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Is Ginger Ale Good for You?

March 31, 2023
Is Ginger Ale Good for You?

Oh, ginger ale: that sparkling and revitalizing beverage which has been a customary item in households and festivities for many years. However, does this stimulating drink genuinely provide health benefits? Within this piece of writing, we shall delve profoundly into the realm of ginger ale; examining its captivating history along with both beneficial aspects as well as some unfavorable downsides. Thus fasten your seat belts and prepare to unearth the actuality behind this traditional refreshment!

The Origins of Ginger Ale: A Journey Through Time

Ginger ale's roots stretch back centuries, with the first recorded use of ginger as a medicine dating back to ancient China and India. This spicy root was believed to have powerful healing properties and was used to treat various ailments.

Moving ahead to the 1800s, an era in which a particular kind of fermented beverage known as ginger beer gained popularity across England. The modern iteration that we all recognize today by its name, Ginger ale was originally concocted in Ireland during the middle years of the nineteenth century and speedily became recognized for being one among drinkers' most preferred mixers with alcoholic beverages. Its fame continued to thrive exponentially and before long, around early nineteen hundreds or so, it came to be regarded as a much-loved drink within both Canada & the United States alike.

Ginger: A Powerful Ingredient with Health Benefits

The star of ginger ale is, of course, ginger. This zesty, pungent root has been cherished for centuries for its medicinal properties. Some of the health benefits of ginger include: 

  1. Ginger has elements in it known as gingerol that aids reduced inflammation and oxidative stress within the body. These properties have been deemed anti-inflammatory and act as antioxidants, holding vast potential to diminish chronic diseases' risks.
  1. Nausea relief: Ginger has long been used to treat nausea and vomiting, particularly during pregnancy, chemotherapy, and post-operative recovery.

Ginger Ale for Digestion: Fact or Fiction?

It is a widely held notion that ginger ale possesses the ability to calm an unsettled stomach and facilitate digestion. The application of ginger in this beverage may potentially relieve feelings of sickness or discomfort associated with indigestion, but any advantageous effects could be diminished by certain other components involved.

The carbonation in ginger ale can cause bloating and gas, potentially exacerbating digestive discomfort. Furthermore, many commercial ginger ales contain only trace amounts of ginger, which might not be enough to provide any significant digestive benefits.

Ginger Ale and Motion Sickness: A Traveler's Companion

Individuals have confidence in ginger ale as a solution for motion sickness. Some empirical proof exists to uphold that the potency of ginger can diminish feelings of vomiting and queasiness resulting from motion sickness.

However, the efficacy of ginger ale in alleviating motion sickness is dependent on the amount of ginger in the beverage. Some commercial ginger ales may not contain enough ginger to provide any real relief. Opt for ginger ales with higher ginger content or consider taking ginger supplements instead.

The Dark Side of Ginger Ale: Added Sugars

The considerable disadvantage of ginger ale lies in its elevated glucose proportion. The bulk of industrially produced ginger ales are saturated with appended sugars, which may result in obesity, heighted likelihood for heart disease and additional health predicaments.

It is suggested by the American Heart Association to control and lessen intake of additional sugars not more than 6 teaspoons daily for women and 9 teaspoons daily for men. A ginger ale serving sized at a single 12 ounces can possess an overabundance of up to ten (10) teaspoons worth of supplementary sugar which surpasses significantly from what they highly suggest as day-to-day requirements.

added sugar

The Calorie Conundrum: Weight Gain Concerns

As mentioned above, the high sugar content in ginger ale translates to a significant number of calories. A single 12-ounce serving of ginger ale can pack anywhere between 120 to 200 calories.

Frequently ingesting sugary drinks loaded with calories can result in an augmentation of body mass and heighten the odds for illnesses related to obesity, such as cancer types that are specific, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. If your objective is weight management or calorie censure, ginger ale might not be top on your list of preferred beverages.

Artificial Ingredients: A Cause for Concern

Numerous ginger ales designed for commercial purposes contain synthetic constituents, including high-fructose corn syrup, additives and simulated savors. These synthetics have been correlated to many health predicaments that transpire between weight augmentation up until heightened inflammation.

To avoid these potential risks, consider opting for ginger ales made with natural ingredients or making your own ginger ale at home using fresh ginger, sparkling water, and a natural sweetener.

Ginger Ale for Hydration: A Suboptimal Choice

Although ginger ale can alleviate your thirst, it is not the most effective substitute to keep you hydrated. The sugary composition in this beverage ultimately facilitates dehydration because of its requirement for additional water consumption just to digest these sugars effectively. If you're looking for a more hydrating beverage, consider water, coconut water, or herbal teas. These options not only provide hydration but also come with their own set of health benefits.

Ginger Ale vs. Ginger Beer: What's the Difference?

Although people often use the names ginger ale and ginger beer to refer to one another, these two beverages are actually quite unique. Ginger beer is concocted through a brewing process that involves fermentation. As a result of this method, it acquires an exceptional piquancy from its abundant amount of ginger flavor along with little alcohol content (usually ranging below 0.5%). In contrast, carbonated water blended with sweeteners and ginger characterizes the composition of non-alcoholic soft drink known as Ginger Ale.``

Although both beverages have their respective advantages, individuals who desire the healthful properties of ginger may prefer to drink ginger beer due to its higher concentration of the root. Ginger beer features a greater amount of medicinal qualities compared with other drinks as it is packed with more potent elements from the plant's natural composition.

carbonated water

The Rise of Healthier Ginger Ale Alternatives

As consumers become more health-conscious, many brands are introducing healthier ginger ale alternatives. These options may contain fewer added sugars, use natural sweeteners, or have higher ginger content.

Some healthier ginger ale alternatives include:

  1. Naturally sweetened ginger ale: Made with natural sweeteners like honey or stevia, these options have less added sugar and fewer calories.
  2. Organic ginger ale: Organic ginger ales are made with organic ingredients and are free of artificial flavors and preservatives.
  3. Homemade ginger ale: Making your own ginger ale allows you to control the ingredients and sugar content, ensuring a healthier beverage tailored to your taste.

Moderation Is Key: Enjoying Ginger Ale Responsibly

Like most things in life, enjoying ginger ale in moderation is key. While there are some health benefits associated with ginger, the drawbacks of high sugar content, artificial ingredients, and potential digestive discomfort should not be overlooked.

If you enjoy ginger ale, consider limiting your intake or switching to healthier alternatives. And remember, always listen to your body—if ginger ale causes any discomfort or health issues, it might be best to avoid it altogether.

The Verdict on Ginger Ale

So, is ginger ale good for you? The answer is both yes and no. While the ginger in ginger ale offers some health benefits, the high sugar content, artificial ingredients, and potential digestive issues may outweigh those benefits for some individuals.

By enjoying ginger ale in moderation or opting for healthier alternatives, you can still savor this refreshing beverage without compromising your well-being. Cheers to finding the perfect balance!

* All the information and content in this blog post are intended for informational purposes only. It should not be a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with a licensed professional before you follow anything you read in this blog post.

The information is provided by By Hilda Wong. While we try to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the post for any purpose.

Dr. Hilda Wong, MD

My name is Dr. Hilda Wong, MD, graduated from Avalon University School of Medicine. I have over 5 years of medical externship experience and a published researcher on PubMed. I'm also a health and nutrition enthusiast and have written several blogs and magazines in these areas. Forgot to mention that I own a Toy Australian Shepherd and a Betta Fish, and have an amazing zest for life, fashion, health, nutrition, and pets.

Dr. Hilda Wong, MD