Ginger ale is a carbonated soft drink flavored with ginger. The drink is drunk on its own, but also used as an ingredient in drinks, and sometimes to remedy troubled stomachs.
Ginger ale is the juice derived from fresh ginger roots. Even though ginger ale is available in almost any super markets, making it at home from fresh ginger roots if often the best way to go.
By making it yourself you get all the health benefits from the ginger and you can also mix it with other juice of fruits you like and make you very own ginger ale beverage!
Contrary to the widespread belief that ginger ale is a unique substance unto itself, it does go into the category of soda or soft drinks.
However, ginger ale is considered to be a healthier alternative to other sodas as it originally doesn’t contain a lot of unhealthy substances as other popular sodas do.
When buying ginger ale for the health benefits ginger can provide you need to be careful when selecting. It’s cheaper to add ginger flavor to the soda instead of the real deal.
This means that you should check closely that the soda you’re considering really contains ginger.
If you are looking to buy a healthier ginger ale, I can recommend this brand available through Amazon. It contains only four ingredients, carbonated water, sugar, ginger and citric acid. More important is that it's made with only fresh ginger, no extracts!
Table of Contents
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What Is Ginger Ale?
Ginger ale is a beverage that’s classified as soda.
In the good old days all store-bought ginger ale contained real ginger root.
Ginger ale is available in two variants: golden ginger ale and dry ginger ale.
Golden ginger ale was created by the American pharmacist and surgeon Dr. Thomas Cantrell around 1860 as an alcohol-free alternative to the then popular ginger beer. It was the most popular soda in the US until the 1930s.
The dry ginger ale (also called the pale style), a paler drink with a much milder ginger flavor, was created by Canadian John McLaughlin.
Traditional ginger ale
Traditional ginger ale is made from a microbial starter culture (yeast or ginger bug), sugar, fresh ginger root, other flavorings and water.
A ginger bug is a culture of beneficial bacteria made from fresh ginger root and sugar.
Commercial ginger ale
Commercial ginger ales commonly contain carbonated water, sugar or high-fructose corn syrup and artificial or natural ginger-flavor.
Ginger content lists on the bottles labels in a general "natural aroma" or "natural flavoring" statement, allegedly to preserve secrecy of the complex proprietary mix of spices, fruits and other flavors used; lemon, lime, and cane sugar are the most common ingredients. Pineapple and honey are also occasionally used as flavor.
What Is Ginger Ale Good For?
Ginger ale, just as other ginger products, is often recommended as a home remedy for indigestion and motion sickness.
It is also used to soothe coughs and sore throats.
Ginger ale that contain real ginger and not just flavored with ginger, provides the same health benefits as ginger root.
Ginger ale is generally high in sugar. Which is not a good health aspect. But you can always make the ginger ale yourself and thereby keep the sugar level low.
An ale that improves digestion
Perhaps the most popular use of this carbonated beverage is to relieve stomach indigestion and nausea.
The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger might help to relieve excess flatulence, but also cramping and bloating.
Pregnant women and those with IBS might also find some relief by using ginger ale regularly.
Ginger ale can boost metabolism
Ginger has thermogenic properties which can help speed your metabolism.
That might aid weight loss efforts and improve your overall health. The term Thermogenic means tending to produce heat. So eating ginger will actually make you feel and become warmer.
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This amazing beverage can relieve arthritis
For generations has ginger ale been used to relieve the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis and other conditions affecting the joints and muscles.
Studies have shown that ginger can aid adults with osteoarthritis. Make them more comfortable and give flexible joint mobility.
Studies show ginger ale prevents cancer
Studies have found that ginger and ginger ale has cancer preventing substances. It’s shown to be able to reduce the presence of ovarian cancer cells, thanks to its antioxidant activity, which seeks out and neutralizes cancer-causing free radicals.
Is Ginger Ale Good For Upset Stomach?
