Ginger shots are one of the latest wellness trends to go mainstream, with the spicy drinks now readily stocked in the aisles of Pret, M&S and Sainsburys. It's clear why: a small shot of some firey juice seems to be a simple hack we can all make to feel better. That said, if you're curious about what the benefits of ginger shots actually are - so was I, which is why I dedicated two solid weeks to testing them every day to see if I noticed any tangible benefits.
As a Health and Fitness Editor, I'm always looking for ways to small and sustainable ways to improve my wellbeing routine. Ginger shots are a part of that - I tend to pick one up when I'm feeling hungover or super tired. While I do feel like they help bring me back to life, I've never tested them consistently or made them a part of my daily routine until now.
Historically, ginger has been used for similar purposes - sure, maybe not to cure the side effects of one too many margaritas, but it's known for its medicinal properties that can help aid digestion and shake off sickness (ginger, lemon and honey are one of the most infamous cold cure combos for that reason). Recent research from the Molecules journal also suggests that gingerol, the compound in ginger, has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that make it effective at healing, suggesting it can even reduce the symptoms of some inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and colitis.
But back to my ginger routine. I use the stuff sporadically, only shotting ginger when I actually feel run down. This month, I decided to challenge myself and see how I'd feel if I took it every day. Just like Marie Claire UK's Health Editor tried apple cider vinegar every day (spoiler: she saw huge benefits) I wanted to try out a ginger shot every day to see how I'd feel if I used them regularly. Keep scrolling to see how I got on.
I wanted to gauge the benefits of ginger shots, so tried them every day for two weeks
What are the benefits of ginger shots?
First up: A review of the current science on ginger shots. As the study mentioned above shows, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, but it's by far the only piece of research suggesting these benefits.
In fact, a review of nine studies on ginger found that one to three grams of the golden root per day for up to twelve weeks decreased levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory marker.
"As well as these anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects, some studies indicate that ginger may help in easing digestive issues, reducing nausea, and potentially offering some relief from muscle pain," says nutritionist Sophie Trotman. One report by researchers in Spain reported that "the best available evidence demonstrates that ginger is an effective and inexpensive treatment for nausea and vomiting" - hence why motion sickness tablets and other nausea remedies tend to include ginger.
"Ginger is also being examined for its potential role in reducing cardiovascular risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. However, it's important to note that the research is still in its infancy and more rigorous, large-scale trials are needed to confirm these effects," says Trotman, who adds that "while incorporating moderate amounts of ginger into your diet can be beneficial, it should not be considered a replacement for medical treatment."
All in all, ginger:
- Has anti-inflammatory properties
- Can aid bloating and digestion
- Reduce nausea
- Offer relief from muscle pain
- Reduce cardiovascular risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels (but more research is needed in this area).
What are the best ginger shots?
There are so many ginger shots out there on the market - so much so, that if you've been wanting to try them, you're spoilt for choice. After scouring around, I opted to try Unrooted Mighty Ginger shots for a few reasons: it comes in glass packaging, which is a huge sustainability tick, but the ingredient list was packed with green flags. Here it is in full:
- Ginger Juice (25%)
- Pineapple Juice
- Lemon Juice
- Baobab Powder (2%)
- Scotch Bonnet Chilli Extract (1.2%)
- Turmeric Extract
- Ascorbic Acid (Antioxidant)
- Black Pepper Extract.
I loved that ginger makes up 25% of the drink, as many other ginger shots are actually just juice with a sprinkling of ginger, which is going to have way fewer health benefits. "Ginger shots can be a very convenient way to consume ginger, but they are often diluted with other ingredients that may be high in sugar, like apple juice," agrees Trotman. "The shots with a minimal amount of ginger are really just bulked-up juice, meaning you are paying a premium for something that won't make much of a difference to your health."
The addition of chilli and turmeric in Unrooted's shots also looked great (if spicy) as these have similarly anti-inflammatory properties to ginger, meaning I'm getting a triple dose of the good stuff. Black pepper also activates turmeric, meaning it will definitely be getting to work on helping out my body. Baobab is also said to support your immune system and digestion, so it's great to see another ingredient in the list that will work in harmony with my health.
