Are ginger shots good for you?

They promise a number of health benefits, but are ginger shots good for you? A dietitian explains more

ginger shots on a wooden board
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Many juices claim to provide a wealth of benefits, but are ginger shots good for you? We certainly know that getting a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals from your diet can be tricky, especially given how busy many of us are. It may be that you simply don’t have the time to plan meals, or you might follow a specific diet which makes things difficult to get the nutrients you need. Enter juices, smoothies and health shots, promising to boost health. 

Ginger shots in particular appear to be common these days. Made from concentrated amounts of ginger root, these shots claim to ward off illness and boost your immune system. But they’re bold claims to make for one shot, and you might be wondering if they are really worth it compared with the best vitamin D supplement, or the best vitamins for women over 50

While there isn’t a lot of research into the benefits of ginger shots themselves, there are studies to suggest ginger may have some health benefits. Although it’s worth noting that the amount of ginger in a health shot is small compared with the amount needed to see these benefits. Nevertheless, we’ve unpacked some of them below.

What is a ginger shot?

A ginger shot is a small amount (usually around 60ml) of raw juice made from concentrated ginger root, with some shots containing up to 13g. You can make ginger shots at home by adding freshly grated ginger to fruit juice, but they’re also readily available to buy at juice bars, supermarkets and even some coffee shops.

One thing they don’t have is a great flavour. Because of the amount of ginger they contain, they usually have a very strong, unpleasant taste – hence why they’re designed to be drunk in one or two quick mouthfuls. For this reason, the shots are usually made from other ingredients as well such as apple, lemon or other citrus fruits and these help to improve the taste of the drink.

ginger shot on a wooden board

(Image credit: Getty Images)

What are the potential benefits of ginger shots?

They may support immunity 

Chronic inflammation can damage your immune system, but ginger has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Consuming ginger could, therefore, support immunity. A study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology also found that ginger has antiviral and antibacterial properties which could promote good immune health too. 

Helps to relieve and prevent nausea 

Ginger is thought to reduce nausea and it’s often used as a natural treatment for sickness. Pregnant women sometimes use ginger as a remedy for nausea and morning sickness, and research suggests this might be effective. A 2014 study in Nursing and Midwifery Studies conducted among 120 pregnant women found that those who took 750 milligrams of ginger daily for four days experienced significant reductions in nausea and vomiting.

Could assist in regulating blood sugars 

A new area of research has been exploring the benefits of ginger for people with diabetes and the results so far are promising. It’s thought ginger might help to regulate blood sugar levels, with a 2015 review published in the Journal of Ethnic Foods finding that ginger root supplementation significantly lowers blood glucose levels.

May relieve indigestion and menstrual pain 

People with irritable bowel syndrome often take ginger to manage their symptoms and a 2019 study in Food Science & Nutrition found that it can improve digestion and decrease bloating

It can also be used for general pain relief, meaning it could help with menstrual cramps. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine involved 150 women; one group took ginger, while the other took anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. Ginger managed to reduce pain as effectively as the two non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Are ginger shots worth it?

From what is currently known about the benefits of ginger, it appears to be a promising method to deal with various health problems. But dietician Sophie Medlin says a lot more research needs to be done to conclude that ginger will improve our health in the ways listed above. Despite this, she maintains that including ginger in our diet is very likely to have many benefits – although this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea to take ginger shots. 

“In general, ginger shots don’t contain enough of the active particles of ginger to meet the dose that we see as being effective in studies,” Medlin explains. 

They’re not totally pointless though as Medlin explains that even a small dose of ginger, such as the amount found in shots, could have some health benefits. She says making your own fresh ginger shots at home is the best way to reap the benefits, as shop-bought shots will have lost some of their potency in manufacturing, packaging, preserving and as they’re sitting on shelves.

Medlin also suggests taking ginger capsules instead of shots if you’re really looking to benefit from the amazing effects of ginger: “We generally can’t consume as much ginger as we would need to have a medicinal effect, either in shot form or dietary form, so as a rule, if you want to benefit from ginger, capsules are best. But having it in your diet, and as a shot as well, certainly won’t do you any harm.”

Alice Porter
Freelancer Writer

Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.