Ginger is a type of plant with origins in Southeast Asia, and can be found in tropical countries such as India, Indonesia and China. It is known as a rhizome (also called ginger root), which grows underground, similar to a potato. There are many different varieties of ginger, though the rhizome is where the nutritional properties are found. Ginger shots are made from ginger root. 
The ginger root is often used as a spice, and can provide a range of health benefits. Ginger itself can be found in many forms, including fresh, powdered, frozen, dried or even as a juice or oil. It can be used not only within cooking, but also in drinks, supplement form, cosmetics and home remedies. The ginger root has been used in Indian and Chinese medicine for thousands of years, especially for medicinal usage (Bode, 2011).

In more recent years, ginger shots have been developed, to provide a quick and efficient dose of all of the healthy properties of ginger, in small concentrated shots. Ginger shots are the concentrated juice of ginger root. These ginger shots are now available to buy from health food stores and some supermarkets, usually mixed in with other ingredients that may also boast healthful properties, such as turmeric, cayenne pepper or lemon.

Ginger has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, can help relieve sore throats, as well as supporting digestion and gut health, helping reduce nausea and supporting the immune function. Ginger may also help to reduce or manage diabetes and aid in weight loss.
Through this blog, we will discuss the health benefits of ginger shots, how often you need to be consuming these, if they actually make a difference to health, how to prepare and drink them and if it is safe to drink ginger shots each day. 

What is a Ginger Shot?

Ginger shot with orange

Ginger shots are small portions of concentrated juice made from the root of fresh ginger. Sometimes, other ingredients such as honey and turmeric are added to promote additional health benefits. The serving size is usually 30-60 ml of juice, recommended once daily. 

A ginger shot is typically made from juicing fresh ginger root, or grated ginger. Some will make their own ginger shots at home using a juicer or blender, others will choose to buy these pre-made in supermarkets, health food stores and certain juice shops.

As the taste of fresh ginger can be quite spicy and strong, it can be combined with other flavours, which may add further benefits to the ginger shots. These ingredients in the shots can vary, some containing pure ginger, whilst others also include juice from lemon, lime or orange, as well as honey, and spices such as cayenne pepper and turmeric.

What are the Ginger Shots Benefits?

Here are some of the many possible benefits of ginger shots:

Different benefits of ginger shots

Helps with your digestion

Ginger has been commonly used as a natural remedy for stomach issues like bloating, as well as helping to improve cramping and indigestion. This may be because ginger helps increase intestinal motility, meaning food can move faster through the digestive system, reducing feelings of bloating and discomfort (Bodagh, 2019). If you are struggling with digestive issues, book in to see one of our digestive health dietitians today.

For weight loss

Consumption of ginger can help with reducing appetite and hunger levels (Mansour, 2012), as well as improving the thermic effect of food, which is the energy the body burns through digestion (Maharlouei, 2019). This in turn may aid weight loss, though ginger alone will not lead to weight loss – overall diet and activity is still important.

For healthy skin

Ginger extract has been shown to prevent the loss of skin elasticity from ultraviolet (UV) B radiation, however this research comes from animal studies (Ozkur, 2022).  Future human trials need to be conducted, to further support these findings. 

For your immune system

Ginger is well known to provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Gingerol is the anti-inflammatory compound found in ginger, which can help inhibit the synthesis of pro-inflammatory markers in the body (Mashhadi, 2013). Therefore, it can be said that ginger can support our immunity. Inflammation is part of a natural immune response, however chronic inflammation can be harmful and increase risk of certain illness (Rizzetto, 2018). Therefore, antioxidant rich foods and drinks such as ginger shots can support the immune function by minimising the inflammation. 

Ginger is also antiviral and antibacterial, which can further support our immune function. Research has also shown that ginger can reduce levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a measure of inflammation in the body (Morvaridzadeh, 2020). Compounds found in ginger have been shown to inhibit growth of specific micro-organisms that are responsible for oral infections such as a sore throat, which is why ginger is often a remedy given for those with sore throats (Giriraju, 2013)

Health claims of ginger shots can also be from other ingredients found together with the ginger, such as honey, lemon or turmeric, which are known to support immunity and have antiviral effects (Hashemipour, 2014) (Jennings, 2020).

