The Lemonade Diet

The Lemonade Diet (also known as the Master Cleanse, Master Cleanser, Maple Syrup Diet, Lemonade Cleanse, Lemon Diet, Lemon Cleanse, and the Beyonce Diet) was created by Stanley Burroughs in 1941 and later popularized by Peter Glickman in his 2004 book, Lose Weight, Have More Energy and Be Happier in 10 Days (3nd edition published 2011). Many people, such as Robin Quivers and Beyonce have lost significant weight, although that is not the aim of the cleanse.


Detoxification means eliminating toxins (poisons) from the body. These can be external poisons, such as arsenic; chemicals which cause cancer; or body wastes that, if not eliminated, cause illness, such as gout. A toxin doesn’t have to kill you to make you tired, miserable, unhappy, and jittery.

Most people think detoxification is a one step process. They have toxins and then they don’t — one step. This isn’t true. It is a two step process. First the toxins are mobilized from where there are stored in the body, usually fat cells. When mobilized, an individual may mildly re-experience the effect of the toxins, such as tiredness, irritability, aches, or mental fogginess. Then the toxins are eliminated. So, the faster the body eliminates the toxins, the less unpleasant is the cleanse.

Therefore, in addition to the lemonade, two other things are consumed to help eliminate toxins quickly from the body. One is a cup of herbal laxative tea each evening and the other is the Salt Water Flush (a quart of water with 2 teaspoons of sea salt) drunk each morning, which washes the complete digestive and elimination track. A second cup of herbal laxative tea can be substituted for the morning Salt Water Flush, if desired.

It is essential to go off of the cleanse slowly or severe nausea and/or pain may occur for some hours. Probiotics should be taken after the return to a regular diet as the good bacteria that manufacture several vitamins may have been cleansed along with the toxins.

Altered Variations of the Lemonade Diet

The original, time-tested Lemonade Diet has produced great results for more than half a century. Unfortunately, several people promote alterations of it. The problem with these variations is that they are usually done without knowing why the original ingredients work. For example, much of the power of the Lemonade Diet comes from the fact that it is a juice fast. Fasting has been used for thousands of years to rejuvenate the body and temporarily strengthen the mind and spirit. It is still widely used in Europe and Russia.

Not everyone understands this. So, others have added shakes, protein powder, cayenne pepper capsules (the gelatin in the capsules is boiled hooves, tendons and sinews.) etc. Since the whole idea of the Lemonade Diet is give the digestive system a 10-day vacation, which is like pressing a “reset button” for the body, adding things that have to be digested in a misguided attempt to “improve the cleanse”, just reduces the fasting effect and weakens the results of the “diet”.

Other variations are simply mistakes. The New York Daily News printed the lemonade recipe and got it wrong. They said each drink was made with a quart of water. That’s 4 times the amount of water that is supposed to be in each drink! Doing the required minimum 6 drinks a day would become ridiculous. (A letter to the editor to correct this went ignored.) Another popular ebook selling only on the Internet has the recipe wrong and tells people they can have something beside the lemonade, salt water and laxative tea.

It’s not that a variation won’t give you results. It’s just that your best chance of getting great results is to do what has already worked for tens of thousands of people for more than 50 years.

More About the Lemonade Diet

As explained by Burroughs, the Lemonade Diet is a detoxification program to cleanse the body of toxins, which helps to remove the cravings associated with drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and eating junk food.As he wrote, “Coffee, tea, and various cola drinks, as habit-forming beverages, also lose their appeal through the marvels of the lemonade diet.”

The lemonade is made from fresh lemon or lime juice, organic Grade B maple syrup, water and cayenne pepper. No solid food can be eaten during the cleanse.

The Lemonade Diet should be done for a minimum of ten days, but it is not uncommon for people to stay on the cleanse for longer periods of time, even as long as 45 days. A good indicator of when you should end the cleanse is when the fuzzy coating on the tongue that appears in the early days of the cleanse is clear and pink in the morning. This is a good indicator that your body has eliminated the currently available toxins.