How Good are Ginger Shots from Supermarkets and Discounters?

Ginger has long been one of the typical medicinal plants in Asian medicine and is said to bring relief from various diseases. It is said to have a healing effect on headaches and gastrointestinal complaints, but also on colds and rheumatic diseases. Ginger also has an anti-inflammatory effect.

Ginger shots vary greatly in price

The industry also relies on the healing properties of the tuber. In supermarkets and discounters, there are many different drinks with ginger, which are priced differently: in a random sample, Markt paid between 64 cents and 7.30 euros for 100 milliliters of ginger shot. Britta Gerckens from the Hamburg consumer advice center considers many of the products to be completely overpriced, especially given the ingredients.

The main ingredient is apple juice instead of ginger

Ginger was not the main ingredient in any of the ginger shots Markt scrutinized. The content of ginger juice was between 24 and 40 percent, in one drink there were only 17 percent pieces of ginger. The main ingredient in the shots is apple juice, around half to two-thirds of most products.

Products often contain a lot of sugar

In addition, some of the ginger shots had a high sugar content: from 5.6 grams to 13 grams per 100 milliliters. With some products, the sugar is hidden in the added agave syrup. “That’s just another code name for sugar,” emphasizes consumer advocate Gerckens. The Hamburg nutritionist Matthias Riedl says that sugar has an inflammatory effect, while ginger is said to have an anti-inflammatory effect. “That’s why the addition of sugar makes no sense at all, in terms of nutritional medicine it’s even nonsense.”

The manufacturers emphasized to Markt that the sugar came from the added fruit. Apple juice and other juices are used to make the products taste good.

Ginger as a tea or in food

Ginger contains the pungent substances gingerol and shogaol. They work against inflammation, but also against nausea and vomiting and stimulate intestinal activity. But how much of it is in the ginger shots that are commercially available?

In Markt’s sample, five of the six products tested contained between 133 and 240 milligrams per liter of gingerol and shogaol. At almost 1,000 milligrams per liter, most of the active ingredients were in the most expensive product.

A cheap alternative is to steep fresh ginger in hot water. 20 grams of fresh ginger, brewed with 200 milliliters of water, contain around 60 milligrams of gingerol and shogaol per liter. Converted, this means that a large cup of fresh ginger tea contains a similar number of active ingredients as a small shot.

Nutritionist Matthias Riedl emphasizes that the content of active substances roughly corresponds to the dosage of ginger in a well-seasoned Asian dish. “Therefore, my recommendation: use ginger in dishes or as a tea, which is healthier in this case and also much cheaper.”

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