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How Long Does Fresh Juice Last? Here’s How to Drink for Max Nutrients

HOW LONG DOES FRESH JUICE STAY FRESH

So you’ve just juiced a bunch of fresh juice and now you’re left wondering…just how long does fresh juice last? Or perhaps, you’re gearing up to do some serious juice prep but you want the answer to an all-important question first: how long does fresh juice hold its nutritional value?

All very good questions but the answer kind of varies, so grab a fresh glass of juice and settle in for a moment because we’re going to turn you into an expert on getting the most freshness out of every batch of juice you make.

How Long Does Fresh Juice Last?

Some days, my schedule is completely clear of obligations and I can juice to my heart’s content. On other days, I really wish that I could juice a month’s supply and drop some magic “fresh pill” into the concoction to keep it nice and fresh forever.

Of course there is no such magic pill and fresh juice does lose its freshness after awhile, which is why frankly speaking the best time to drink fresh juice for maximum freshness is immediately.

Here’s what we mean.

How Long Does Fresh Juice Hold Its Nutritional Value?

Fresh juice is best consumed fresh – and that means within the first twenty minutes. The reason for this is simple: Fresh juice – and all its benefits – come from its freshness.

That’s because of a little thing called oxidation.

apple turning brown

As soon as you juice fresh produce, you’re breaking open the cell walls of these nutrient-rich fruits and veggies and activating the nutrients – the vitamins, enzymes, minerals, phytonutrients, chlorophyll, etc. – found in the produce.

Many of these nutrients are time-sensitive. Just as you wouldn’t slice an apple, leave it out to turn brown and shrivelly and then consume it, the same logic also applies to juice.

The process that causes apples to go brown so quickly is known as oxidation, which is simply exposure to oxygen. 

Juice is even more susceptible to oxidation since every part of the fruit or vegetable is being exposed to air.

Oxidation is natural and it’s not the worst thing in the world, but it does reduce the enzymes and vitamins in the fruit and veggie juices, defeating a large part of the point of drinking such juices.

Even when there’s no visible color alteration in the juice, the same process of oxidation occurs.

Does Lemon Juice Help?

People commonly recommend adding a squirt of lemon juice to sliced apples or even to halved avocados to prevent signs of oxidation.

Whereas this certainly helps an apple or avocado from turning really brown, really quick – the vitamin C in lemon juice (which is an antioxidant that fights oxidation) will only slow oxidation, not prevent it.

When fruits and vegetables are juiced, adding lemon juice may slow the oxidation a bit, but it won’t be able to protect the integrity of the juice against exposure to the air.

With prolonged exposure to air, the vital enzymes and nutrients in the juice begin to deteriorate and are mostly gone within twenty minutes time. Which is why if you want to absolutely get the most nutritional value out of your juice, it’s best to drink it as soon as you can.

But of course, we’re all pretty busy people. And the good news is that you don’t have to quickly shoot down all the juice you make immediately and still retain nutrient value, albeit not as much as you’d get if you drank immediately.

Let’s explore.

How Long Can You Store Fresh Juice?

Juice is delicious nutrients delivered straight into your bloodstream. And produce is expensive these days! So the last thing any of us want to do is waste any precious juice.

So you want to make sure you get every glass of fresh juice in its prime. Which leads to the question: how long does fresh juice last?

Well, it depends very much on two factors:

  • What type of juicer are you using?
  • How are you storing your fresh juice?

Let’s break it down.

What Type of Juicer are You Using?

Never underestimate the importance of the type of juicer you’re juicing with. Each type of juicer has a different mechanism by which it extracts the juice and each extraction process affects the quality of the juice.

Centrifugal Juicers

Centrifugal juicers – such as the Jack LaLanne juicer and most of the Breville juicers – operate at high speeds, which produce heat and introduce oxidation into the juicing process itself, compromising the freshness of the juice.

Juices made with these juicers really should be consumed quickly – at most within 24 hours. And that’s even when you’re storing it correctly.