Reduces blood sugar levels

Ginger supplementation has been shown to have a positive effect on glucose control and blood sugar levels (Khandouzi, 2015) . In fact, a meta-analysis looking over several studies found positive outcomes between ginger supplements and improving a person’s insulin sensitivity and HbA1c, which is a marker of long term blood sugar control (Zhu, 2018). This is very promising, however not all studies used ginger shots specifically to measure outcomes. 

Control cholesterol

Supplementing with ginger has been shown to have a significant reduction in blood lipid levels over time, compared to a placebo (Zhu, 2008). It is important to note, research is still needed to look into ginger shots specifically, as the dosage of active compounds in ginger can differ depending on the type of supplement taken.

It’s important to know that current research shows the benefits linked to ginger consumption in high doses. However, there is little evidence or research into the shots themselves and if the effects are the same or not, in these doses.

Does ginger help you lose weight?

A number of factors can contribute to weight loss. One study showed that ginger can help increase levels of fullness over time, which in turn can lead to a reduction in food consumption (Mansour, 2012). It can also increase the energy used by the body to break down and digest food, meaning increased levels of overall calorie expenditure.
Obesity can lead to increased levels of inflammation and oxidative stress, caused by free radicals. The properties of ginger allow it to act as an antioxidant, meaning it helps to remove these free radicals and reduce inflammation. Although this in itself does not lead to weight loss, it can help reduce some of the health concerns linked with being overweight.

By itself, ginger is not going to lead to weight loss. However, combined with a healthy and balanced diet with a calorie deficit, properties of ginger can support weight loss overtime.

Does ginger make your skin glow?

Due to the antioxidant properties, ginger may contribute to improved skin quality, reduction in wrinkles and improving texture of skin. Ginger contains a phytochemical known as gingerol, which is rich in anti-inflammatory benefits. This can help to reduce the appearance of acne, as well as reducing excess oil (sebum) on the skin, which can contribute to improved skin health (Setyanto, 2022) (Trehan, 2017). However, more good quality human research looking at the link between ginger and skin health is needed, before this can be said for certain.

How regular should you drink ginger shots?

If you enjoy the taste of ginger shots and are not on any medications, having a daily serving is recommended. There is no specific guidance on when is the best time of day to take ginger shots, however you might like to enjoy a ginger shot first thing in the morning to set you up for the day and awaken your taste buds! Be mindful to not have the shot too close to meal times. This is because other ingredients in ginger shots can inhibit absorption of specific nutrients. For example, turmeric, commonly found in ginger shots, can reduce absorption of iron by up to 80% (Tuntipopipat, 2009)

Is it safe to drink ginger shots every day?

It is safe to have a ginger shot per day, though we would not recommend having more than this dose. A daily dose of up to 4g ginger per day is considered safe, so consuming multiple shots per day can increase risk of going beyond the recommended daily 4g serving (Modi, 2022).
For anyone with any pre-existing health conditions or who is taking any medications, it would be best to speak to your GP first, before starting the ginger shots. Be sure to choose a brand that has no added sugars or sweeteners, and is made from high quality ingredients, unless you are making these yourself. Be mindful that a high intake of ginger shots can lead to unpleasant side effects, as explained below.

What are the side effects of ginger shots?

  • In large amounts, ginger can have blood-thinning effects (Rubin, 2019). This can apply specifically for those on anticoagulation medications, which is why it is important to speak to your GP or doctor before starting these shots, especially if you are on any blood-thinning medications or have any bleeding disorders. 
  • The shots can cause gastrointestinal upset and reflux for some, but not all. This effect is usually seen for those who consume high quantities of ginger (typically 5g or more per day) (Yeh, 2014)
  • Ginger can be used to reduce blood sugar levels, which can be a concern for those taking blood sugar medication (Khandouzi, 2015). However, this research has been found in ginger supplements where the dose of ginger is highly concentrated, rather than ginger shots themselves.
  • When choosing ginger shots, or making these at home, be mindful of recipes or ingredients that use high amounts of added sugars and/or sweeteners. Although small amounts are fine, some recipes can contain excess sugar, which can lead to health issues (Rippe, 2016).

