We’ve all been there, running late for a train and need something quick to grab and go, or stuck for healthy options at the services so you inevitably opt for a juice or health shot assuming you’ve made the best choice possible. HOWEVER, when we looked closer at some of the juice options available in high street retailers, they may not actually be such as good of an option as them seem!
Pret A Manger
Price = £3.70
The sugar content of this shot might surprise you, but due to ¾ of its contents being apple juice, this explains the higher sugar content. Additionally, when we looked closer at the ingredients in this shot, only 25% of this shot is comprised of Ginger which means that it may not actually be that effective at supporting the immune system & fighting fatigue etc.
Price = £2.40
The B.fresh Ginger+ shot is a cheaper alternative to that from Pret A Manger. Despite it enabling you to save over £1 per shot, this does not mean that you have to compromise on nutritional value. Firstly, this fiery shot from B.fresh comes in at 20 calories less than Pret’s Ginger shot and the sugar content is lower.
Price = £5.80
Pret A Manger offer a green juice under the name ‘Easy Greens’ for a hefty £5.80 per bottle. There are 70 calories per bottle which is pretty average for a green juice, however there is also 14g of sugar per bottle. The main ingredient is coconut water which makes up 25% of this green juice. Additionally, apple (23%) and pineapple (11%) contribute 1/3 of the bottle which could explain why the sugar content is slightly on the higher side.
Price = £3.99
Despite the obvious that this B.fresh Balanced Greens is more affordable, the calories and sugar content are also less than that of Easy Greens. This green juice is made only of whole fruits and veg, with no added water, sugar, or purees. Balanced greens consists of 35% Apple, 27% Cucumber, 25.5% Spinach, 10% Kale, 1.5% Lime and 1% Ginger so it is an easy and nutritious way to get some greens in without consuming unnecessarily added sugars and artificial ingredients.
Price = £2.70
Starbuck’s Ginger shot will cost you £2.70 for a 100ml bottle, and includes 7.7g of sugar and 37 calories. This shot is made up of Apple, Ginger and Lime with the majority of the shots contents being Apple, therefore it is less likely to feel the benefits from these Ginger shots.
Price = £2.40
The B.fresh Ginger+ shot is slightly cheaper than Starbuck’s Ginger shot. Although the calorific content is similar, the B.fresh shot contains 1.7g less sugar than Starbucks. This shot is comprised of 25g of fresh ginger root per shot, the strongest ginger shot on the UK market. Additionally, this Ginger + shot contains Ginger, Turmeric and Black Pepper. Notably, Black Pepper has been scientifically proven to increase the absorption of other nutrients in the body. When turmeric and ginger are consumed with black pepper, their benefits are intensified. Black pepper and ginger both increase the absorption of curcumin in turmeric, and ginger also augments the antioxidant activity in black pepper. Therefore, the three ingredients combined together provide a more powerful shot in terms of effectiveness of the ingredients than Starbucks.
Price = £2.70
This turmeric shot from Starbucks costs you £2.70 per shot, and is comprised of 42 calories and 8.9g of sugar. The sugar content of this shot is fairly high for a small bottle (100ml), but as this shot is made up of apple, turmeric, hot cayenne and fresh citrus, it is fairly high on citrus content, therefore explaining why the sugar content is higher. Subsequently, this shot doesn’t actually include that high of turmeric content, as predominately the shot’s content is apple. Therefore, the likelihood of experiencing the benefits of turmeric from this shot, even if taken every day, are low.
Turmeric Immunity Shot
Price = £2.40
Similar to the Ginger + shot from B.fresh, the Turmeric Immunity shot costs 30p less than the Turmeric shot from Starbucks. Additionally, the calories are slightly lower, but most notable is the sugar content. The sugar content in the Turmeric Immunity shot is nearly half that of the sugar content in the Starbucks Turmeric Shot. Most importantly, we have to mention the amount of Turmeric in this shot, 49g of fresh turmeric root, is the strongest on the UK market! As well as the fresh turmeric root, this shot is comprised of orange, lemon, apple, flax oil, chicory root, and black pepper. Black pepper is the hero ingredient to help with the absorption of the curcumin in turmeric, which makes the turmeric more powerful and effective. Moreover, black pepper also holds anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which increases the effectiveness of the shot even further.
Marks & Spencer
Price = £1.25
Marks & Spencer offer a range of health shots for different purposes. Firstly, this Ginger Defence shot contains apple and ginger juices, and costs £1.25 per shot, 44kcals and 11g of sugar. This sugar content value is nearly double the sugar content in a B.fresh Ginger + shot, most likely because 90% of the shot is made up of Apple juice, compared to only 40% of the B.fresh shot made from Apple and Orange juices. Following on, the actual content of ginger is 10% of this shot, meaning that the effects felt from taking the ginger are going to be slight, compared to ginger contributing to 25% of B.fresh Ginger +. Most importantly to note, the life span of these shots is 1 week compared to 28 days on the B.fresh shots, this is important because it allows the consumer more flexibility if they don’t want to rush to drink the shots. Additionally, this shot originates from Spain which may be significant enough for some consumers to opt against the shot as they may want to solely consume British products. On the contrary, B.fresh uses produce either grown on their farm, or they know who has grown it, and all of their shots and juices are pressed in their on-farm juicery in Shropshire.