Slow Juicers

On the other hand, slow juicers like masticating or triturating juicers work at very slow speeds with little-to-no heat, which means less oxidation in the juicing process. As a result, juices made with slow juicers have a higher shelf life and can retain their nutritional potency for up to 48 hours. So if you plan to juice in bulk and store the juice – a slow juicer is a good investment.

Press Juicers

Hydraulic press juicers extract juice using two steel plates, which clamp down on the pulp and exerts extreme pressure. It’s slow going but results in the best juice quality as the extraction doesn’t disturb the cellular structure of the produce being juiced and thus, does a better job of preserving enzymes and nutrients from oxidation.

Thanks to this, juice made from press juicers can last up to 72 hours.

How are You Storing Fresh Juice?

It goes without saying that fresh juice lasts much longer in the fridge than it does left out out on the counter. So how long does juice last in the fridge?

A general guideline is juice made from a centrifugal juicer should be consumed within 24 hours, juices made from masticating or triturating juicers should be consumed within 48 hours and juices made from press juicers can be stored up to 72 hours.

Of course, refrigeration isn’t the only thing you should be doing to preserve your fresh juices. You must store them correctly as well.

Our best recommendation to storing juice is to get yourself a collection of glass containers to store your freshly made juice in. You want to minimize oxidation as much as possible by reducing the airspace in the jar – you can do this by filling the glass containers almost to the top, leaving only about 1mm of airspace at the top.

Don’t be concerned if a little juice squirts out when you seal the containers – that means there’s very little airspace, thus less oxidation. And of course, refrigerate immediately.

Do I Have to Throw Out Old Juice?

If your juice has gone bad, you’ll know immediately and yes, definitely toss it!

But what about properly stored juice that has simply stayed in the fridge past its allotted “drink by” date? Well, it’s usually fine to drink.

Despite the general “drink by” times per juicer outlined above, I’ve found that correctly stored juice made from a slow juicer has held fine for 3 to 4 days after it was juiced and correctly stored juice extracted from a press juicer was good to go even after 4 to 5 days.

Sure, it may not have as much nutritional value and health benefits as when it was first juiced and brimming with active enzymes, but keep in mind that even older freshly squeezed juice is still better than any pasteurized juice you’d find on a supermarket shelf.

But all in all, fresh juice does have a much shorter shelf life than, say, supermarket juice and the old adage, “Good things come to those who wait,” is absolutely false when it comes to fresh juice. So don’t wait! Drink up.

22comments
Juicing on the Go: How to Store Fresh Juice for Maximum Freshness | Just Juice - January 12, 2013

[…] fresh juice should be consumed within 20 minutes of juicing. But most of us have busy schedules and it is quite nice to be able to take fresh juice on the go, […]

Reply
Juicers 101: Different Types of Juicers and How They Measure Up | Just Juice - January 18, 2013

[…] they differ from each other. How a juicer makes juice will contribute to important factors such as how long fresh juice will last. Different types of juicers will also determine the variety of produce you can juice, as well as […]

Reply
FRANK SCOTT DOUGLAS - June 3, 2013

What is different in juice if it is put in the freezer right away?

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    Rea - July 21, 2013

    I’m going to defer to Susan Schenk of the ‘Live Food Factor’ for a brief explanation: “Unlike most other chemical compounds that contract when they freeze, water expands as it forms ice, and the tiny ice crystals in all cells that contain water are like little bombs going off inside the food. These destroy enzymes, vitamins and all sorts of other molecules.”
    In addition, David Wolfe (Naked Chocolate, Amazing Grace) says that freezing destroys between 30% and 66% of enzymes.
    Still, freezing fresh juice is better than not juicing at all and I sometimes do it for the sheer convenience it provides. Sure it’s not perfect, but if you’re short of time, get some mason jars, make sure the freezer is set to zero degrees, and store away!

    Reply
Illona - November 5, 2013

Do you know if a Sage NutriJuicer a twin gear juicer?

