Can knocking back a shot of ginger really be life changing?
I was never really a ginger shot girl. Before about two months ago, I had only ever had a few ginger shots. Every now and then, I'd pick one up from M&S or Pret if I felt the tell-tale signs of a cold coming on. Or maybe, I'd grab one on-the-go if I felt particularly tired and needed more of a pick-me-up than my usual oat flat white could offer.
However, all of that changed a few months ago when, during a dive in the deepest parts of the internet, I found myself reading an interview with (famously energetic and peppy) Anna Kendrick from 2020 in Shape Magazine (honestly, don't ask me how I got there — I have no idea). “I am powered by ginger,” the actor said. "I keep wellness shots of ginger, lemon, and cayenne from Pressed Juicery in my fridge. If I'm travelling and I can't have ginger, I'll feel sick. There was a time when I was in Germany for three months and I couldn't find a crushed-juice place. So I bought a juicer and a bunch of ginger to make it myself because I was positive it was the only thing keeping me alive."
I am not normally one to fall for hyperbolic celebrities gushing about their latest wellness hack. Nevertheless, I couldn't help but be seduced. After all, I was in rough shape — tired, constantly teetering at the edge of burn out, waking up with sniffles and a head ache. Were Kendrick's magic ginger shots really warding off illness and… keeping her alive? I wanted to be powered by ginger! (Honestly, I wanted to be powered by anything.) So, I started taking ginger shots, too.
It began with ordering Mojo shots in my weekly Sainsbury's order — 7 shots for £5.95. Then, when my partner realised what was happening, he insisted we could make them ourselves. ("Think of the plastic waste! Think of the cost of living crisis! Think of the preservatives!")
At first, I was worried — surely a homemade ginger shot could never have the same zingy flavour and smooth texture of a store-bought one? However, I was wrong. He found a super simple three ingredient recipe (thank you, BBC Good Food) that, once well-blended and strained, tasted — I'll say it — even better.
And so my journey into ginger shots began. I made it my mission to head straight to the fridge and pour myself a 25 ml shot first thing every morning. Sometimes, I'd sip it slowly as I got to work. Other days, I'd knock it back like a tequila.
@zerowastecartel Let’s make some delicious, immunity boosting ginger shots! These are super quick to make and have amazing health benefits. Recipe for ~12 shots: - 70g Ginger - 2 Oranges - 1 Lemon, juiced - 1 cup Water - 3/4 tsp Turmeric - Dash of Black Pepper 1. Chop up Ginger 2. Peel oranges 3. Add ginger and oranges with lemon juice and water to blender 4. Blend until smooth 5. Strain through cheesecloth 6. Squeeze out all the liquid 7. Pour into 2 oz jars 8. Enjoy! #zerowaste #zerowastediy #gingershots #recipe #healthyrecipe #healthydiy #gingershotrecipe #kitchen #kitchendiy #healthyliving #zerowastecartel ♬ original sound - ZeroWasteCartel
My experience with ginger shots
There's something about a ginger shot that can immediately make you feel healthier. Whether it's all in my head or not, I love the way one shot instantly clears out your sinuses. I won't lie — a ginger shot can leave behind a fiery sensation in your mouth, throat, and nose, but… in a good way? Like your whole system has been blasted clear of — well — anything. I usually wake up feeling groggy and even a little bunged up. From the first shot, all of that changed.
Over the first week, I began to notice that I also felt more energised and less fatigued throughout the day. Usually, I hit a slump mid-afternoon. I was amazed by long the effects of one ginger shot lasted.
By the end of the first month, I felt kind of invincible. You have a cold? Don't worry, I'm immune. Insomnia? Don't worry, it doesn't affect me! I even felt that my mood improved as a result of my increased energy levels.
Fr on my wellness girly shit I’ve been drinking athletic greens + a homemade ginger shot every morning for the past few weeks pic.twitter.com/VUsmFbh8Kn— alana 🫐 (@cassavacunt) March 22, 2023
To further validate my theory about the power of ginger shots, I present you with this piece of evidence: after about a month of religiously taking my daily ginger shot, I went to Canada on a three week holiday. My partner and I were hopping around from place to place and, sadly, no blender and, by extension, no ginger shots. Interestingly, my energy dipped and feeling of cleared out sinus health slowly began to disappear. Ergo, ginger shots — a total game changer.
@queen_elsa23 Replying to @JustGee Agreeee to the highest level! 😉 when i started my CD journey always akong bloated and constipated kahit konti lng kinakain ko 😩 but when i started taking this it's really a game changer 🥺 #caloriedeficit #weightlosstransformation #gingershot #gingershots #healthylifestyle #fyp ♬ Cafe music, corporate VP, comfortable(1277239) - zukisuzuki
What are the benefits of taking a daily ginger shot?
Ok, clearly, I am sold on ginger. But what does the science say?
I spoke to Brea Lofton, a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist at Lumen to find out.
First of all, what's so great about ginger? “Ginger is considered an antioxidant and may be anti-inflammatory. This may help support a healthy immune system,” she says.
And apparently, it really can contribute to higher, more sustained energy levels. “Ginger can also help balance blood glucose levels, which can support sustained energy, reduce fatigue, and help with overall mood,” she says. “Blood glucose spikes and crashes can have negative impacts on energy levels throughout the day.”
So, how long does it take for the daily shot to really kick in, I ask her. “The effects of ginger in conjunction with a healthy diet can start helping blood glucose levels immediately, however, for sustained energy, mood, and immunity this is more of a ‘long game’,” she tells me. “You want to combine ginger shots with other healthful habits to best support your health long-term.”
Lofton does warn that ginger shots may not be suitable for everyone. “For generally healthy individuals, ginger shots should not have negative effects,” she says. “For those with health concerns such as diabetes it is always best to consult with your medical professional.”
Lofton also recommends trying shots that are as natural as possible. She says: “If you do want to consume ginger shots, we recommend focusing on shots that are low in fruit juice or added sweetener as these can have negative impacts on blood glucose levels and can increase your intake of sugar.”
Make your own batch of ginger shots at home
While time-pressed ginger shotters can easily buy single shots or batches from most supermarkets, you can also make your own ginger shots at home — it's cheaper, less wasteful, and fresher.
We used the BBC Good Food recipe. All you need is fresh ginger, fresh apple juice, a lemon, a blender/ food processor, and a strainer. Match a batch every Sunday and store it in your fridge to have throughout the week. And voila! You too can be powered by ginger.
Original article appeared on GLAMOUR UK