Price = £1.25
Similar to the other health shots offered by M&S, the Hot Shot will cost you £1.25 per shot and has a calorie content of 38kcals and a sugar content of 8.9g, nearly double the B.fresh Turmeric Shot. If you are looking to consume a health shot regularly, you need to be conscious about the sugar content and make sure they are lower in sugar, therefore, these Hot Shot’s may not be the best option to consume daily. Additionally, the ingredients of the Hot Shot are as follows; Orange juice (58%), Apple juice (20%), Lemon juice (10%), Ginger juice (10%), Turmeric juice and Ground Cayenne Pepper. It is obvious that the Turmeric content of the shot is fairly minimal so we must question how much of an impact the Turmeric content will actually have on our health.
Despite the B.fresh Turmeric shot costing a fraction more, it is obvious that once we look deeper into the product from M&S, the B.fresh shot is more likely to benefit your health due to the much higher Turmeric content and the Black Pepper to help with absorption. Finally, the life span of the M&S Hot Shot is 2 weeks compared to 28 days from delivery with B.fresh, which allows you more flexibility with taking the shots when you please.
Gut Health Shot
Price = £1.25
Mirroring the rest of the M&S shot range, one Gut Health Shot costs £1.25 and consists of 8g of sugar, at 75 calories. More importantly, the ingredients of this shot consist of Apple juice, mango puree (23%), coconut milk (20%), pineapple juice (15%), chicory fibre, Turmeric juice, Vitamin C and Bacillus coagulans (a probiotic). Most of these ingredients are acidic which has been proven to be detrimental to digestion rather than aiding it. This could contradict the chicory inulin that has been included to contribute to normal bowel function and increase stool frequency. Most notably, the vast majority of the reviews on the product page were mentioning the taste of the shot, predominately they were negative reviews. The reviews criticise the use of coconut milk in the shot as it outweighs the taste of turmeric, creates a taste of “cold thai curry”, and leads the consumer to question whether the shot does any good for the body. The contents of the shot that are going to actually fulfil the benefits that the shot says are: chicory fibre, turmeric, vitamin c and Bacillus coagulans, all of which are minimum contributors to the shot. Therefore, there is question over how likely it is that the shot will actually bring your body these benefits. Similar to the other M&S health shots, this shot only has a 4 day life span which is not convenient at all, for example if you wanted to buy enough shots to have one each day for a week or fortnight, they would be out of date after 4 days so this wouldn’t be possible.
Price = £1.60
This Ginger shot from Waitrose is available for a reasonable price of £1.60 a shot. However, similar to other high street health shots, the sugar content is surprisingly high for a small shot, which is not ideal if you are looking to consume them regularly. This could be due to the vast amount of the shot being comprised of acidic ingredients such as apple juice, apple puree and lemon juice, whilst notably 19% of the shot is ginger juice and 1.5% ginger puree. Therefore, the total ginger content in one shot is only 1/5 of a bottle, so the benefits of consuming Ginger may not be felt despite the effort of consuming these shots regularly. On the contrary, the Ginger + shot from B.fresh, contains less sugar than the Waitrose alternative, and the ginger content is higher (25%), meaning that it is more likely to benefit from Ginger with B.fresh than with Waitrose.
Price = £1.60
Just like the Ginger shot from Waitrose, this Turmeric shot will cost you £1.60, 37 calories and 7.3g of sugar. Most importantly however, only 6% of the shot is made up of turmeric juice compared to a massive 35% turmeric content in the B.fresh Turmeric Immunity shot. As well as the low turmeric content, the rest of the ingredients (apple juice, carrot juice, lemon juice, pink peppercorn extract) seem to have been added to contribute to the taste of the shot rather than the nutritional value. On the other hand, Turmeric Immunity from B.fresh includes black pepper which is vital to consume alongside turmeric in order to help with absorption of curcumin and make the turmeric more powerful and effective. It is obvious from just these few facts, that despite the B.fresh Turmeric shot being fractionally more expensive, the nutritional value of the B.fresh shot is far superior and as a result, is more worthwhile to consume and invest in.
Green Escape Smoothie
250ml = 60p
149kcal per 250ml
25g Sugar per 250ml
This green smoothie from Tesco costs 60p per 250ml of juice, which is obviously a lot cheaper than the £3.99 charged by B.fresh per 250ml. HOWEVER, this Tesco smoothie contains 149kcals and an astounding 25g of sugar per 250ml. Compared to Balanced Greens from B.fresh, which has 63 calories and 12.3g of sugar per 250ml, the figures for the Tesco smoothie are over double which, especially the sugar content, is something that the consumer needs to be aware of if they are going to be consuming on a regular basis.
Following on, the ingredients are as follows; apple juice (62%), banana puree, white grape juice, mango puree, kiwi puree (5%), cucumber puree (1.5%), lime juice, spirulina concentrate, safflower concentrate & matcha green tea. Firstly, the ingredients contain many different fruits, a lot of which are acidic, to contribute towards a sweeter taste but also explains why the sugar content is so high. Furthermore, unlike the B.fresh juice which is made from whole fruits and veg, the Green Escape Smoothie contains several ingredients that may be not only unrecognisable to some consumers, but also the purpose of consuming these ingredients may be unknown.
Let’s discuss the purpose and benefits of drinking both of these juices. Tesco’s Green Escape Smoothie is appropriate for getting some of your 5 a day in quickly. However, B.fresh is also appropriate for this, as well as it contains Ginger to help support digestion and the immune system. Additionally, Tesco pasteurises their juices whereas B.fresh use a cold pressed juice system which enables 96% more nutrients to be retained and a longer shelf life than Tesco’s juice.
To conclude, it is evident from this analysis of juices and shots offered by several different high street retailers, that the price of these products can often be appealing for a quick, ‘on the go’ grab. However, despite these products being cheaper than B.fresh, the price is reflective of the superior nutritional value and benefits that you will experience, the superior ingredients and shelf life making them more convenient.