Juice Cleanses Gain Popularity as Workplace Team-Building Torture Strategy

Juice cleanses make most people super cranky (not eating solid food for days on end doesn't do wonders for your disposition), but apparently office group cleanses — one-to-five day, all-liquid diets — are all the rage in the corporate world because of their power to bond coworkers together, one exorbitantly-priced pineapple-apple-mint juice at a time.

Eric Helms, the co-founder of Cooler Cleanse (Fun fact: his partner is Salma Hayek! What?), told the New York Times that more coworkers are cleansing together because juice diets have become more mainstream — and because no one wants to miss out on fatty brunches and late-night drinking on the weekends. "Everyone knows someone who's done one, and they realize they're a lot easier to do with colleagues during the workweek," he said. "It was a week when we were slammed, and we just needed to pull together as a community," one creative director told the regarding his office-wide three-day cleansing experience. "It was something we could do where we thought, ‘We're all in this together.'"

(Some activities the Jezebel staff partakes in to foster team spirit: group showings of Magic Mike; karaoke; sharing funny YouTube videos; drinking alcoholic beverages that don't involve kale.)

Interestingly, although about two-thirds of cleanse clients are women, it's mostly men that participate in corporate cleanses — especially traders, investment bankers, and lawyers. "These Type-A men have an all-or-none perspective," said Jina Wye, director of sales and marketing for BluePrintCleanse. "If they're going to commit, they do it whole hog." Naturally, the most popular BluePrint cleanse for these dudes is the Excavation cleanse, described as "the most intense." Hmm, what's more manly: obstacle courses that require "death waivers" or a pledge to only drink liquids?

This is a good time to remember that, even though cleanses are, like, soooo in right now, health experts don't actually think they work. "Your liver and kidneys can handle toxins just fine," said Joan Salge Blake, a Boston University associate professor of nutrition. "There's no science to back up cleansing." But coworkers who cleansed together told the Times that they felt happier and more productive. "We all worked through lunch every day," said Tess McCarthy who fasted for three days with seven of her colleagues. "We didn't want to sit around thinking about food, so there was a lot of catching up on e-mails and organizing. I got tons of cleaning done."

Okay, I think it's time for happy hour now.

Cleansing From Cubicle to Cubicle [NYT]

Image via Valentyn Volkov/Shutterstock.