disaster in my opinion.

As was also mentioned, when you start combining proteins and fibers etc with carbohydrates you reduce the glycemic load no matter what the type of carbohydrate.

As for the vitamins and minerals, aren’t those added to most fruit drinks? I thought most of the vitamins and minerals were in the skins and rinds and solid material of the fruit.

Surge is almost completely d-Glucose, with maltodextrin making up 4 of the 49 grams of carbohydrates per serving.

I mean, how much fruit juice are we talking about here? And what are your goals at the moment?

Oh yeah forgot to mention, you are right about the maltodextrin, although it is not the primary ingredient in Surge; that is d-glucose.

Malto is one of those complex carbs with a very high GI because its only branched glucose polymers.

I think the GI of it is something like 150, I dunno what the insulin index of it is though.

Ok I noticed in that last sentence you mention making your dieting bearable.

Remember its all about results and consistency. If what you are doing allows you to be consistent and stay sane in your diet while delivering results, then you are obviously not taking in so much fructose that you’re wrecking things.

If you used a complex low-GI low-II carb like oats or something, would you get better results? Technically it would look that way, but if the amount of carbs were the same from both sources?? it probably wouldnt make much difference in practice.

Dave2: That was my point, Dave. If the protein blend in Grow is enough to offset the insulin rise caused by maltodextrin (a high II carb), I would think it would be more than enough to counter the insulin increase caused by the fructose in juice (which is lower II). Basically, I’m talking about buying Low-Carb Grow to make a concoction similar to Classic Grow, but with juice (fructose) instead of the added carbs (maltodextrin) in the Classic Grow. I don’t know, I thought this was sensible (tastes damn good too).

NewDamage: You’re right dude, I’m cutting down right now. I typically only use the Low-Carb Grow + Juice meal once per day either as a quick protein+carb meal, or as a pre- or during-workout meal. I’m currently on week six of a diet that I modeled somewhat after CT’s “Beast Evolves” diet, incorporating aspects of John Berardi’s and Lonnie Lowery’s teachings. Most of my carbs come from oatmeal / whole grain hot cereals, whole wheat bread, brown rice, sweet potatoes, squash, and vegetables.

I also enjoy a Chocolate Low-Carb Grow + natural peanut butter shake toward the end of the day as a protein+fat meal. Please don’t tell me that’s a bad idea also. These shakes get me through the day!