It seems like every day there’s a new wellness trend that promises to boost your energy, improve digestion, prevent you from getting sick — or all three. One of the latest crazes? Wellness shots.
Walk into virtually any grocery store, juice bar, or healthy cafe and you’re likely to find at least a couple of these shot-size bottles, with ingredients like ginger and probiotics for digestive health, elderberry and oregano oil for immunity, and tart cherry and turmeric for inflammation. You’re also likely to notice the rather hefty price tag — at least $3, and often $5-$6 if they come in a glass bottle instead of a plastic one.
So, are they worth the rather exorbitant cost? Should you open your wallet or just stick to your regular supplements? Let’s take a look.
Are Wellness Shots Worth It?
According to Nick Bitz, a naturopathic doctor and chief scientific officer at Youtheory®, wellness shots are still somewhat unproven in terms of their health benefits. There’s just not enough research to prove that these concentrated tonics deliver what they promise. That’s not to say they definitely don’t: While wellness shots haven’t been studied for their benefits, the ingredients in them usually have been. For example, turmeric is a known anti-inflammatory and ginger is famous for helping with nausea and digestive distress.
Still, Bitz says, “I personally have a hard time investing $5 dollars per shot per day unless I can really see or feel the benefits.”
To compare, you can buy a month’s supply of high-quality turmeric supplements for less than $20 dollars; or, you can buy fresh turmeric root — which you can use to make your own wellness shots at home — for less than $1 dollar an ounce.
Bottom line: You’re probably better off putting your dollars elsewhere and sticking to basics like getting to bed on time, eating plenty of veggies, and moving your body.
3 Things to Know About Wellness Shots
If you decide to give wellness shots a try, there are a few things you should know.
1. It’s all about the ingredients.
“Supplements and drinks should be made with simple, pure, and natural ingredients,” Bitz explains. While he doesn’t have an issue with a wellness shot with honey or a little bit of sugar to make it more palatable, he does strongly recommend avoiding certain ingredients like artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives such as sodium benzoate or potassium sorbate.
2. Choose plastic over glass.
Glass bottles will cost more, but, Bitz says, it’s worth the extra dollar or two. “Plastic contains toxic chemicals that can leach into the liquid and wreak havoc on the body’s endocrine system,” he explains.
3. Be careful when you take them.
Wellness shots often have spicy herbs and acidic ingredients, like raw garlic, orange juice, and cayenne pepper, that can contribute to reflux. In other words, you don’t want to take most wellness shots just before bed.