Is Ginger Ale Good for You? Benefits, Types, and Potential Side Effects
What is Ginger Ale?
First manufactured by an Irish pharmacist, Ginger ale is a carbonated beverage flavored with ginger.
It is generally consumed as a soda drink and occasionally used in mixed drink recipes and spirit-based fluids.
Despite the name ‘ale’, this ginger beer contains no alcohol in the majority of cases.
How is Ginger Ale Made?
Typically, ginger ale is produced by mixing carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, sugar substitutes, and artificial sweeteners along with natural or artificial ginger flavoring.
Preservatives such as citric acid and sodium benzoate are frequently used as well.
A more traditional style of manufacturing regular ginger ale is by using yeast or ginger bug as microbiological culture.
Ginger bug is a byproduct of the ginger beer plant or the real ginger root.
They are more natural in their kind and often recommended.
One of the finest ginger ale drinks is made from the Jamaican and African varieties of ginger rhizome.
The Canada dry ginger ale is another one of the most popular and healthiest ginger ale known to the world.
Are Ginger, Ginger Beer, and Ginger Ale the Same?
The ginger plant is widely known for its digestive aid and thus makes this bubbly beverage effective against nausea, tummy issues, and morning sickness.
Since the drink is named so, many people think that simple ginger root would do in the place of ginger ale.
However, this isn’t the case.
There are several nutritional differences between the two that set them apart.
For example, ginger comprises 80 calories per 100 grams and on the other hand, ginger ale contains only 34 calories per 100 grams.
The total fat in ginger is 0.75 per 100 grams whereas the latter contains none.
Moreover, the ginger root being the primary source of ginger ale and other ginger-derived products holds much more nutritional and health benefits.
Ginger beer, on the other hand, has a potent ginger taste and is quite bubbly.
This non-alcoholic beverage is fermented after being brewed and it too has what is often described as a spicy finish.
It is good for remedying stomach upset and gas; however, it may drastically increase your daily sugar intake as it is one of the many sugar-sweetened soft drinks on the market.
Health Benefits of Ginger
The potential health benefits of the ginger include but are not limited to
Ginger can increase your body’s gastric emptying.
Maintaining blood sugar levels
Ginger is said to be able to reduce blood sugar levels significantly.
Reducing high blood pressure is another potential benefit of ginger.
These and many other health benefits have been validated by a clinical study available on PubMed as of January 6, 2020.
Varieties of Ginger Ale
It’s not like ginger ale is a one-size-fits-all beverage. It comes in several varieties, such as regular, dry, and diet ginger ale.
Regular ginger ale
This type of ginger ale includes both soft drinks with added sugar and dry ginger ale made with traditional style.
Dry ginger ale
This type is sometimes known as ‘pale style,’ which is spicier than wet.
Diet ginger ale
These versions are similar to conventional versions, with the exception that calorie-free synthetic sweeteners are utilized.
Having discussed the initials of the topic, its raw ingredients, and types, what we are going to talk about now are the benefits ginger ale holds for you.
Further, we’ll explore its diet factors and what alternatives you can opt for during its unavailability.
Health Benefits of Ginger Ale
If made of pure, fresh ginger root, ginger ale can offer a number of health benefits.
It is because ginger root has a long history of medical and therapeutic applications especially related to gut health.
While there are no scientific studies validating the suggested ginger ale benefits since it is made from ginger extract, its benefits are assumed.
If you are someone who enjoys soft drinks, despite the fact that they have a long-term negative impact on your body, ginger ale might be your go-to healthy alternative.
This carbonated beverage is available to refresh you by offering a wide variety of health-related advantages.
Here are a few benefits that ginger ale offers.
1) Aids with nausea relief
Ginger and ginger ale provide relief from nausea.
Nausea is the uncomfortable sensation in the throat and upper abdomen which results in anti-peristalsis.
Drinks containing ginger powder (a dried spice) aid digestion and curb nausea.
This is due to the presence of gingerols and shogaols in ginger. Gingerols are particularly known for their therapeutic value.
Owing to the fact that not all types of ginger ale have natural ginger in them and some have very little ginger, people often report that it is actually the carbonation in the drink that helps to relieve their upset stomach.
2) Offers adequate nutrition
Ginger ale is packed with such important nutrients that not only make it a complete nutritious package but also a treat to people on diet. In a 100 grams serving, traditional ginger ale contains 34 calories, negligible fats along with 7 mg of sodium.
It is important to note that ginger ale indeed contains sugar, about 8.9 grams. So, drinking ginger ale in large quantities may not be ideal.
However, moderate consumption can save you from falling prey to high or low blood sugar because it maintains a healthy sugar balance.
The nutritional chart of many commercial ginger ales also includes some amount of iron and potassium.
3) Antioxidant effects
Ginger ale can provide you with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits and protect your cells from oxidative damage to prevent various diseases.
