Celery juice cleanse
Credit: Johner Images, Getty Images

Welcome to Wellness Investigator, a HelloGiggles series where we explore topics and trends in the ever-evolving health and wellness space. Look, keeping up with all the wellness fads that are supposed cure-alls is a job in and of itself. So here at HG we are taking out our investigator magnifying glasses and closely examining these trends to see if they are all they’re cracked up to be.

I am bombarded with elixirs, tonics, and supplements that promise life-changing results every day, because I am a) a wellness writer who b) lives in Los Angeles. I believe that wellness shouldn’t be about a miracle drink/veggie/supplement; it should be about creating habits that are sustainable and support your mental and physical health. So when I heard people making sweeping claims about the magical powers of celery juice, I approached the topic with a healthy amount of skepticism (if only I could apply this same tactic to the men I date).

The claims

Drinking 16 ounces of celery juice on an empty stomach in the morning comes with a supposed laundry list of benefits: better digestion, clearer skin, increased energy, reduced inflammation…and if this is the case, why have I not been mainlining celery juice? If you scroll through your Instagram right now, you’ll probably encounter at least one post touting the benefits; people are legit obsessed with drinking celery juice. Celebrities like Miranda Kerr and Kylie Jenner are fans.

When I mentioned I was a wellness writer to a man I was flirting with, the first question he asked me was what I thought about celery juice. He then proceeded to tell me that drinking celery juice did some interesting things to his genitalia—and that is still not the weirdest conversation I’ve had while single, but still. The point is that celery juice is well-known enough that men are using it for ill-advised pickup lines.

So I decided to try drinking celery juice every morning for a week, to see if I noticed any changes in my digestion, skin, and/or energy levels.

The experiment

This whole celery juice fad came by way of a man known as the Medical Medium. His credentials: he was “born with the unique ability to converse with Spirit of Compassion who provides him with extraordinarily accurate health information that’s often far ahead of its time,” according to his website. K. I honestly do not even know what that means, other than that he is definitely not a doctor or medical professional.

My celery juice journey began mid-morning on a Saturday. Normally, I’m an early riser but I had consumed a glass (or few) of wine too many the night before. The last thing I wanted to do was drink liquified celery. It is here that I feel I should mention that celery is my least favorite vegetable. When in stalk form, celery doesn’t really have that much flavor but somehow, when you juice it, that non-flavor is amplified into something disgusting. It is, I imagine, the flavor of despair? Even cutting it with lemon doesn’t help.

So there I sat, hungover in my bed, clutching my bottle of Pressed Juicery celery juice. There is—and I cannot emphasize this enough—no way I am going to juice my own celery. I can barely clean my blender after making my morning protein shakes. I do not recommend trying celery juice for the first time while hungover. Especially if you also have to do damage control on a couple of the DMs you sent while under the influence of Pinot Noir.

I finished half the bottle by taking timid sips. Then I put the rest back in the fridge because it was starting to get warm. I will do anything for wellness, but I won’t do that. (“That” being drinking warm celery juice while hungover.)

I vowed to be better the next day. I woke up half an hour early so that I could drink my celery juice before my CrossFit workout. In my research, I had come across claims that celery juice could give you a boost of energy. I…didn’t notice a difference other than feeling slightly nauseous from the taste of celery (and despair?). Some people boast that they don’t need to drink coffee or tea when celery juicing because of the energy boost they get. I don’t know their lives, but out of all the celery juice claims this feels the most out there. A glass of liquified vegetables giving me as much energy as coffee is simply LOL. (But perhaps they are less dependent on caffeine than I am.)

By day five, I was a pro at gulping down my 16 ounces of celery juice. I began to tolerate the taste. There’s actually some scientific basis to this, because you can train yourself to like new foods. A study found that we can actually train ourselves to like certain flavors by just eating them over and over again.

After a week, I had yet to notice any of the miracles that celery juice supposedly offers, aside from the slightly smug sense of superiority I got from drinking a gross-tasting beverage first thing in the morning and feeling more hydrated. I wouldn’t normally start my morning off with 16 ounces of fluid, though, so I feel like this may have more to do with that than the actual celery juice.

Final thoughts

Dana Hunnes, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., doesn’t think there is much science behind the claims of celery juice. “It may help move foods/fluids through the body, but celery juice in and of itself is not likely any better at improving digestion as 16 ounces of water and/or, for that matter, 16 ounces of coffee,” Hunnes said. “The benefit of drinking 16 ounces first thing in the morning of a noncaloric (low-calorie) beverage is that we wake up dehydrated…also, celery juice would have some electrolytes in it that could help with hydration, but beyond that, I would not call it a miracle cure-all for anything except perhaps dehydration.”

So if celery juice is your cup of, well, celery juice then carry on. I will personally be over here drinking water instead.