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Ginger ale is a popular carbonated drink that many find refreshing. Depending on whether the ale contains real ginger roots, it may relieve nausea, add to the body’s total antioxidant count, and fight inflammation. Nonetheless, it is still a soda and not a health drink that might lead to gassing and unnecessarily increased sugar intake.

Since ginger ale is marketed as one of the most refreshing sodas, you might want to know if it is healthy or has any benefits to the body. This is a genuine concern because the market is now flooded with this type of soda and the hype around it is not easy to ignore. In fact, ‘dry,’ ‘regular,’ and ‘diet’ are terms often used when referring to different types of ginger ale sodas, and you may unfortunately not understand them. As such, you may want to know what this drink is, its various types and meanings, the benefits associated with drinking it (if any), and the potential side effects. Keep peering into this article to get the answer to these questions.

What is ginger ale?

First things first, we need to understand what ginger ale is before exploring its benefits or drawbacks. Simply put, it is a carbonated drink prepared by mixing carbonated water with artificial or natural ginger flavoring (or real ginger roots for the traditional ginger ale) and sugar or sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or sucrose. It can be taken in isolation, although it’s best enjoyed when mixed with other drinks and recipes.

The traditional ginger ale seems to be safer than the commercial ones. This is found online and in physical stores and features ginger bug or yeast as its starter in microbial culturing. It’s deemed better than its commercial counterparts since the ginger bug is prepared by fermenting actual ginger roots. As such, this type of ginger ale may possess most health benefits linked to ginger roots, which also depends on the concentration of ginger in the resulting solution. Besides, allowing ginger roots to ferment and produce ginger bugs may boost gut-healthy since some probiotics may find their way into the drink. Nonetheless, the traditional ginger ale is still a carbonated drink and may not be the best pick when considering health drinks.

Ginger ale- what are the styles?

You might have noticed that dry, regular, and diet are terms often used in ginger ale context, but you wonder what they mean. They are actually the different styles of ginger ales available in the market. Here is an explanation for each of the terms.

  • Regular ginger ale defines the commercial ginger ales, as well the traditional version described above. They are prepared using carbonated water, artificial or natural ginger flavoring, and sweeteners, including sugar or HFCS. Other ingredients might also be featured in the regular ginger ales depending on the brand in question.
  • Dry ginger ale basically refers to ales whose flavors are somewhat ‘dry,’ depending on the ginger roots’ sourcing and processing.
  • Diet ginger ales exceptionally comprise ales made with calorie-free sweeteners as a sugar replacement. They are often marketed as picks for aiding weight loss.

Potential health benefits of ginger ale

Ginger ale and its sodas are not a health pick. However, there might be several health benefits associated with them, primarily because they are made from ginger roots. Ginger roots are the root tubers from a ginger plant marketed as a remedy for digestive issues. Nonetheless, it is critical to remember that ginger ale sodas are mostly prepared with ginger root powder as the main flavoring, and only in small proportions. That said, here are some health benefits found in ginger roots;

  • May remedy migraines

One study showed that giving concentrated ginger extract to people with migraines could help lower the severity of the headaches. However, these findings were realized using high amounts that one would not typically put up with.

  1. It May help relieve nausea

Raw ginger has long been used to relieve nature caused by motion sickness, morning sickness, pregnancy, chemotherapy, and other causes. The same results may not be observed in ginger ales because the ginger concentration therein is low.

  • It May help relieve nausea

Ginger is one of the plants whose roots add to the body’s total antioxidant count. Shogaols and gingerols are just but two of the health-promoting compounds found in ginger. Alongside others, these antioxidants help reduce oxidative damage and its consequences.

  • May boost the body’s total antioxidant count

The various compounds found in ginger may go a long way to boost heart health. Some studies have suggested that they may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, two indicators of heart health.

The health benefits linked to ginger roots may not be realized by drinking ginger ale

The above are a few of the many health benefits linked to ginger roots. While extracts are a good way to benefit from this root tuber’s health benefits, the processes involved in preparing the extracts depletes the roots of their potential benefits. As such, ginger ale may not have the health benefits described above since it is made from extracts, and only small amounts of the latter are used.

Are there any potential drawbacks linked to ginger ales?

Ginger ale is a soda (and a carbonated drink), definitely rendering it ‘off’ when it comes to major picks of health drinks. Besides, it’s linked to several drawbacks, including;

  • It is packed with artificial additives

The ginger ale companies add preservatives to the drink and describe the former as proprietary. As such, they are not revealed to the unsuspecting consumers. However, these artificial additives add more harm than help to your health.

  • It is laden with sugar

Any type of ginger ale has some sweetener, whether natural or artificial. Most of these add to the blood sugar levels, increasing one’s risk for diabetes type 2. Besides, the sweeteners have been linked to many other health complications, including heart disease and cancers.

  • It adds little nutritional value

Following the processing to which ginger roots are subjected to produce ginger flavoring, you can rest assured that almost all their health benefits are sapped off by the time you are drinking the ginger ale. As such, you might be harming your body more than benefiting it by drinking the carbonated drink.

  • It might lead to gassing

Ginger ale is a carbonated drink, and you expect gassing after taking it. Besides, it might lead to burping and bloating after taking. Yet, only a few things can compare to the serious discomfort of gassing and the resultant rumbling stomach.


Ginger ale is a carbonated drink that mixes artificial or natural ginger flavors with other ingredients. Although ginger roots from which the flavoring is made might help manage nausea, boost antioxidant count, and relieve migraine, the ale might not have these effects, considering that the extract herein used is highly processed and only applied in small amounts. Rather, it might lead to gassing and unnecessarily add to the body’s blood sugar levels.

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Ieva Kubiliute is a psychologist and a sex and relationships advisor and a freelance writer. She's also a consultant to several health and wellness brands. While Ieva specialises in covering wellness topics ranging from fitness and nutrition, to mental wellbeing, sex and relationships and health conditions, she has written across a diverse range of lifestyle topics, including beauty and travel. Career highlights so far include: luxury spa-hopping in Spain and joining an £18k-a-year London gym. Someone’s got to do it! When she’s not typing away at her desk—or interviewing experts and case studies, Ieva winds down with yoga, a good movie and great skincare (affordable of course, there’s little she doesn’t know about budget beauty). Things that bring her endless joy: digital detoxes, oat milk lattes and long country walks (and sometimes jogs).

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