Reply
Ron - December 11, 2013

So far all I’ve read on this “oxidation” issue are anecdotal stories. One person holds a belief, states it, and then it gets repeated over and over again and held as truth. I want to know this: Are there any REAL studies by reputable universities that have researched this issue? What if the “oxidation” and “enzyme decay” is either wrong or severely distorted? I’ve google this issue and I haven’t found one reputable study. I would really be interested if any of you know of any.

Reply
    Jorge - May 19, 2014

    It’s simple, squeeze a couple of oranges into a cup, drink half of it straight away then try it again the next day – it will taste foul.

    Reply
      Rea - June 6, 2014

      Very true! Thanks, Jorge 🙂

      Reply
        Tyler - January 1, 2016

        Sure it will taste foul, that much is true. But, that has much more to do with all the naturally occurring bacteria and yeasts that exist on fruit and vegetables. Fresh juice is a buffet for these lil buggers and they are quick to feast. Unfortunately, the byproduct most of the time is foul smell and taste.

        Reply
    Peter - September 6, 2016

    I agree with you completely, Ron. People often speak with sudo-authority when there is simply no evidence to support it. In this article, for example, we have the 20 minute claim based on the discolouration of an apple. Then, if you use a certain type of blender (not the best) it’s 24 hours, and the best ones (with affiliate links) are 72 hours. Wow! Twenty minutes to twenty four hours is a 7200% increase!
    I bit of common sense should prevail. When I juice, I refrigerate immediately in a tall container, several pints at a time. The only part of this juice exposed to the air is the surface area – a minuscule part of the whole volume – and I have never seen evidence of discolouration, or degradation of taste, in 24-48 hours.
    I suspect that there is very little reduction in nutritional value during this time, but….I am guessing, of course, as is anyone making a claim of 20 minutes.
    It just doesn’t make sense. I agree with you. Where are the studies that have measured this? If I keep a piece of broccoli, or celery, in my fridge, it starts to look a bit floppy after 5 days or so. Does that mean they have no nutrients?
    I suspect they may have lost a tiny amount of their full potential. I think similar is true of juice fruit and vegetables. Perhaps they have a reduced shelf-life due to having been broken down, but I’d be fairly sure the nutritional content would be largely in tact for at least 24-48 hours, if not a little longer. All conjecture, of course.

    Reply
5 Common Mistakes Fat-Prone Vegetarians Make (and What You Can Do About It) | Olahuna - March 6, 2014

[…] Freshly-squeezed juice is the ideal option, since most juice lose its nutrients within 20 minutes […]

Reply
Juicing on the Go: How to Store Fresh Juice for Maximum Freshness | Pura Organic Foods and Juices, Phuket, Thailand - July 20, 2014

[…] Ideally, fresh juice should be consumed within 20 minutes of juicing. But most of us have busy schedules and it is quite nice to be able to take fresh juice on the go, whether to the office, the gym, or wherever else your happy feet take you. […]

Reply
Benjamin - January 22, 2015

Do you have any non-anecdotal, scientific evidence backing any of the claims you’ve made here? Because everything here appears to be conjecture.

Reply
brian - June 27, 2015

If you are drinking carton orange juices, there is nothing in that except orange flavored sugar water with all the enzymes boiled and processed out of it… we use a hydraulic slow press machine at 10,000 pounds of pressure, we can get about 2.5 days out of the juices before the taste starts to go off, then there is another 10-12 hours that it is still palatable.

Reply
Mike Wills - June 28, 2015

I have a Nutri Bullet and make vege and fruit juices together.
Can I make these juices the night before,refrigerate and drink approx 12 hours later,
Will they still be nutritional ?

Reply
    Hannah - August 6, 2015

    Hi Mike, good question! It’s good to be aware that as soon as you break down the fruits and veggies, you’re introducing oxygen into the mix. Oxygen will begin to break down the nutrients so you’ll get a higher nutritional value from your smoothie the sooner you drink it. Of course, if you really need to make it the night before – it’s fine, you’ll still get a dose of good nutrients. Just make sure to really, really seal tightly to prevent further oxidation 🙂
    Another suggestion is to prep fruits and veggies in advance and store them (here’s a simple guide!) and then simply blend them in the morning – it’ll definitely cut down on the “making” time and you’ll get a higher dose of nutrients. Hope that helps and happy juicing/blending!

