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Let’s Do Shots

Is tipping back a hit of juice better for your body than a blended cold-pressed beverage?

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Stop by any horticultural hotspot (our vernacular for Juice Bar) and you’ll see as much swilling from diminutive plastic cups as you will from the standard size. Shots of juice, often called boosters or wellness shots, are always on the menu — at juice trucks that shill on the sidewalk in NY, hip setups from Santa Monica to West Hollywood in LA, and even at mainstream Jamba Juices, where the masses go for Big-Gulp-size smoothies. So we’re wondering, what’s in it for us when we abbreviate a cold-pressed beverage down to its essence? And is a pure, concentrated shot better than a blended juice?

In a word, sometimes. A shot acts like a medicinal tonic — a potent dose of nutrients in a tiny cup. “Straight shots are great because they're a pure and direct delivery of the benefits of the food without the added sugars that can be found in blended juices,” says Dr. Frank Lipman, Integrative & Functional Medicine Physician and founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in Manhattan. “When a juice is blended, it’s usually designed to be more palatable by adding in high quantities of sweet juice and that can become a problem because people end up really loading up on concentrated sugars, which can lead to weight gain.” This is an issue particularly if you tend to add blended juice drinks to your regular diet, increasing caloric load. Not so with a shot. And while shots may not always be as tasty going down, the benefits are certainly sweet. Here, a few of the heavy hitters: