Popular, spicy, and just enough to down in one swig, ginger shots are coveted by health-conscious people for their many alleged benefits. Despite their recent rise to fame, these wellness elixirs have been around for centuries in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Ginger shots are made by juicing fresh ginger root and then adding other ingredients like turmeric, lemon juice, honey, or cayenne pepper. While you can find them pre-made at many health food stores, it’s easy to make your own at home with just a few simple ingredients.
Due to the high concentration of nutrients, ginger shots are associated with a long list of potential health benefits. Here are some of the most well-known possible advantages of drinking ginger juice:
What Is A Ginger Good For
Below are the science-backed potential benefits of ginger shots:
1. Boosts Immunity
Your immune system is your body’s natural defense against infection and disease. It can be helped to function properly by adequate intakes of a combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
One way to support your immune system is by consuming foods and drinks that are rich in these nutrients, like ginger shots. Ginger contains several potentially beneficial compounds, including gingerol, shogaol, and zingerone (2).
Some of these substances have been shown to possess antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. These effects could theoretically help prevent or fight off some illnesses, although more research needs to be done to understand what actual effects ginger intake may have on immunity..
2. Reduces Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is associated with many diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. It occurs when your body’s immune system overreacts to a perceived threat, even if there is no actual danger present.
Ginger shots may help reduce inflammation by inhibiting the production of inflammatory compounds like cytokines and prostaglandins. The anti-inflammatory effects of ginger have been studied in people with arthritis and other conditions characterized by chronic inflammation ( 1).
Cytokines work by signaling the immune system to begin the inflammatory response. Prostaglandins, on the other hand, are a type of fatty acid that helps regulate pain and inflammation.
3. Aids Digestion
Ginger is a popular natural remedy for digestive issues like nausea, gas, and bloating. It has been used for centuries to treat these and other gastrointestinal problems.
The digestive benefits of ginger are thought to be due to its ability to stimulate the production of digestive juices and enzymes. Ginger may also help speed up the movement of food through your digestive tract, which can prevent indigestion and bloating (2).
4. Eases Muscle Soreness
If you’re looking for a natural way to ease muscle soreness after a workout, ginger shots may be worth trying. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger are thought to help reduce muscle pain and soreness.
5. Manages Blood Sugar Levels
Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can lead to serious health complications like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Consuming ginger may help keep your blood sugar levels in check by increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing fasting blood sugar levels (2).
A study in rats found that ginger extract significantly lowered fasting blood sugar levels. While more research is needed, these findings suggest that ginger may help manage blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
6. Relieves Nausea
Nausea is caused by an imbalance in the digestive system and can be a symptom of various conditions, including pregnancy, motion sickness, and chemotherapy.
Ginger has long been used as a natural remedy for nausea. It may work by stimulating the production of saliva and other digestive juices, which helps to break down food and move it through the digestive system more quickly (2).
A systematic review of 12 studies found that ginger was an effective treatment for nausea and vomiting, especially in pregnancy.
Another study found that taking ginger capsules before chemotherapy reduced nausea and vomiting more effectively than a placebo.
Ginger may also be helpful in treating other forms of nausea, such as those caused by motion sickness or seasickness.
7. Alleviates Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps are caused by the contraction of the uterus, which can lead to pain and discomfort in the lower abdomen. Ginger has been suggested to be an effective treatment for menstrual cramps. This is likely due to the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties of ginger (1).
8. Boosts Brain Function
Ginger may also help improve cognitive function and protect against age-related cognitive decline. This is likely due to the presence of compounds like gingerol and zingerone, which may have effects which fight neuroinflammation (2).
One study found that taking ginger extract daily for 12 weeks improved cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Participants who took ginger had significantly better scores on tests that measured attention, memory, and reaction time.
9. Improves Heart Health
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Some risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, can be controlled with lifestyle changes and medication. However, there is no cure for heart disease.
Ginger may help improve some of the main risk factors for heart disease. This includes reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and improving cholesterol levels (1).
One study found that taking three grams of ginger powder daily for eight weeks reduced inflammation and other markers of heart disease in overweight adults with high cholesterol.
Another study found that taking two grams of ginger per day lowered blood pressure in people with hypertension.
