Do Juice Shots Actually Work?

We take a deep dive into the trend.

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March 28, 2019
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You no longer need to hit up the local juice bar or make a mess in your kitchen, to get the nutritional benefits of a fresh-pressed green juice. Brands are now making packaged juice shots that claim to be magic elixirs in tiny bottles. We asked a registered dietitian to investigate the new trend.

First of All, What's the Deal with Cold Pressed Juice?

Most juice shot offerings are made from a mixture of cold pressed juices (more on ingredients below). The cold pressing process involves extracting juice without the use of high heat, which is believed to allow for fresher flavor and prevent the degradation of nutrients. These juices are unpasteurized, but the high pressure of cold pressing does destroy potential pathogenic organisms. On the down side, cold pressed juices have a shorter shelf life compared to pasteurized versions and must be stored cold, which may lead to higher shipping costs when purchasing online.

OK, So What's In a Juice Shot?

These small doses (typically 1 to 2 fluid ounces) of juicy concoctions can be made from mixtures of fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs and probiotics. Some of the most common varieties claim to aid digestion, immunity or energy levels. Check labels for exact recipes, but you will often find ingredients like apple cider vinegar, ginger, turmeric, beets, apple, celery, lemon, matcha, ginseng, wheatgrass and aloe vera juice. “Energy” blends typically contain some form of caffeine.

These shots cost $4 to $5 per bottle, so they are a bit of an investment! Some of the most popular brands are Jus by Julie, BluePrint and Suja Juice.

Are Juice Shots Healthy?

Downing doses of cold pressed, plant-based ingredients certainly isn’t bad for you, but these shots aren’t guaranteed to be total health in a bottle. The small amounts of fruit and vegetables in each dose are low in calories and don’t provide a hefty amount of nutrients due to the small portions. The addition of ingredients like ginger and probiotics may help calm an unruly tummy, but some of the other herbal add-ins may have side effects. Since so many shots do contain things like caffeine and herbs, be aware of any interactions they might have with medications you are taking. If you're unsure, speak with your healthcare provider.

Bottom Line: Juice shots are trending … and pricey! If you want to make the investment, go ahead but don’t forget, there’s no such thing as nutrition magic in a bottle.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. She is the author of four cookbooks First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers, The Healthy Air Fryer Cookbook, The Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook and Healthy Quick and Easy Smoothies.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.

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