You’ve probably reached for a can of ginger ale when that sudden wave of nausea hits. But did you know most brands contain very little real ginger, the key ingredient thought to soothe upset stomachs?
In this article, we’ll dive into the truth behind the popular remedy and discuss if it really helps with queasiness or not.
Ready for some fizzing facts about your go-to beverage?
Let’s pour right in!
Does Ginger Ale Help with Nausea?
The belief and popular perception
In the realm of home remedies and old wives’ tales, ginger ale has been long hailed as a cure for an upset stomach, particularly when it comes to nausea. This sparkling beverage, prevalent in households across America, is readily consumed by people looking for relief from gastrointestinal issues.
Many believe that the active compound in ginger root – gingerol – could be what’s easing their discomfort. This belief isn’t unfounded since studies validate that ginger does indeed offer respite from conditions like pregnancy-induced nausea or postoperative sickness.
However, this doesn’t automatically translate to commercial ginger ale being effective too. Most brands of this fizzy soda contain minimal actual ginger root but are instead loaded with sugars and artificial flavors.
Yet its widespread popularity continues unabated partly due to our conditioned response where we associate feeling better after consuming it during illness – making us think it’s aiding our recovery irrespective of the actual cause behind our improved health status.
The lack of scientific evidence
Scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of ginger ale in relieving nausea is limited. While ginger itself has been studied and shown to have anti-nausea properties, most commercial ginger ales contain very little actual ginger root.
The carbonation found in ginger ale may provide some relief by stimulating the nerves in the stomach and esophagus, but its overall effectiveness for nausea relief remains uncertain.
Furthermore, it’s important to note that individual responses may vary, and what works for one person may not work for another.
While there is no strong scientific evidence directly linking ginger ale to significant reductions in nausea symptoms, drinking clear liquids like ginger ale can still be beneficial after vomiting as it helps with hydration.
Additionally, consuming small amounts of fresh ginger root or trying other natural remedies such as sipping on herbal teas or eating saltine crackers might provide more relief from nausea than commercially available sodas.
Potential Downsides of Drinking Ginger Ale
High sugar content
Ginger ale, while often associated with soothing an upset stomach, may not be the best choice for those dealing with nausea due to its high sugar content. Most commercially available ginger ales contain very little actual ginger root and are packed with added sugars.
Consuming sugary beverages can potentially worsen nausea symptoms or even cause additional discomfort. It is important to consider alternative ways of relieving nausea that do not involve the consumption of excess sugar.
Seeking natural remedies such as consuming fresh ginger root, trying other home remedies like saltine crackers, or seeking medical advice can provide more effective relief without the downsides of excessive sugar intake.
Carbonation and bloating
Ginger ale is known for its carbonation, which can have mixed effects on individuals experiencing nausea. The fizzy bubbles in ginger ale might help to settle an upset stomach by stimulating the nerves in the esophagus and stomach, potentially reducing feelings of nausea.
However, for some people, carbonated drinks can lead to bloating and discomfort, making their symptoms worse. It’s important to listen to your body and see how it responds to the carbonation in ginger ale when using it as a potential remedy for nausea.
It’s worth noting that most commercially available ginger ales contain very little actual ginger root, which is commonly associated with nausea relief. Instead of relying solely on ginger ale, consider trying other forms of ginger such as fresh ginger root or even natural supplements that contain higher concentrations of this beneficial compound.
Alternative Ways to Relieve Nausea
Consuming ginger in other forms
Ginger, beyond ginger ale, can be consumed in various forms to relieve nausea. Here are some options:
- Fresh ginger root: Grate or slice fresh ginger and steep it in hot water to make a soothing ginger tea. Sip on it slowly to ease your upset stomach.
- Ginger supplements: If you’re not a fan of the taste of ginger or find it inconvenient to prepare ginger tea, you can opt for ginger supplements available in capsule or tablet form.
- Ginger candies or chews: These chewy treats contain powdered ginger and can be easily carried around for quick relief from nausea on the go.
- Ginger capsules or oils: You can find concentrated forms of ginger in capsules or oils that can be taken orally.
- Ginger-based foods and beverages: Incorporating ginger into your diet can also help alleviate nausea symptoms. Try adding grated ginger to your stir-fries, soups, smoothies, or even baking with it in cookies or bread.
Trying other natural remedies
Here are some options to consider:
- Fresh ginger root: Ginger has long been used as a natural remedy for nausea and has been found to be effective in relieving symptoms. You can try chewing on a small piece of fresh ginger root or steeping it in hot water to make ginger tea.
- Peppermint: Peppermint has soothing properties that can help calm an upset stomach. You can drink peppermint tea, suck on peppermint candies, or even apply peppermint oil topically to your temples or wrists.
- Lemon: The scent of lemon has been shown to have a calming effect on the nervous system and may help alleviate nausea. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice into a glass of water or inhale the scent of lemon essential oil.
- Acupressure: Applying pressure to specific points on your body can help relieve nausea. One commonly used acupressure point is located on your wrist, about three finger-widths down from the base of your hand.
- Chamomile: Chamomile is known for its calming effects and can help soothe an upset stomach. Drink chamomile tea or use chamomile essential oil in a diffuser.
- Fennel seeds: Fennel seeds have been used for centuries to aid digestion and relieve nausea. Chew on a handful of fennel seeds or steep them in hot water to make fennel tea.
- Baking soda: Mixing one teaspoon of baking soda with a cup of water and drinking it slowly may help neutralize stomach acid and relieve nausea.
In conclusion, while ginger ale is often thought to help with nausea, there is limited scientific evidence to support this claim.
The small amount of ginger in most commercial ginger ales may not be enough to provide significant relief.