If you get naturally fermented ginger ale, you will reap significant health benefits as fermentation boasts antioxidant activity.
The processed sugary drinks on the other hand lag behind the fermented ones, which may contain calorie-free sweeteners.
4) Addresses morning sickness in pregnant females
Morning sickness is common in pregnant ladies.
Especially during the initial stages of pregnancy, females endure nausea and vomiting. Even though the name is morning sickness, the discomfort can attack anytime.
They can find relief from it with a good ginger ale drink.
The American Pregnancy Association also recommends ginger ale soda as a remedy to ease the discomfort caused by this pregnancy-related condition.
Ginger is also a good vasodilator so the drink may also work to lower your blood pressure during pregnancy-related hypertension.
5) Elevates function of the immune system
Another great benefit of ginger ale is the elevated functioning of the immune system. It helps in the battle against various pathogens and infections, relieves chronic pain, and soothes migraines.
Ginger ale can potentially mitigate the effects of chronic diseases and gastrointestinal troubles.
The Dietary Concerns of Ginger Ale
The nutritional factors of ginger ale have been mentioned above and most of the time they are found to be diet-friendly.
However, it might include things that some health-conscious people won’t want to ingest at all.
For instance, despite being low in calories and fats as compared to ginger, ginger ale still contains sugars that are unpleasant to many health-conscious individuals. Sometimes, the use of artificial sweeteners is also discouraged.
Traditional ginger ales are fermented, so they contain more natural ingredients as compared to most commercial ginger ale drinks, which use high fructose corn syrup and artificial ginger flavor.
The remarks of the majority of people are that added sugars are the most unhealthy aspect of ginger ales and could make ginger ale bad for you.
This is because if the consumption is in excess, the large amount of sugars leads to weight gain, increased visceral fats, and tooth cavities.
Despite the Food and Drug Administration clearance, the effects of artificial and non-nutritive sweeteners are still debatable.
A research took place on adults who drank diet sodas in 2015.
It was found that they were at higher risk of developing a cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Another study published in 2019 showed that there were no major differences in the health outcomes of people who consumed nonnutritive sweeteners and those who didn’t.
The very thing to highlight here and remember is that everything needs to be consumed in moderate amounts.
Moderate consumption of ginger ales even if added with sugars would do no harm to your health.
Also, it is wise to think before buying which ginger ale is best for you.
Knowing that it comes in several varieties, you should check the nutritional table printed on bottle covers to decide if it suits your diet or not.
Look for ginger ales that use pure powdered ginger root instead of artificial flavors and colors. Plus, it must not have high fructose corn syrup as the primary sweetener.
Although ginger ale might not be considered a healthy beverage by a few, reading the ingredient list might help in making better decisions.
There’s no denying that ginger ale is a popular beverage, but as we’ve seen, owing to specific components, many people believe that it is bad for a healthy diet.
So, in addition to making your own ginger ale, here we have outlined some beverages that may serve as potential alternative choices to ginger ales.
1) Lemon-Lime soda
Lemonade is the common name for beverages that are flavored with lemon and lime.
We have them in our markets under trademarks like Sprite and 7Up.
They can also be easily prepared at home and are widely used as a treatment for nausea and stomach pain.
Lemonades are similar to ginger ales and are more readily available.
They are a fantastic and cheap alternative to ginger ales, with the added benefit of containing less sugar than other soft drinks.
2) Plain Seltzer
It is water that has been highly charged with carbon dioxide.
It tastes very simple and a person might have to add an additional taste of berries and citrus to it.
The main difference is created by the artificial ginger flavoring in ginger ale and that of seltzer in plain seltzer.
As compared to tonic water and soda, seltzer has no sugars in it which makes it an effective replacement for ginger ale.
It has mild effects on acidity and keeps a person well hydrated on hot days.
Seltzer is well-known for its health advantages due to its lack of sugar and calories.
3) Maple cream soda
Cream soda is another carbonated drink with a vanilla flavor. The word cream is generally used to describe the fizz.
Cream soda is produced using soda water, vanilla flavor, and sugar.
Despite the fact that cream soda is sweeter than ginger ale, the flavor and sugar levels may be modified properly.
It’s generally used as a last-minute replacement for ginger ale.
Ginger ale may be replaced with a number of substances, some of which are interchangeable and others of which must be coupled with additional ingredients to be effective.
What you want to have now depends on your taste and health concerns.
Packed with a variety of nutrients, ginger ale can be a healthy drink to aid digestive and other health problems and augment gut health.
However, the type and quantity of the drink are two of the top concerns for health-conscious people who want to consume ginger ale.
Whether it is good or bad for you is dependent on you, so if you have a health condition affecting your blood sugar or digestion, speak to your healthcare e provider before consuming the product and always remember that moderation is key.
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