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The Health Benefits of Ginger Ale

health benefits of ginger ale
health benefits of ginger ale

Ginger ale, often touted for its stomach-soothing properties, is a popular beverage choice among those seeking a refreshing drink with potential health benefits. This fizzy drink, made from ginger, sugar, and carbonated water, has been a staple in homes for generations, especially as a remedy for nausea and digestive issues. But how much of its health-related folklore is backed by science, and what should consumers really expect from indulging in a glass of ginger ale? This article delves into the potential health benefits and considerations of ginger ale, supported by scientific evidence and expert opinions.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Ginger’s Medicinal Properties: Ginger, the key ingredient in ginger ale, is renowned for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
  2. Digestive Health: Ginger ale is traditionally used to alleviate nausea and improve digestion.
  3. Hydration and Refreshment: As a carbonated drink, ginger ale can provide temporary relief from thirst and offer a refreshing taste.
  4. Sugar Content Consideration: Commercial ginger ales may contain high levels of sugar, which can offset the health benefits of ginger.
  5. Homemade Alternatives: Making ginger ale at home allows for better control over sugar content and ensures the presence of real ginger.

Ginger ale has long been considered a go-to remedy for various ailments, particularly stomach upset and nausea. Its main ingredient, ginger, has been used in traditional medicine across different cultures for thousands of years, valued for its therapeutic properties. However, modern commercial versions of ginger ale vary significantly in ginger content, and the health benefits may not be as potent as expected.

The True Health Benefits of Ginger Ale

1. Nausea Relief

Ginger is well-documented for its effectiveness in reducing nausea and vomiting. This makes ginger ale a common recommendation for those suffering from motion sickness, pregnancy-related morning sickness, and even chemotherapy-induced nausea .

2. Digestive Aid

Ginger stimulates saliva, bile, and gastric enzymes, which can help digest and absorb nutrients more efficiently, potentially making ginger ale beneficial for digestion .

3. Anti-inflammatory Properties

The compounds in ginger, such as gingerols and shogaols, have anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce pain and inflammation in conditions like osteoarthritis .

4. Antioxidant Effects

Ginger contains antioxidants that combat oxidative stress, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes .

Considerations and Downsides

While ginger itself is a powerhouse of health benefits, commercial ginger ales may not offer the same advantages due to their low ginger content and high sugar levels. Consuming sugary drinks can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance, and dental problems. Thus, the healthiness of ginger ale largely depends on its ingredients and preparation.

Homemade Ginger Ale: A Healthier Alternative

Creating ginger ale at home can be a healthier option, allowing for the inclusion of real ginger and control over the amount of added sugar. This not only ensures the presence of ginger’s beneficial compounds but also significantly reduces the health risks associated with high sugar intake.

Ginger ale can offer certain health benefits, primarily due to the medicinal properties of ginger. However, to fully enjoy these benefits, it’s important to choose versions with actual ginger content and be mindful of sugar levels. Opting for homemade ginger ale or seeking out brands that prioritize real ginger and lower sugar can be a wise choice for those looking to integrate this traditional remedy into their health regimen responsibly.


Q1: Can drinking ginger ale help with weight loss? A1: Ginger can potentially support weight loss efforts due to its metabolic-enhancing and appetite-suppressing properties. However, the sugar content in commercial ginger ale might negate these benefits.

Q2: Is ginger ale safe for everyone? A2: While ginger ale is generally safe for most people, those with certain health conditions, such as diabetes, should be cautious of sugary varieties.

Q3: How much ginger ale is safe to consume daily? A3: Moderation is key. Limit intake, especially of sugary types, to avoid potential negative health impacts.

Q4: Can ginger ale help with hydration? A4: While ginger ale can provide temporary relief from thirst, water is the best choice for hydration.

Q5: Are there any health risks associated with ginger ale? A5: The primary concern is the sugar content in commercial ginger ale, which can contribute to various health issues if consumed in excess.


  1. Ernst, E., & Pittler, M. H. (2000). Efficacy of ginger for nausea and vomiting: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 84(3), 367–371.
  2. Hu, M. L., Rayner, C. K., Wu, K. L., Chuah, S. K., Tai, W. C., Chou, Y. P., Chiu, Y. C., Chiu, K. W., & Hu, T. H. (2011). Effect of ginger on gastric motility and symptoms of functional dyspepsia. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 17(1), 105–110.
  3. Altman, R. D., & Marcussen, K. C. (2001). Effects of a ginger extract on knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 44(11), 2531–2538.
  4. Nicoll, R., & Henein, M. Y. (2009). Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe): A hot remedy for cardiovascular disease? International Journal of Cardiology, 131(3), 408–409.