Rescue Detox Review: A Sugar-Laden Detox Drink?

Rescue Detox Review: A Sugar-Laden Detox Drink?

| |
| |
Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to detoxification.

Rescue Detox, also called Rescue Cleanse Detox, is a bottled drink used to support detoxification and some consumers claim to use it to pass drug tests. The drink is manufactured by a company called Applied Sciences, and the brand suggests it may be useful to pass drug tests on their website, stating that following their instructions along with using the drink “will substantially increase your odds of being ready for your cleansing event.”

But does Rescue Detox contain research-backed ingredients to support detoxification? Does it make sense to use over-the-counter (OTC) products to cleanse the body and pass drug tests? Does Rescue Detox contain any unhealthy additives? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of Rescue Detox?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Rescue Detox based on medical studies to give our take on whether the product is likely to be effective or if it’s a waste of money.

We’ll share our concerns with health brands making detoxification claims and suggesting that OTC products can be used to pass drug tests, and feature Rescue Detox customer reviews.

Ingredient Analysis

Rescue Detox ingredients

The ingredients above are from Rescue Detox’s “Cranberry Ice” flavor.

Fructose is one of the largest ingredients by weight, as this product provides 42 grams (g) of added sugar (80 g in the 32 ounce version).

It seems highly counterintuitive to include such a high dose of isolated fructose in a “detox” drink. A medical review on fructose published in the Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases journal states the following: “fructose…leads to inflammation in all cells that metabolize it rapidly.”

Vitamin C and vitamin B12 are part of a vitamin and mineral blend totalling seven ingredients. As we discussed in our review of a similar product called High Voltage Detox, we haven’t come across any clinical evidence that taking vitamins or minerals in excess of daily requirements detoxifies the body, nor does Rescue Detox cite any.

The remaining active ingredients are in a proprietary blend totalling a dose of 4.2 g, or 380 milligrams (mg) per ingredient.

Cascara sagrada is a botanical ingredient included in this blend with some concerning toxicity data. A medical review on this ingredient published in the LiverTox journal found that it can cause liver injury when used at high doses.

Milk thistle seed extract is one ingredient in this blend that has research backing for detoxification support. A meta-study published in the Phytotherapy Research journal found that milk thistle can heal the liver when used appropriately.

Cranberry may be effective in helping to reduce incidence of urinary tract infections (UTI), but we haven’t come across any evidence that it supports detoxification.

Inulin, like all dietary fibers, may help support the body’s natural detoxification processes by enhancing gut health and microflora according to a medical review published in the Advances in Nutrition journal.

There are a number of questionable additive ingredients in this formulation.

Sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate are preservatives, the latter of which was described as “genotoxic” in a 2010 clinical trial, which suggests it has the capacity to damage DNA.

Citric acid is a preservative and flavor enhancer that can cause “significant inflammatory reactions” in some individuals according to a medical review published in the Toxicology Reports journal. While citric acid can be sourced from citrus fruits, over 90% of the citric acid used as a food additive is actually sourced from a fungus according to the above-linked review.

Caffeine is not a safe ingredient to include without a dose, because it’s a stimulant and while it can be used safely, consumers cannot make an informed purchase decision without the caffeine dose clearly marked.

Natural flavoring and coloring is a better option than artificial flavoring and coloring, but we can’t assess the safety of these ingredients without the specific chemical compounds used being published.

Overall, we do not recommend Rescue Detox nor have we come across any clinical evidence suggesting that this product will be effective for helping consumers pass drug tests (nor would we recommend the use of such a product in any case).

But there are broader concerns we have about detox supplements, which we’ll discuss in the next section.

Our Concerns About “Detox” Supplements

We’ve reviewed a number of popular detox drinks and supplements on Illuminate Health at this point, including Detoxify Mega Clean.

The products we have reviewed in this supplement category have very underwhelming formulations based on our investigation. Furthermore, we don’t find this supplement category  to be particularly logical.

While certain herbs and vitamins may support the body’s natural detoxification processes, we haven’t come across any medical research suggesting that patients suffering from a toxic load can treat their health condition with OTC supplements.

Situations where a patient may require medical detoxification are pretty narrowly defined, such as if a worker is exposed to a high dose of carcinogens at a job hazard site.

In such cases, the patient should immediately speak with their doctor or emergency services rather than trying to treat the issue themselves.

Essentially, there are no categories of health concerns or medical conditions that we’ve come across that are effectively treated with sugary commercial detox drinks, so we don’t see the point in this type of product.

But how do these types of drinks affect drug tests? We’ll feature a YouTube video with an expert in the next section.

Do Detox Drinks Work for Drug Tests?

A YouTube video from the “Beginnings Treatment Centers” channel discusses the efficacy of OTC detox drinks like Rescue Detox:

Customers Rate Rescue Detox

Rescue Detox is sold on Amazon which is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand’s website in our opinion.

The most-reviewed flavor is Cranberry Pomegranate Mangosteen which has been reviewed over 700 times with an average review rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars.

The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named “Stephanie” who claims the product helped her pass a drug test:

“I got to LabCorp late - around 11:45 (traffic) and didnt get called back till noon. I had to wait an entire week for results - LabCorp would not give results to me bc it was employer ordered. This morning the HR rep sent me a ‘Welcome to the Team’ email saying that all my paperwork was received, and i passed the background and drug test. #BLESSINGS!!”

The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named “Mad” who claims to have tried the product twice and not to have been able to receive a refund when it was ineffective:

“Tried it again - still didn’t work - followed directions EXACTLY as instructed. Called the 800 number to verify I understand the steps fully to eliminate any room for error. I contacted them after it didn’t work as advertised for the money back guarantee and was told I don’t qualify for the refund, that even though I had my receipt, since I ordered from Amazon the guarantee isn’t valid/honored.”

Our Detox Support Picks

We don't recommend the use of food products or supplements to "cleanse" or "remove toxins" from the body.

However, there are compounds which can naturally support the body's own detoxification processes for consumers intent on doing so.

Rooibos tea was shown to support optimal liver function in a clinical trial published in the Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity journal.

The study authors concluded the following:

"Results from this study suggest that the daily intake of unfermented rooibos herbal tea or a derived commercial rooibos supplement may benefit human health by providing the liver with an enhanced antioxidant capacity to reduce damage induced by toxicants."

Pique Rooibos Tea is our top rooibos tea pick, because it's conveniently in crystallized form and only hot water (no teapot) is needed to make it. The only ingredient in this product is organic rooibos.

We are not suggesting that rooibos tea should be used to treat any specific health condition.

Pros and Cons of Rescue Detox

Here are the pros and cons of Rescue Detox as a brand in our opinion:


  • Some potentially detoxifying active ingredients


  • Many questionable inactive ingredients
  • 40+ g of added sugar
  • No clear proof of efficacy
  • Contains an active ingredient that can cause liver injury
  • Unimpressive user reviews
  • OTC detox drinks may not be effective for passing drug tests
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews


We do not recommend Rescue Detox, and like most detox drinks we’ve reviewed on Illuminate Health, we find it to have an unhealthy formulation.

This product contains more added sugar than a Coca-Cola, and the sugar is in the form of refined fructose which has been clinically shown to cause inflammation in the body.

Rescue Detox also contains an active ingredient called Cascara sagrada which can cause liver injury when taken at high doses, and the dose of this ingredient is not published on the product’s ingredient label.

The caffeine dose is also not published on the ingredient label which is a consumer safety issue, because caffeine is a stimulant and can cause side effects at high doses.

We haven’t come across any convincing clinical evidence that this type of product is necessary for any specific health condition or for improving overall health.