When should you drink green juice?

To reap the benefits of your blend, you need to time it right.

For all of its many well-established health virtues, green juice is still somewhat of a misfit—does it belong with a meal? Or is it best consumed before a workout, on an empty stomach? Meal timing has become a hot topic among the health-minded, who have realized that when you eat can be as important as whatyou eat. And since green juice shares qualities with meals, drinks, and snacks alike, its ideal placement in your daily schedule can be a bit murky. Equinox Health Advisory Board Member Jeffrey Morrison, M.D., founder of The Morrison Center and author ofCleanse Your Body, Clear Your Mind, clears up the confusion.

First choice: Drink it on an empty stomach
"When you take green juice on an empty stomach, many of the nutrients will be absorbed really rapidly," says Dr. Morrison. "On the other hand, taking a juice with a meal will delay absorption. And ultimately, some nutrients may not be absorbed, and will be consumed by the beneficial bacteria in your gut."

Second choice: Pair it with a veggie-heavy salad.
"If you do prefer to juice up at mealtime, pair your glass with a green salad chockfull of vegetables," says Dr. Morrison. "This allows for the highest alkalinity, which helps with detoxification."

Bottom line: Go green first thing.
The easiest way to enjoy the benefits of a green juice is to drink it as your morning meal, at least an hour before or after your coffee (the acidity of which will negate the juice's alkalizing effects), and never with a cooked meal.