Lots of brands have introduced wellness shots to the market, claiming they'll improve sleep, boost immunity, and more. But do they actually work? That's the question I posed to dietitians after experiencing their magic — or what I thought was magic — for myself.
It's a tough sell, the idea that you can buy health in a (teeny, tiny) bottle, but when my whole family fell under the weather, I decided to throw back Suja's Immunity Shots, hoping the turmeric and probiotics would help me fend off whatever was plaguing our house. To my surprise, I still felt that familiar tickle in my throat, but it passed without developing into a full-blown cold. Feeling empowered, I took Medlie's Digestion Veggie Shot — which contains tomatoes and apple cider vinegar — every morning for a week to see if it would soothe my stomach. Even after some questionable late-night movie snacks one evening and a couple of beers on Sunday to calm my Game of Thrones-induced nerves, I woke up without feeling bloated or rumbly.
Health is complicated and complex, though, and I really didn't know if it was all in my head or if these wellness shots were the real deal. Turns out, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
How Can You Tell If Wellness Shots Are Working?
You're more likely to see long-term results than immediate ones. "If you see improved lasting energy, decrease in overall sickness throughout the year, and improved mood, these are signs wellness shots might be working for you," Laura Ligos, a registered dietitian in Albany, NY, told POPSUGAR. Tracey Grant, RD, agreed: "I recommend watching for patterns over time. If you find that you usually get the sniffles after travelling, but that stops when you start to incorporate a wellness shot before heading to the airport, that's a great sign!"
When it comes to energy-boosting shots, "take a look at your performance after using it," Tracey suggested. "Did you feel more energetic? Did your afternoon slump disappear?" If so, both experts recommend taking a "holiday" from these wellness shots (the same could be done with any supplement) to see if you notice significant changes in your health, sleep, or energy when you aren't taking them. If you notice a consistent difference when you stop taking them, that would be a good indicator that they're helping and you can safely add them back in.
How Should You Take Wellness Shots?
Because they're mostly made up of fruits, veggies, probiotics, or other supplements you would take on a regular basis, there's no harm in taking them every day. You may not need to, though, depending on why you're taking them in the first place. If you're just looking for an energy boost, Tracey recommends that you take them as needed. For something like immune support, you may choose to take them all winter (when literally everybody is sick) or just on travel days.
Just remember, "any opportunity to increase the produce and phytochemical content of your diet is going to be beneficial, but wellness shots aren't meant to replace the produce on your plate," Tracey said. Laura pointed out that "wellness shots aren't cure-alls that can heal all of your health woes, but they can definitely be a part of a healthy lifestyle."
A big reason for this may simply be that healthy habits beget healthy habits. "If you are someone who is taking wellness shots, you're probably doing other things to work on your health as well, like getting more sleep, drinking more water, eating healthier foods, and working out more often," Laura told POPSUGAR. Simply put, consider wellness shots a health insurance policy to supplement an equally healthy lifestyle.