Do trendy health shots simply blow a hole in your wallet?

CONCENTRATION AID

Actimel Mind with Guarana, from Waitrose

Actimel Mind with Guarana, from Waitrose

Actimel Mind with Guarana, £1/100g Waitrose

This contains guarana, an Amazonian fruit with caffeinated seeds, probiotic yoghurt, with ‘billions of Lcasei cultures’, and vitamins B6 and D and B5 ‘to support normal mental performance’.

Expert opinion: ‘The guarana provides 50mg caffeine — around the same as a cup of instant coffee, and caffeine is known to boost mental alertness. This bottle will also provide around 15 per cent of your daily vitamin B6, 5 per cent of vitamin B5 and 7.5 per cent of vitamin D — all important for energy and concentration. L’casei cultures can help foster healthy gut microflora, but some will be destroyed by the digestive process.

Taste: Slightly smoky, unsweetened yoghurt flavour.

6/10

ENERGIZER

James White Beet-it Organic Stamina Shot

James White Beet-it Organic Stamina Shot

James White Beet-it Organic Stamina Shot, £1.45/70ml tesco.com

Made with 98 per cent concentrated organic beetroot juice and 2 per cent concentrated lemon juice. ‘Beetroot is particularly high in dietary nitrate,’ says its maker.

Expert opinion: There is credible scientific evidence to show beetroot juice taken a couple of hours before exercise can help improve muscle efficiency and stamina. A daily dose has also been shown to help lower high blood pressure. Both effects are possibly due to the nitrates in beetroot being converted by the body into nitric oxide, which helps dilate blood vessels and improve blood flow. One shot will count as one of your five a day.

Taste: Earthy, sweet flavour. 

9/10

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY

The Turmeric Co Nature’s Remedy Turmeric

The Turmeric Co Nature’s Remedy Turmeric

The Turmeric Co Nature’s Remedy Turmeric, £3.50/60ml from Wholefoods, theturmeric.co

This contains 5g of cold- pressed turmeric root mixed with watermelon, pineapple, lemon and piperine (black pepper) extract. ’Turmeric contains a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound called curcumin. Regular consumption of curcumin can boost your immune system, and reduce inflammation,’ says the manufacturer.

Expert opinion: There is some research to show regular consumption of curcumin has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, but more studies are needed. Turmeric supplements of any kind should always be taken with care as they can interact with medication such as painkillers, statins and blood pressure medication.

Taste: Sweet and spicy. 

6/10

THE DE-TOXER

umbleZest Detox and Defend ACV, Milk Thistle and Charcoal

umbleZest Detox and Defend ACV, Milk Thistle and Charcoal

BumbleZest Detox and Defend ACV, Milk Thistle and Charcoal, £2.40/60ml from healthfood stores

‘A warming cleanser and detoxer containing apple cider vinegar, activated charcoal and milk thistle powder to aid digestion and stimulate metabolism.’

Expert opinion: ‘Used for treating drug overdoses, activated charcoal binds to poisons and carries them out of the body. This combination of charcoal and milk thistle will not “cleanse” you — that’s the role of your liver and kidneys.

‘Milk thistle is a natural treatment for liver problems, but along with claims for helping digestion, lacks scientific evidence. The charcoal could bind with some prescription drugs, affecting absorption.

Taste: Sweet, spicy, lemony. 

2/10

GUT-BOOSTER

Biomel Dark Chocolate Dairy-Free Probiotic 

Biomel Dark Chocolate Dairy-Free Probiotic 

Biomel Dark Chocolate Dairy-Free Probiotic Shot, £1.20/125ml from Sainsbury’s

‘A coconut-milk-based probiotic shot made with live cultures and vitamins B6 and D and calcium to support the normal function of digestive enzymes.’

Biomel claims that its ‘L+ lactic acid cultures . . . quickly help the good bacteria in your gut to thrive, strengthening your immune and digestive systems’.

Expert opinion: New research shows just how much our gut health can impact on weight and disease, so taking a regular probiotic product makes nutritional sense, although changing our diet can also have a significant impact.

This shot contains useful levels — almost

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