By: Andie Horowitz
Last Saturday morning, after a fun Friday night out in the city, I found myself begrudgingly dragging my feet into my local juice shop. As mentioned in one of my prior articles, I suffer from overpowering hangovers. My head pounds, my stomach aches, and everything is simply too loud or too bright. But I've been working toward taking better care of my body and with that intention comes feeding it well (aka avoiding the greasy bacon, egg, and cheese calling my name)... so to the health-food juicery I went.
While walking down the aisle tired-eyed and grim-faced, a sign caught my eye: “Try a wheatgrass shot — Great for hangovers!” It was as if my saving grace was descending from above, seemingly too good to be true. Though the sign represented a gleam of hope, I still felt skeptical. I tried asking an employee about wheatgrass shot’s benefits and functions, but was answered with little substance: it was the new “it” thing in the world of wellness, and I just had to give it a try. And though that answer may be enough to sell some, it was not enough to get me on board — hence why I’m here now.
What is the science behind wheatgrass shots? What are its benefits? And does it really help with hangovers?
Wheatgrass itself is the greenery that grows over a bed of wheat, consisting of a cluster of leaves enriched with vitamins and minerals. Wheatgrass products come in many forms, with options readily available at most health food stores. Wheatgrass shots, however, are more concentrated versions of the juice compressed into the size of a standard shot glass.
Think of the wheatgrass shot hangover remedy as similar to the advice of taking the hair of the dog — except swap the alcohol for a sweet byproduct of mother earth.
Why people claim it works
As with most plants, wheatgrass contains chlorophyll, a component famous for its green pigment and excess health benefits (see: Before You Bandwagon: Internet’s Obsession with Liquid Chlorophyll). Wheatgrass also includes a plethora of vitamins including A, C, and E. Additionally, it's filled with high levels of iron, magnesium, and calcium. Because of wheatgrass’s diverse and evidently beneficial composition, it’s an extremely healthy option for consumption. Furthermore, wheatgrass boasts a number of antioxidants, with potential effects of both preventing cell damage and certain diseases.
After searching through the Internet to find credible information on wheatgrass shots' and hangovers, I am left with my disbelief: there is little to no evidence that this product is the blessing my local juice shop claimed it to be. While there is substantial evidence that wheatgrass — in whatever form — is beneficial and healthy, it does not target the morning after feeling we collectively dread.
What does our take become, then? Skip the wheatgrass shot for the hangover and opt for classics like water and toast instead. If you want to incorporate wheatgrass into your diet as a healthy boost of nutrients, you have our go ahead.