Zoey Gordon throws a big knob of ginger and a whole peeled lemon into a large jar, and then carefully pours in water and squeezed fruit juice. She then stirs honey into the mix until it dissolves, and refrigerates the beverage.
“Its amazing when you have a cold, or need a boost of energy,” Gordon said.
Students like Gordon, a senior film production major, are turning to freshly-made organic juice like those served at local juice stores for health benefits including restoring vitamins for healthier skin and hair, re-energizing before class and managing weight.
“There are many measurable health benefits, but I would definitely say hydration is one, which is a big thing for me because I don’t drink that much water,” Gordon said. “I feel an energy boost, especially with the ginger-lemon juice.”
Growl Juice Pub opened July 2 in Old Towne Orange. The pub serves organic fruits and vegetables in the form of squeezed, pressed juices which are sold for up to $9 per bottle.
“Juice is for everyone,” said Josh Nichols, Growl Juice Pub owner. “It gives people an opportunity to congregate around something healthy and positive.”
Nichols said he has noticed the popularity of juice increasing as customers become aware of the benefits.
“In all honesty, I think it’s a worldwide thing,” Nichols said. “Gradually more and more people will start to gravitate towards healthy lifestyles. People’s perception continues to grow and get better because people are becoming more conscientious about their body and lifestyles.”
Amanda Nichols, a Growl employee, said the growth is monitored by daily customer visits.
“Probably on a busy day, maybe around 200 or a little bit more customers,” Nichols said. “The other day we had 30 customers within 20 minutes.”
Growl uses organic fruit and vegetables that are added into a cold press juicer. The ingredients are then put under pressure in a hydraulic press that uses minimal heat and oxygen to maintain maximum nutrients and taste in the juice.
Zoe Brenneke, a sophomore public relations and advertising major, said she buys the juice for the flavor and vitamins.
“I get it when I’m hungry or thirsty,” Brenneke said. “I don’t like carbonated drinks and the juice is healthy.”
Gordon, however, said she prefers to make the juice at home to save cost instead of purchasing a bottle of prepared juice.
“I started getting into juicing recently when a friend let me taste some of the juice he was making,” Gordon said. “I’ve always been a DIY-er in the kitchen, so I automatically wanted to get one.”
Gordon typically makes juice once a day such as a simple ginger-lemon juice sweetened with honey.
“It’s really easy, I just do it by feel,” Gordon said. “I just throw in a big knob of ginger and a whole peeled lemon, and then put about an equal amount of water as there is juice. It has to be warm water to dissolve the honey. Then I refrigerate it.”
Growl’s in-store juice prices vary. A customer can purchase a 16-ounce bottle for $9, a 64-ounce bottle for $32 or a six-pack for $52.
Senior communication studies major Kyana Fazeli said she still questions the health benefits of juice when used as part of a juice cleanse, a diet that consists of the consumption of only juice for seven to eight days.
“It sounds really unhealthy and seems like it could mess up your metabolism,” she said.
Nichols said juice cleanses are not dangerous and benefit the body by an increase in nutrients that reactivates self-healing mechanisms.
“Some people misuse the cleanse,” Nichols said. “But if you do it properly it’s by no means bad for you at all.”
According to registered dietitian April Murray from OC Nutrition Coaching, juicing is beneficial to those who don’t eat plain fruits and vegetables.
“They’re going to choose to drink them because it tastes better, and they are less likely to buy a salad and more likely to buy juice,” Murray said. “It’s going to give you the vitamins from all the different fruits and vegetables in the juice.”
Junior computer science major Mirabel Rice makes juice at home with her own juicer.
“I make a green juice with a lot of spinach, a few handfuls of kale, two medium-sized carrots and one apple,” Rice said. “I have one every morning.”
Rice said green juice makes a noticeable difference in the way she feels.
“It usually gives me a lot of energy during the day,” Rice said. “I feel a lot healthier [and] my skin is brighter.”