ginger ale
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
February 27, 2024 ·  4 min read

This is Why Most Ginger Ales Won’t Actually Settle Your Stomach

Raise your hand if you were given Ginger Ale to drink when you were sick as a kid. Many of us have grown up believing that Ginger Ale is a magic elixir that can settle an upset stomach. However, according to experts, this popular notion may not be entirely accurate. In fact, it might be doing the exact opposite. These are the reasons why Ginger Ale may not actually be as effective for stomach issues as commonly believed.

What is Ginger Ale?

Ginger Ale is a carbonated soft drink that has gained popularity for its supposed stomach-settling properties. It is made by combining carbonated water with ginger flavoring and sweeteners. The key ingredient in Ginger Ale, ginger, has long been known for its potential health benefits, including alleviating digestive discomfort. This, however, is just the problem: Most Ginger Ale’s aren’t actually made with real ginger. Rather, they are made from real ginger flavoring. This flavoring does not give the same benefits as the real deal. (1)

Why people think that Ginger Ale will settle your stomach when you’re sick

The belief that Ginger Ale can help soothe an upset stomach stems from the association between ginger and its reputed medicinal properties. Ginger has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to ease nausea and aid digestion. The idea is that the ginger ale has actual ginger in it. As already mentioned above, however, this is not the case. Ginger flavoring, though made from real ginger itself, doesn’t have any of the benefits that actual ginger root does.

Ginger Ale doesn’t actually have real ginger in it, just ginger flavoring

Contrary to popular belief, most commercially available Ginger Ale products do not contain real ginger. Instead, they utilize ginger flavoring to mimic the taste of ginger. This absence of real ginger significantly diminishes its potential stomach-settling properties. Without the active compounds present in fresh ginger, such as gingerol, Ginger Ale may not provide the same desired effects.

In fact, popular ginger ale brand Canada Dry, produced in the United States and Canada, came under fire in recent years for advertising “made with real ginger” on their packaging. The company argued that this is technically true because their ginger flavoring is derived from real ginger. Ultimately, however, it was judged as misleading to consumers, who naturally assumed the drink would provide them with the benefits that actual ginger root has. The phrase was then removed from the packaging in the US; however, it remains in Canada. (2)

Read More: How To Make Ginger Water (+ 6 Healthy Benefits)

Ginger Ale nutrition and its potential negative impact on your stomach

One aspect of Ginger Ale that many overlook is its high sugar content. Here’s the thing: Ginger Ale is still soda, and sodas are loaded with sugar. Most conventional Ginger Ale brands contain significant amounts of sugar – around 30 grams per can. Excess sugar consumption can contribute to digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and indigestion. This contradicts the belief that Ginger Ale can soothe an upset stomach as it may actually exacerbate existing symptoms.

Moreover, even if you opt for the diet version of Ginger Ale, it is not necessarily a better choice. Diet Ginger Ale often contains sugar alcohols as sweeteners, such as sorbitol and xylitol, which can also lead to stomach discomfort, especially when consumed in large quantities.

If you really want to maximize ginger’s stomach-soothing benefits, skip the soda. Instead, go to your local grocery store and pick up ginger root from the produce section. Finely slice the ginger root and steep in hot water. If you want, you can add a bit of honey and some lemon, as well. This is a drink that will actually have tummy-soothing effects, as well as a host of other health benefits.

The Bottom Line

While Ginger Ale has been long associated with settling stomachs and soothing digestive complaints, experts argue that its effectiveness may be more myth than reality. The absence of real ginger in most commercial Ginger Ale products, coupled with their high sugar content, may actually worsen stomach issues rather than provide relief.

If you are experiencing digestive discomfort, it may be more beneficial to opt for natural remedies such as consuming fresh ginger or ginger tea. As always, it is essential to listen to your body and consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or persistent symptoms.

Read More: 10 Reasons to Make Ginger Syrup and Use it Every Day (with recipe!)


  1. Does Ginger Ale Really Help With Nausea?Cleveland. October 24, 2023.
  2. Canada Dry to pay $200K court settlement after B.C. man questions ‘made from real ginger’ slogan.” Global News. Jon Azpiri. October 29, 2020