If you have gas problem, indigestion or flatulence, ginger ale is a natural herbal remedy. It can help to curb gas production in intestine.
The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger ale can help to reduce intestinal spasm and by that ease the stomachache.
Is Ginger Ale Good For Nausea?
Drinking ginger ale can help to stimulate digestion and enhance absorption of food. The ginger does prevent nausea and vomiting in cases of infection, motion sickness, sea sickness and drug induced nausea.
Ginger ale might help with nausea during pregnancy
Nausea and morning sickness are common during pregnancy. It is typically a problem during the first trimester.
It’s an annoying condition that can persist throughout the day. To ease the nausea, you can eat frequent small meals, that might help some.
You can also try ginger ale. Lots of studies has been conducted of the safety of eating and drinking ginger during pregnancy.
The studies have shown that it’s safe and that a teaspoon of ginger ale can relieve morning sickness in majority of pregnant women.
The only real problem I had with consuming ginger during pregnancy was that after the pregnancy I had a hard time enjoying it for a long time. The taste reminded me of that ordeal which meant that I couldn’t enjoy ginger as fully as I had before.
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Is Ginger Ale Good For Heartburn?
Heartburn is often triggered by indigestion, which causes some gastric juice to splash up from the stomach. Ginger ale is a common home remedy for heartburn and indigestion.
The reason it might help is because of the ginger, but also because it’s carbonated, which means that the drink is fizzy and promotes burping.
This can relieve the pressure in your stomach and intestines and stop the acid from being pushed into the esophagus.
There is a down side though to this remedy. Ginger ales typically contain high fructose corn syrup. This is acidic and may promote stomachache, if you have a sensitive stomach. This means that drinking ginger ale might actually increases heartburn in some cases.
Further reading about Ginger
If you want to know even more about the health benefits eating Ginger can provide to you and your loved ones, I recommend you read our article named
What Is Ginger And What Is Ginger Good For.
What Is Ginger Ale Made Of?
Ginger ale mainly contains sugar, ginger, and carbonated water. Sometimes other fruits such as lemon or lime can be added. It can also be mixed with mint or green tea to change the flavor.
Many market brands use excessive amounts of sugar and ginger flavoring instead of the real thing. There are brands that says “made from real ginger”, but when you read the listed ingredients you find: carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, sodium benzoate, natural flavors and caramel colors.
Sometimes it’s not even natural flavors, but aromas or artificial flavoring. Remember to check carefully before you buy!
I recommend you instead make your own ginger ale. That’s a good way to reap the health benefits of the ginger and have full control over what goes into your ale.
Be aware of store-bought ginger ale
When you’re shopping for ginger ale, remember to always check the nutritional labels on the bottle before assuming that the drink will automatically be healthier than another soda.
Many popular ginger ale brands are loaded with just as much sugar and empty calories as other soda brands. They can also contain harmful chemicals that are just bad for you.
You should search for all natural ginger ale because it’s the ginger in the drink that makes it a healthier choice, not the flavoring.
All natural ginger ale isn't filled with the harmful chemicals, such as high fructose corn syrup, that some other ginger ale brands are. All natural ginger ale should contain only real ginger root.
If you choose to buy your ginger ale, regardless of brand, always be careful and only drink it in moderation, as all ginger ale includes some amount of sugar and empty calories just like all sodas. If you consume sugar in excess, it can be harmful to your health.
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Here’s How You Can Make Ginger Ale Yourself
Of course, you can make your own ginger ale. There are loads of different recipes to find on how you do it, in varied difficulty level.
Brewing your own ginger ale will usually result in a healthier and more nutrient packed drink than store-bought or artificially flavored ginger ale.
Here’s an easy recipe on homemade ginger ale. Where you get all the health benefits from the ginger and it doesn’t contain any extra unnecessary sugar.
Recipe for Homemade Ginger Ale
A homemade healthy ginger ale that tastes amazing!
