Does Ginger Ale Really Help With Nausea and Digestion?

Ginger ale to tame your tummy? Read this before you sip.

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Maybe you’re a nervous flier and ginger ale is your go-to drink order on every flight. Or perhaps ginger ale got you through that stomach-churning first trimester of pregnancy. Or you make your partner stock up every time you feel a stomach bug coming on. Ginger ale has a well-known reputation for soothing nausea and digestive issues, but is this based in rumor or reality?

It’s true that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, says registered dietitian Sharon Richter, RD. And studies have found that ginger can help ease pregnancy nausea and postoperative nausea and vomiting. (Here are more powerful health benefits of ginger you should know about.)

But: There’s little real ginger in the fizzy carbonated version you buy by the liter. “Most popular brands of ginger ale beverages don't have any real ginger,” says Richter. “What they do have is artificial flavors and sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup.”

A better bet for soothing your stomach? Make ginger tea with fresh ginger.