"When choosing a ginger shot, opt for ones that are free from added sugars, and preservatives and that contain minimal amounts of additional fruit juice," advises the nutritionist. Do note, though: "Some ginger shots also come fortified with other health-boosting ingredients like lemon juice or turmeric, which can be beneficial but should also be consumed in moderation."
Overall, it looked like my chosen shot was a winner. So what happened with regular use?
After taking ginger shots for two weeks, these are my honest thoughts
A bit of background for you, first. I'm a 27-year-old Health and Fitness Editor, meaning I'm pretty tuned in to my wellbeing. But, before taking on this challenge, I was in a bit of a health rut with constant bloating and digestive pain. As someone with IBS and other diagnosed reproductive issues, these symptoms are unfortunately very common.
I decided to take ginger shots first thing in the morning, before breakfast, although I'll be the first to admit that there were a couple of times that it did slip my mind. When this happened, I simply had my shot just before dinner.
Week one and my fridge is stocked with Unrooted ginger shots. Taking one out on the first day, I was very happy to see that the drink was a thick, orange colour - like I said, I don't just want fruit juice with flavouring, I want as much of the good stuff as possible.
I was also happy when, on the first sip, it felt firey in my mouth. Some people might not enjoy how spicy ginger shots are, but I find the hot, spicy flavour is exactly the thing that my body needs to wake me up in the morning.
Immediately after drinking the shot, I feel alert and pretty pleased with myself for starting the day with such a healthy habit. That's the only big, noticeable benefit I experienced for the first couple of days.
That said, after a whole week of taking a shot each morning, I realised that my bloating had significantly subsided. I'm typically a big fan of ginger for the digestive benefits - I always turn to a homemade ginger and miso soup on the days that my stomach plays up - so perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised that helped reduce this pain so significantly. But on reflection, the de-bloating impact was significant.
This continued into my second week. While my stomach still had its moments, taking a ginger shot first thing in the morning seemed to settle my digestion for the day.
"The active compounds in ginger, such as gingerol, may help in relaxing the smooth muscle in your gut lining and thereby aid in the movement of food and fluids through your digestive system," explains Trotman. "There's not enough research to draw conclusive recommendations, and there are many possible reasons as to why someone may be bloated, so ginger shots may not always be a help."
Similarly, there are thousands of reasons that my stomach may have been less swollen and bloated on these particular weeks, and a fortnight of ginger shots isn't enough for me to say they're a cure-all for my digestive discomfort. However, it's so nice to know that I have found a treatment that could work in future - psychosomatically or otherwise.
This two-week trial is also a testament to the fact that we have to keep up long-term habits for our health, rather than expecting results after one day: a single shot didn't deliver the digestive benefits, but regular uptake of ginger seemed to work.
While you shouldn't take ginger shots every single day for a prolonged period of time - Trotman warns that it can lead to potential gastrointestinal issues - I will rely on the hack in the future as and when I think my stomach could benefit.
Will you be giving it a go?
Shop our go-to ginger shots now:
This 500ml bottle of ginger and chilli will provide you with an eight day supply, plus comes in a glass bottle - health and sustainability wins.
Providing a week's supply of shots, this fiery MOJU ginger shot is a firm favourite for a reason. It's sweet, spicy and boosted with baobab for an extra health boost.
Can you drink ginger shots everyday?
While ginger offers a whole wealth of scientifically-backed health benefits, nutritionist Sophie Trotman stresses that it's best not to supplement them every single day in the long run.
Why? Well, because "long-term excessive use of ginger shots may potentially lead to gastrointestinal issues due to its natural anticoagulant properties. Therefore, moderation is key, and it's always advisable to consult with healthcare providers for personalised advice."
Ginger shots are best relied on shorter term or when you feel your digestion or bloating could benefit from a helping hand.
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Chloe Gray is a freelance journalist who writes and talks about health, fitness, and wellbeing through a feminist lens. She was part of the launch team for Stylist magazine's fitness brand, Strong Women, and has written for i news, Women's Health, Red magazine, Good Housekeeping, Refinery29, and more. She's all about building mental and physical strength, eating delicious food that fuels you well, and making the fitness industry more accessible and enjoyable. She's also a qualified fitness trainer and research nerd, so you can be sure everything you read is backed by proper science.
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