Does ginger ale help an upset stomach?

stomach-ache-photo

Does ginger ale really help with stomach aches? Not for me right now. I just drank a lot of ginger ale.

There are a few things going on here that can affect your stomach, the combination of carbonation and ginger. Whether or not any of these help is actually still being debated in the medical world. So I’m going to talk about that today. Let’s get started.

Experts don’t totally agree on whether carbonation in soda helps with a stomach ache. Some claim that the air bubbles from soda in a stomach might make a person feel better. But according to the Mayo Clinic, carbonation can lead to our old friends bloating and gas. So it’s possible to make your stomach issue worse by drinking soda. In a 2008 review of medical literature about whether soda alleviates a stomach ache, found no scientific evidence that it can. They also looked at the possibility that it would be rehydrating for a sick person to drink coke, Ginger ale or soda.

But they determined that it wouldn’t be, according to the researchers, quote, “carbonated drinks flat or otherwise, including cola, provide inadequate fluid and electrolyte replacement and cannot be recommended.”

So Ginger, on the other hand, has a reputation for being good for digestion. But there are some conflicting studies on whether it actually is. One 2011 study examined seven hundred and forty four cancer patients who were receiving chemotherapy, which typically makes people nauseous. Some were given a placebo and three others were given varying amounts of ginger. The study was randomized and double blind, meaning neither the experimenters nor the patients knew which groups people belonged to.

According to the results, quote, “all doses of ginger significantly reduced acute nausea severity compared to placebo. On day one of chemotherapy, the largest reduction in nausea intensity occurred with point five grams and one gram of ginger.” Additionally, there have been studies that show that ginger can help with nausea during pregnancy, motion sickness and post-surgery.

That sounds promising, but the writers of the study I described earlier did note that their results conflicted with a very similar study in 2009. It was also randomized, double blind and placebo controlled. The researchers examined one hundred and sixty two cancer patients and found that Ginger did not help alleviate chemotherapy induced nausea.

So at last, we can finally definitively say it’s hard to say if it helped in the past. There’s no reason you shouldn’t have some ginger ale if you’re feeling sick, since Ginger has been shown to help with stomach issues in some cases.

TIP:

Try to find ginger ale with ginger root in the ingredients.