Are wellness shots effective?

Wellness shots are typically small, concentrated juices made from ingredients known to have beneficial nutrients and properties such as apple cider vinegar, turmeric and ginger. While they’re meant to be a way to increase your nutrient uptake and improve your health, the science behind these claims can be scarce. So are wellness shots really worth it?
Many of the ingredients often included in wellness shots do have worthwhile health benefits:
  • Apple cider vinegar has shown promise in improving blood sugar levels. However, many other health claims about ACV lack scientific evidence.
  • Turmeric contains the active compound curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, muscles and connective tissue. Turmeric can be consumed with black pepper for enhanced absorption.
  • Ginger can help reduce nausea and bloating of the stomach. Other claims about ginger haven’t been studied sufficiently to determine how much or how long you need to consume ginger to reap the benefits.
  • Wheatgrass provides your body with antioxidants which help fight free radicals to prevent cell damage and reduce oxidative stress. Many fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, raspberries, broccoli, etc., also provide antioxidants, which you may prefer the taste of.
Wellness shots with these ingredients or any known to contain necessary vitamins and nutrients would be effective in giving you a health boost.
However, wellness shots can’t replace or compare to an overall healthy diet. Food is complex, and by trying to pick out specific properties such as anti-inflammation, anti-oxidant, etc., we’re ignoring the natural state that these things exist and work best in. While wellness shots could supplement a balanced diet, you’re better off eating a variety of healthy foods and trying to include these extra ingredients when you can. For example, apple cider vinegar can be used in your salad dressing, ginger in your tea and turmeric in your cooking. When it’s not possible to include these things in your regular diet, a wellness shot with these ingredients could be a smart health choice.
If you choose to include these shots in your diet, be sure to make a homemade version or choose one without added sugar at the store. Homemade versions can be made in a blender and strained for the same effect as a juicer. 
Mara Weber is a registered dietitian at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.