If you turn to a glass of cold ginger ale when you have a funny tummy or are feeling sick, you may want to save your money as it could be having the opposite effect according to a professional
An expert has revealed that ginger ale could be harming those who drink it to settle an upset stomach or ease sickness.
There are many reasons you may suffer with an upset stomach or nausea ranging from pregnancy, eating too much spicy or rich food, to car sickness, a bug you’ve picked up, or having a heavy night on the booze. Whatever the cause, lots of people turn to ginger ale to try and alleviate their symptoms.
However, a health expert has revealed that rather than helping your tummy, it may actually make it worse because of the ingredients it contains and one it crucially doesn’t.
Gastroenterologist Dr. Lukasz Kwapisz, of Gastro Health in Miami, told the Huffington Post that the high sugar content in ginger ale – usually 30 grams or more per serving – is not a good thing for a delicate belly. “Too much sugar could trigger inflammation and may increase bloating and gas, which could further irritate an upset stomach,” he said.
Sugar free varieties are not recommended either because the artificial sweeteners used could also exacerbate symptoms, as could the carbonation used to produce the fizz.
The main ingredient many believe is beneficial is of course ginger, which for centuries has been used as a natural remedy for digestive problems and can help ease bloating and settle the stomach.
Stefani Sassos, a registered dietitian and the nutrition and fitness director for the Good Housekeeping Institute explained how the root can help: “Ginger root contains a special compound called gingerol that has been shown to support gastrointestinal motility, or the rate that food moves through the digestive tract,” she said. “This can provide nausea relief for a variety of conditions, essentially because it encourages food to not linger as long in the digestive tract.”
But the problem with ginger ale is that it contains little or no ginger at all. A lot of commercial brands just use a ginger flavouring that doesn’t have any of the health benefits of the actual root.
If you want to use ginger, it’s best to buy some in the supermarket and make your own drink with minced, grounded or sliced and peeled ginger. Add it to a cup of hot water and allow it to steep for about 10 minutes before drinking. Ginger supplements are also available from health food shops.
Do you drink ginger to ease sickness? Let us know in the comments below.