Ginger Ale Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Ginger ale nutrition facts

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Ginger ale is a carbonated soft drink infused or flavored with ginger. It's commonly consumed as a refreshing soda or used as a mixer for alcoholic beverages. Given that ginger is widely known for its use as a digestive aid, it’s also sometimes consumed to combat nausea and morning sickness.

Interestingly, some of the most popular ginger ales are devoid of any real ginger. These drinks also contain high fructose corn syrup, sodium benzoate, and colorings to protect and enhance their flavor. As such, it’s important to have an understanding of how these can impact your health.

Ginger Ale Nutrition Facts 

While there are many brands on the market, we use Canada Dry ginger ale to highlight this drink's nutritional facts. This nutrition information, for a 355-milliliter can of Canada Dry, is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 138
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 49.7mg
  • Carbohydrates: 36g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 35g
  • Protein: 0g

Carbs

A standard can of Canada Dry contains 36 grams of carbs, most of which are derived from sugar. While research on the glycemic index of ginger ale is lacking, the American Diabetes Association recommends avoiding soda and other sugary drinks in favor of healthier options such as water, coffee, and tea.

Fats

Like with other types of soft drinks, Canada Dry ginger ale contains no fat.

Protein

There is no protein in Canada Dry. Therefore, it does not offer any of the many benefits derived from adequate protein intake, including improved performance and recovery in resistance and endurance training and appetite control. 

Vitamins and Minerals

A one-can serving of Canada Dry contains 49.7 grams of sodium, which is important to recognize if you follow a restricted sodium diet. Otherwise, ginger ale offers no additional vitamins or minerals.

Calories

If you follow a 2,000 calorie diet, one can of ginger ale provides around 7% of your daily caloric intake. Given that these calories lack beneficial nutrients, they are classified as empty calories, meaning they do not positively impact your health.

While diet ginger ale doesn't contain any calories, studies indicate that it is still unclear whether artificially sweetened beverages are a diabetes risk factor. There are also other health concerns with these sweeteners, such as changing the brain's reaction to sweetness and potential weight gain.

Health Benefits

Although drinking ginger ale isn't going to boost your intake of vitamins and minerals, there are some potential benefits to this drink—especially when choosing a brand that contains actual ginger.

It should be noted that some brands of ginger ale are made with real ginger. As an example, Bruce Cost consists of carbonated water, pure cane sugar, 100% fresh ginger, and citric acid.

Eases Nausea

Ginger is a known nausea remedy. Thus, ginger-containing drinks may help settle digestive discomfort. Regarding the ginger ales that contain little to no root of the ginger plant, some people find that the carbonation in these drinks helps to calm their stomach.

Assists With Morning Sickness

It's not uncommon for pregnant women to experience morning sickness, particularly in the initial stages of pregnancy. The American Pregnancy Association recommends ginger ale soda as one remedy for easing nausea created by an increase in pregnancy-related hormones.

Helps Treat Migraines

Some people with migraines have found relief when consuming ginger products such as ginger ale. If this works for you, it may help reduce your reliance on migraine pain medications and their related side effects.

Relieves Chronic Pain

Some studies have connected ginger with a reduction in other pains. For instance, one meta-analysis of five trials found that ginger helped reduce pain and disability in people with osteoarthritis. Another study connected ginger intake with the relief of menstrual pain.

Reduces Inflammation

Ginger has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties, both of which can help reduce inflammation in the body. Consuming ginger ale made with sugar alternatives would help protect this effect as too much dietary sugar can increase inflammation instead.

Allergies 

For anyone with a ginger allergy, certain brands of ginger ale may cause a reaction. This is especially true for the brands that follow the traditional recipe and contain real ginger. If you have a ginger allergy, it is best to avoid ginger ale altogether.

Adverse Effects 

Certain individuals may want to avoid consuming ginger in higher amounts. This includes people taking blood thinners as ginger can increase the risk of bleeding and bruising, and those with low blood sugar or low blood pressure as ginger can further reduce both.

It’s also well known that drinks with added sugar and high fructose corn syrup are not good for your health and, in the long term, can lead to health complications. The potential negative effects of consuming ginger ale frequently or in large quantities include:

  • Stomach ailments. Carbonated and artificially-sweetened drinks can spark stomach ailments, with studies finding the side effects of such drinks worse for those suffering from certain types of irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Type 2 diabetes. Studies have long pointed to the link between sugary drinks and the increased risk of developing diabetes. Higher consumption of sugary drinks is associated with a greater occurrence of type 2 diabetes, brought on by insulin resistance.
  • Dental cavities. Drinks loaded with added sugars and citric acid are known to cause tooth decay. When sugar is not properly cleaned from your teeth, the acids build up and can eventually lead to dental cavities and enamel erosion.

Varieties 

Ginger ale is mass-produced by large brands and also manufactured by smaller, local brands. The drink is available in a variety of options across supermarkets, including sugar-free, spiced, and organic.   

Common ginger ale brands include:

  • Canada Dry
  • Bruce Cost
  • Fever Tree
  • Reed’s
  • Polar
  • Blue Sky
  • Schweppes
  • Seagram
  • Brooklyn Crafter
  • Vernors
  • Blenheim
  • Red Rock Boylan

The nutritional value of each of the above brands varies, with the majority featuring ingredients of sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Though, some are consciously producing healthier ginger ale options, such as by swapping out high fructose corn syrup for other sweeteners.

Ginger ale is also available in diet versions. Whether or not this is safe has divided scientists given that some findings indicate that diet drinks can be carcinogenic in humans. Diet soda may be okay in moderation, however, note that it may increase sugar cravings.

When It’s Best 

Ginger ale is produced all year-round and sold in supermarkets globally.

Storage and Food Safety

Ginger ale can be served chilled or unchilled, depending on your preference. As with most sodas, once opened, it’s recommended to consume it within a few days for the carbonated benefits. 

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Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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