Calories: 124 calories (12 fl oz)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients (4 glasses)
- 1 cup peeled and grated ginger
- 4 cups water
- Sparkling carbonated water
- 1 tsp Honey
- 2 lemons
- Bring the four cups of regular water, not the carbonated, to a boil and add the ginger.
- Lower the heat and simmer for about five minutes.
- Add lemon juice and honey
- Strain the ginger out using a kitchen strainer or cheesecloth.
- Let it cool for about 20 minutes
- Add the sparkling water to the ginger water to your liking.
Done! You can now proudly serve your own homemade ginger ale! You can garnish the glass with a lemon wedge if you whant to make it look more luxurious.
Beware of the honey
It’s not common to give any kind of sparking water or soda to a child under the age of one. But if you do plan on serving your own homemade ginger ale to your child, don’t flavor it with honey!
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that you do not give honey to a baby younger than 12 months. Honey is a potential source of botulism. This can be a very serious disease that can cause abnormal functioning of the nerves, leading to weakness and paralysis.
If you don't have the time to make your own ginger ale, I recommend you buy this ginger ale on Amazon that is made with only fresh ginger. No extracts or oils. So it has that sharp, tasty ginger flavor. I highly recommend you try it!
The Result Of Our Care Omnia Ginger Ale Taste Test
Both adults in the test and our youngest thought that the ale was delicious. Our youngest could not get enough of it. It really is a tasty beverage.
Our 9 and 13 year olds thought that it was alright, tasty but was
lacking something. They could not describe what it was though... still, it influenced their verdict enough.
All in all a tasty beverage. Too bad we didn't have ice to chill it even further. Perhaps that would have given it all smiles!
Conclusion: Ginger Ale With Real Ginger Is Good For You!
Ginger root has lots of proven health benefits, which are amazing. These benefits you also find in the ginger ale, if the ale is made from real ginger root.
The benefits of ginger, like aiding stomachache and nausea, even during pregnancy, improve digestion and even preventing cancer are researched quite well, especially the help it can provide against nausea during pregnancy.
But there is a big down side to the commercial ginger ale. It’s not what it used to be. Companies eager to streamline and make more money have resulted in that real ginger is not as easy to find in ginger ales any longer.
If you have tummy problems and like tea I recommend you try making some ginger tea. We drink it everyday. It’s absolutely delicious.
Simply pour boiling water over fresh finely grated ginger add some honey and lemon, and you got yourself a delicious cup of tea.
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Frequently asked questions about Ginger Ale
What are the benefits of ginger ale?
Studies show that ginger ale helps with indigestion and motion sickness. It soothes coughs and sore throats. The most common use of ginger ale is to prevent nausea and vomiting in case of infection, motion sickness, sea sickness and drug induced nausea. Studies show that it can also help with nausea during pregnancy.
Is ginger ale good for heartburn?
If you have heartburn there’s a good chance that ginger ale might help you. When your heartburn is triggered by indigestion, which is the most common reason, studies show that ginger ale might help. But if you have a sensitive stomach and buy a ginger ale with high content of corn syrup fructose, it might actually increase the heartburn instead of relieving it. Always consult with a health professional if your heartburn persists.
What is ginger ale made of?
Traditional, home made, ginger ale is made from a microbial starter culture, sugar, fresh ginger root and water. It might also contain other flavorings. Commercial ginger ale is commonly made from carbonated water, sugar or high-fructose corn syrup and artificial or natural ginger flavors. Ginger ale should only contain carbonated water, ginger and sugar and perhaps some other flavoring, like lemon. To get the health benefits from the ginger ale, you need an ale that contains real ginger root.
What makes ginger ale healthy?
For a ginger ale to be considered healthy it must contain real ginger root. It’s the ginger root that give the ale it’s nutrients and the benefits it can provide. If the ale is just flavored with ginger or even worse just contains ginger aroma, then the ale is just as unhealthy as any other soda. Choose ginger ale with real ginger root in it!