How to make a ginger shot at home?

If you are looking to make your own ginger shots at home, here is a simple recipe you can follow. Ideally a juicer would be best for this, however a blender will also work.

2 lemons, peeled

1/2 tsp of whole black pepper 

12 inch piece fresh ginger, washed well

6 inch piece fresh turmeric, washed well 

400ml water

In a blender: Blend together all the ingredients until well combined (this can take around 1-2 minutes). Pass the mixture through a cheesecloth or a fine sieve and squeeze the pulp firmly to extract all the juice from the pulp. Discard the pulp, and you are left with your ginger shots!

In a juicer: Pass all the ingredients except the black pepper and water in the juicer. Stir in a pinch of grounded black pepper. Omit the water. 

Store the juice in an airtight bottle, for up to 5 days.

Enjoy 1-2 shots (30-60ml) of this mixture first thing in the morning, mixing well before consumption each time. 

The addition of black pepper helps the body to absorb the health properties of curcumin, found in turmeric root. You can also add other flavourings such as cayenne pepper, or a dash of honey, being mindful of added sugars. 

The best ginger shots combinations

Ginger shots on their own can be very spicy and perhaps not very tasty to all, so the shots are often combined with other ingredients to help with the taste. These ingredients can vary depending on the recipe, but they will often provide their own nutritional benefits, aside from the ginger. Read on to find out more about typical combinations and their benefits:

  • Ginger and turmeric shots

The benefits of ginger and turmeric shots is that these ingredients are anti-inflammatory and antiviral.Turmeric is a spice that contains an active compound known as curcumin. Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant and provides anti-inflammatory effects (Jakubczyk, 2020), (Marchio, 2019). Antioxidants help to reduce oxidative stress on the body caused by free radicals, which, if not controlled, can cause damage to the health of our cells and DNA. Both ginger and turmeric are good sources of these antioxidants, helping to reduce inflammatory markers emitted by the body (Tabrizi, 2019). Black pepper is recommended alongside turmeric. This is because the curcumin found in turmeric is up to 2000% better absorbed in the presence of piperine, a compound found in black pepper (Shoba, 1998).

  • Lemon ginger shots

The benefits of ginger and lemon shots is you can consume a source of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant, important in our immune function (Padayatty, 2003). Vitamin C is also used to help the body absorb iron, essential for making haemoglobin, the compound in red blood cells that transports oxygen around the body (Lynch, 1980). The added benefit to vitamin C is that it has a role in collagen production for our skin health, as well as potentially accelerating bone healing after fractures (DePhillipo, 2018)

  • Ginger and cayenne shots

The benefits of ginger and cayenne shots is that the active ingredient in cayenne, known as capsaicin, is a powerful antioxidant that works well alongside the health benefits of ginger (Azlan, 2022). Cayenne peppers are a great source of vitamin A, found in the form of Provitamin A. This is converted in the body to the active form of vitamin A, which is important for supporting the immune system, growth and development, bone health and more (Blaner WS, 2020), (Huang, 2018), (Yee, 2021)

  • Ginger and pineapple shots

Both ginger and pineapple have anti-inflammatory properties, so combining these together in a ginger and pineapple shot can be a powerful way to get a dose of nutrients! Pineapples are rich in antioxidants, so just like lemon or cayenne, can provide similar properties with supporting immune function. There is a group of enzymes present in pineapple juice known as bromelain, which have been shown to help improve digestion of proteins (Pavan, 2021). Bromelain has also been used as a way to reduce swelling and bruising, improving recovery time after injury (Blonstein, 1960). One study even suggests that bromelain consumption could also treat cancer cells that have been developed, though this is in mice and has not been shown in human research (Mohamad, 2019). Studies using human participants is needed before bromelain can be used as a therapeutic treatment in cancer.