    Reply
Alan - November 24, 2015

What about Juicing with a Vitamix? Would this fall under the 20 minute timeline? or the 72 hour timeline?

Reply
    Hannah - November 25, 2015

    Hi Alan, good question! The Vitamix, ‘though it produces a nearly-juice-like smoothie, is still a blender and it seems that smoothies oxidize more slowly than juices, probably thanks to the fiber content. So that’s good news for the freshness of your Vitamix smoothies.

    Just keep in mind that as soon as you break down fruits and veggies – be it in smoothie or juice form – you’re introducing oxygen into the mix. Oxygen then starts to break down the nutrients so the rule of thumb is the sooner you drink your smoothie, the better.
    Of course, if you really cannot drink it right away – just make sure you store it sealed tight and drink it within 24 hours. You could stretch that to up to 48 hours without the smoothie going bad, but for the best freshness, nutrition and of course, taste – within 24 hours is best.

    Reply
davidhgh - February 3, 2016

Hi. i buy 12 different kinds of veg along with their leaves intact including red beetroot with leaf, except for carrot leaf but all other leaf is fair game. i also add in raw ginger without peeling and lots of fresh spinach leaf.
I then blend them in my nutri ninja juicer at high speed. when done i store the juice in a large steel pot with a lid which i then place on the top shelf of my fridge (not freezer) it gives me enough juice for about 12 days which i consume each morning for breakfast. The quantity i drink is equal to a nutri ninja mug. I cant feel it doing me any harm being stored so long in the fridge but i’m wondering if i’m getting all the vits into my system or if some of this is destroyed during storage.

David

Reply
Why Cold-Pressed Juice Is Bad For You and How to Make Healthy Juice at Home - PR Labs - Performance Nutrition For Men - February 9, 2016

[…] juiced are exposed. The essential nutrients in juice begin to deteriorate and are nearly entirely gone within 20 minutes. Another thing to remember, as I mentioned before, is the unavailability of fat-soluble vitamins […]

Reply
Yuli Tsai - July 8, 2016

Hi there. thank you so much for your article it was quite informational. I just have a question and wanted to seek out your opinion. Every morning after I wake up I always make myself a home-made vegetable juice. My ingredients are 1 leaf of Kale, 1 leaf of Swiss Chard, 1 fistful of Spinach, 1 Banana, 1 fistful of Blueberry, 1 cup of Almond Milk, I then put all these into my blender and mix them up and I drink it right afterwards. My question is regarding the storage of my vegetable and fruits, since I always store them in my freezer because I’m trying to prolong the freshness of these produce, so every morning when I take them out and get them prepared to make my juice, is it a good idea that I would leave them laying on the counter-top to be thawed for a while just so they are not so cold when I make my drink because otherwise the drink would be really cold when I’m drinking them? The reason I do this is because my friend told me I should drink my vegetable juice right after it’s made because once the cell or molecule of these produce are broken in the blender their freshness starts to go away very soon. So that’s why I choose to leave them outside to be thawed first and then I make the juice so it’s not so cold by the time I drink it. But my concern is every time I take them out the freezer and let them thaw they start to become very soft and mushy, and I don’t know if this will have any negative impact on these produce in terms of their freshness and nutrition. What do you think? Your advice is much appreciated.

Reply
Elise - August 13, 2016

Thanks for sharing this article 😉
I´ve been into juicing for many years now and even worked in the industry of juicing! By using a regular juicer you don´t get much enzymes and nutrients, because the blades of these machines are so powerful they literally cook the fruit or veggie you are juicing, and so the vitamins and enzymes with it!!
The best way to juice is by using a “cold press”, but these machine are very expensive, and not everyone can afford it! So I came up with a great method, that is as effective as the cold press and allows you too keep your juices up to 72 hours in your fridge without losing any of its benefits!!! A cheaper way, simply with a grater and a piece of fabric or a nut milk bag!!! Watch me juicing here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bScJqVO1lYU
Hope this video will be useful! One love to all 😉

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