Detox Side-Effects Survival Guide


Following a detox plan can do your mind and body wonders. Detoxing aims to cleanse your body and re-invigorate your system, as well as boost your energy levels and leave you feeling refreshed. As much as we hang out for the feeling of completing a detox, it’s important to embrace what happens to our bodies along the way. Detoxing often comes with side effects that may leave you feeling down. However, instead of throwing in the towel, we have put together a survival guide to help you deal with the not-so-nice aspects of detoxing.

1. Fatigue And Disrupted Sleep Patterns

One of the most common side-effects of detoxing your body is feeling sleepy. There’s nothing worse than battling to keep your eyes open - especially when trying to live a normal life while getting healthy. Here are some tips to boost your energy when you’re ready to crash.

  • Boost your brain with an energizing breakfast. Make sure you’re eating enough. After being asleep all night, your body is going to burn up the first thing that enters your stomach relatively quickly. To make sure you’re sustained, enjoy a healthy meal big enough to keep you charging on until morning tea or lunch.
  • Escape the four walls. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, do your best to go outside, breathe in some fresh air and soak up some vitamin D (while being mindful of protecting your skin of course). 
  • Power down before bed. Turn off your TV, put down your phone and dim the lights in your house half an hour before bedtime. This will help you to unwind and quieten your mind before sleep.

2. Headaches

Once you ditch habits such as drinking coffee or alcohol, smoking, or cutting out processed foods, it is likely that you will experience withdrawal effects. One such effect is prolonged headaches, particularly in the afternoon and evening after going without all day. Here are some tips to help you overcome that dreaded headache.

  • Kick it with cayenne. Surprisingly, this popular spice can help combat headaches. Simply add half a teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper to warm lemon water and sip.
  • Stretch it out. Your headache may be due to tension. You may feel relief by stretching out your chest, neck, and back. This can be done at your desk or while watching TV. Getting your body moving and increasing circulation may reduce your headache symptoms. 
  • Hydrate! You’ve probably heard this over and over, however, when detoxing, it is more important than ever to hydrate your body. In order to properly remove toxins from the body, you need to drink enough water to flush these from your system. Aim for 8-10 glasses of water per day.

3. Frequent Toilet Trips

As much as nobody likes to talk about it, frequent trips to the bathroom are not uncommon. As your body is eliminating unwanted junk, you may find yourself using the bathroom more than usual. Follow the tips below to keep your tummy happy.

  • Psyllium husk. Add a tablespoon of psyllium husk to your smoothie. This will help to soak up excess fluid. Psyllium husk is inexpensive and available from most grocery and health food stores. 
  • Restore your gut bacteria. Incorporate cultured vegetables such as sauerkraut and kimchi into your salads or as aside. Drinking kombucha is also a perfect way to increase healthy gut bacteria.

4. Nausea

Depending on how your body is reacting to your detox, you may experience nausea. Feeling a little “off” isn’t something to be too concerned about, however, if you experience vomiting, it is best to seek advice from a health professional. Follow these tips to relieve yourself from nausea.

  • Sip a warm cup of ginger tea. Ginger is renowned for relieving an upset tummy.
  • Use a cotton swab to rub a small amount of peppermint oil into your gums. Like ginger, peppermint is also known for its ability to relieve an unsettled stomach and nausea symptoms.

5. Cravings

You’ve taken away the things you have relied on for so long; sugar, processed foods, coffee, cigarettes, etc. It’s no wonder your body is starting to crave these things. As the saying goes, “This too shall pass”. Here are some top tips for beating cravings.

  • Are you eating enough? If you are hungry and unsatisfied you are bound to crave foods that will hit the spot. Detoxing is not an excuse to go hungry, so be sure to fill your plate with delicious, nutritious foods.
  • Are you simply a creature of habit? If grabbing a coffee before work or settling down to a glass of wine in the evening is part of your daily routine, aim to do something that aligns with your detoxing goals instead. Try going for a walk, preparing your meals for the following day, or taking five minutes to close your eyes and relax.
  • Practice mindfulness. What does this look like exactly? You can start by simply focusing on your breathing, listing everything in your surroundings that you can see, feel, smell and hear, or by releasing tension by progressively relaxing your muscles.

What Are Your Favorite Tips For Surviving A Detox?

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