Experts Explain Why Ginger Ale Doesn’t Soothe An Upset Stomach

Experts Explain Why Ginger Ale Doesn't Soothe An Upset Stomach

But it’s important to note that these benefits are specifically associated with actual ginger root — not just the ginger flavoring found in many sodas.

“Most commercial ginger ale contains very little to no actual ginger,” Sassos said.

In recent years, false advertising lawsuits have been filed against the company that makes Canada Dry ginger ale in the U.S. and Canada over claims that the product is “made from real ginger,” as it states on the packaging.

These claims “deceive and mislead reasonable customers into believing that [Canada Dry is] made using ginger root — i.e. the spice made by chopping or powdering the root of the ginger plant — and not minuscule amounts of flavoring ‘extracts,’” one of the lawsuits alleged, as reported by the National Post.

The class action suits in both countries have since been settled. As part of the U.S. settlement, the company agreed to remove the words “made from real ginger” from its marketing in the future. However, the product is still marketed this way in Canada.

Ginger ale could actually do more harm than good. 

Gastroenterologist Dr. Lukasz Kwapisz, of Gastro Health in Miami, explained that the high sugar content in ginger ale and other sodas — usually upward of 30 grams per serving — can actually make stomach troubles worse.  

“Too much sugar could trigger inflammation and may increase bloating and gas, which could further irritate an upset stomach,” he told HuffPost. 

What about diet ginger ale? Sassos doesn’t recommend it for an upset stomach, because the sugar alcohols used to sweeten some of these products “may only further exacerbate symptoms.”

For some people, the carbonation in ginger ale and other fizzy beverages may help ease their gastrointestinal distress, Sassos said, while other people may find that it makes things worse. So it really depends on how your body responds.

Registered dietitian Maya Feller of Maya Feller Nutrition in Brooklyn, New York, pointed out that even though it has the word “ginger” in its name, ginger ale is not a “health food beverage.”

“If you’re looking for a therapeutic property from it, it might most likely be placebo,” Feller said. “And that’s fine, because you’re feeling better, right? At the end of the day, it is soda. And so I would encourage folks to interact with this the way that they would interact with soda.”

What to try instead

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