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10. May Help Treat Cancer
Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by the abnormal growth of cells. While there is no cure for cancer, treatment options are available to manage the symptoms and side effects of the disease.
Ginger has been shown to have some anti-cancer properties. This includes the ability to kill cancer cells and prevent their growth, at least in a test tube, thanks to the presence of compounds like gingerol and zingerone (2).
One test-tube study found that ginger extract was able to kill ovarian cancer cells by inducing apoptosis, or cell death. Another study found that a compound in ginger called 6-shogaol was able to stop the growth of colon cancer cells.
Although more research is needed, these findings suggest that ginger may be a promising natural adjunct to treatment for cancer. What we have more evidence for is that ginger can help with nausea, which is a common side effect of cancer treatments, so it can be helpful for cancer patients in that way.
10. May Boost Weight Loss
Weight loss is a common goal, and there are many ways to achieve it. While some methods are more effective than others (3), any method that leads to even a small amount of weight loss can be beneficial.
Ginger may help boost weight loss by increasing thermogenesis, or heat production in the body. This helps to burn more calories, possibly leading to weight loss over time (2).
One study found that taking ginger extract three times daily for eight weeks increased thermogenesis and led to a significant reduction in body fat in overweight adults.
Another small study found that taking ginger powder before meals increased feelings of fullness and helped participants eat fewer calories throughout the day.
Can You Drink A Ginger Shot Every Day
Yes, you most likely can. Drinking a ginger shot every day is safe for most people. However, if you’re pregnant or have a history of gallstones, you should speak to your doctor before adding ginger shots to your daily routine.
Pregnant women should avoid drinking more than 1-2 cups (240-480 ml) of ginger tea per day and should not take ginger supplements unless recommended by their doctor. This is because ginger may increase the risk of miscarriage (4). If you’re pregnant and want to use ginger, it’s best to speak to your doctor first.
People with a history of gallstones should also avoid taking large doses of ginger. This is because ginger may increase the production of bile, which can lead to gallstone formation. If you have a history of gallstones, it’s best to speak to your doctor before taking ginger supplements.
If you are taking any medications, it would be a good idea to speak to your doctor or pharmacist before taking ginger regularly to make sure there aren’t any possible interactions.
How To Make A Ginger Shot
Making a ginger shot is simple and only takes a few minutes.
- 1 pound fresh ginger
- 5 to 6 medium lemons
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup honey, or to taste, optional
- Peel and grate the ginger.
- Juice the lemons.
- Combine the ginger, lemon juice, water, and honey in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour into shot glasses and drink immediately.
- You can also store the ginger shots in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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What Can You Put In A Ginger Shot?
Adding other ingredients to your ginger shot can enhance its potential health benefits and flavor. Here are some ingredients you can add to your ginger shot:
- Cayenne pepper: This spice may help boost metabolism and reduce inflammation.
- Turmeric: This spice is a powerful antioxidant that may have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.
- Lemon: Lemons are a good source of vitamin C, an essential nutrient that plays a role in immunity.
- Apple cider vinegar: This ingredient is rich in enzymes and probiotics, which are said to promote gut health.
- Honey: Honey is a natural sweetener that can help to soothe a sore throat and calm an upset stomach.
- Coconut water: Coconut water is a good source of electrolytes and may help to prevent dehydration.
- Green tea: Green tea is rich in antioxidants and has been linked to multiple health benefits, including weight loss.
- Matcha powder: Matcha powder is a type of green tea that contains high levels of antioxidants. It has been linked to improved brain function and weight loss.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a spice that may help to regulate blood sugar levels and promote weight loss.
The Bottom Line
Ginger is a versatile and delicious spice that has many possible health benefits. Drinking ginger shots is an easy way to take advantage of these benefits. Ginger shots can be enjoyed on their own or added to smoothies, juices, and other recipes. If you are pregnant, have any medical conditions or are taking any medications, speak to your doctor before adding ginger shots to your routine.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence (2013, nih.gov)
- Ginger on Human Health: A Comprehensive Systematic Review of 109 Randomized Controlled Trials (2020, nih.gov)
- Weight-Loss and Maintenance Strategies (2003, nih.gov)
- Which potential harms and benefits of using ginger in the management of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy should be addressed? a consensual study among pregnant women and gynecologists (2020, nih.gov)