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Dehydration: Is Ginger Ale Good For You?

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Last modified on November 24th, 2023 at 1:40 pm

is ginger ale good for dehydration

In times of illness, our ancestors always turned to ingredients in the kitchen. Their knowledge of all kitchen staples was extensive. A good example of this is ginger. This root spice is a great digestive, soothes sore throats, and helps with nausea.

Ginger ale is a carbonated beverage that contains ginger powder or artificial ginger flavor. Many consume ginger ale to help with nausea, sore throat, or stomach bug. Is ginger ale good for you?

When struggling with nausea or the stomach bug, you also tend to get dehydrated. So, is ginger ale good for dehydration too? We unravel the myths and facts behind this popular soda.

The different types of ginger ale:

Ginger ale is a spiced, sweet bubby drink that can be quite refreshing when you are sick. Despite having the presence of the word “ale” in its name, ginger ale is non-alcoholic. The beverage goes through a short brewing process which doesn’t allow alcoholic fermentation to happen.

This carbonated beverage can thank ginger beer for its origins since that is where the idea for ginger ale came from.

Golden ginger ale:

Thomas Joseph Cantrell, an Irish apothecary and surgeon, created the first ginger ale drink in the early 1850s.

Traditional ginger ale is made by combining ginger, yeast starter (microbial starter, also known as ginger bug), water, and sugar. Here, sugar isn’t just a sweetening agent. It acts as a starting agent for the yeast since natural ginger is low in sugar content.

The carbonation in traditional ginger ale comes from the fermentation process where the sugar converts the yeast into ethanol and carbon dioxide. The carbonated ginger drink manufactured in this method is also called golden ginger ale.

Due to the use of natural ginger, low sugar content, and a natural brewing process, golden ginger ale can contain some medicinal properties.

Dry ginger ale:

There is another type of ginger ale that we most frequently find in the markets today (Cue: Canada dry). This ginger ale is manufactured with artificial flavorings with loads of sugar added to it. For this reason, dry ginger ale may not have therapeutic properties. Excess sugar and other added flavorings may create problems for your health.

Dry ginger ale was first created by Canadian chemist and pharmacist John Mclaughlin in the early 1900s. This beverage contains carbonated water, sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, natural ginger, or artificial ginger flavorings.

Is ginger ale good for you?

Ginger ale is good for you provided it is manufactured traditionally, in other words, golden ginger ale. Owing to ginger’s medicinal properties, drinking ginger ale can offer the following benefits:

  • Relief from different types of nausea, especially morning sickness
  • Relief from migraines and headaches
  • Reduction in inflammation
  • Relief from cold and sore throat

Here, it is essential to note that the benefits will be from ginger and not the ginger ale drink.

For this reason, commercial dry ginger ale may fail to provide many health benefits. In fact, the high sugar content can trigger diarrhea in those sensitive to the drink’s contents.

Is ginger ale an electrolyte drink?

Ginger ale does not act as an electrolyte drink. Commercially available ginger ale contains water, loads of sugar, and loads of flavorings with no specific electrolytes to speak of.

Electrolytes are minerals such as sodium, potassium, calcium etc., and play a significant role in maintaining the fluid balance in your body, otherwise known as hydration.

Dehydration is a condition that occurs due to an imbalance of fluids and electrolytes. This means that your intake isn’t compensating for the fluids you lose.

Dehydration can be triggered by a host of situations such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Sickness
  • Physical exertion
  • Excess sweating
  • Strenuous workouts
  • Sporting and athletic events

In all these situations, excess fluid loss due to sweating and urination can cause you to lose precious nutrients and water content.

When dehydrated, you can depend on water, electrolyte drinks, ORS drinks, or sports drinks to compensate for the fluid loss and alleviate symptoms of dehydration.

A standard electrolyte drink should contain:

  • Water, coconut water, or any liquid medium of your choice
  • Electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, etc.
  • Additional nutrients such as vitamins.

Home made ginger ale for hydration:

Traditional ginger ale, i.e., the golden variant, may provide partial hydration, but it isn’t widely available.

Commercially available ginger ale does nothing for your hydration levels and can be skipped, especially if you have diabetes. Ginger ale does contain water, but apart from that, it doesn’t have any other contents that will help hydrate your body.

For dehydration, there are many other superior alternatives such as coconut water, fruit juices, smoothies, electrolyte drinks, and even sports drinks.

Still, if you want to enjoy the fresh flavors of ginger ale and enjoy its hydrating benefits too, you can make one for yourself with ingredients available in your pantry.

The standard recipe involves boiling a couple of cups of water with a few pieces of ginger and lemon peels for about 10 minutes. Cool this mixture, strain and add a natural sweetener such as agave nectar or honey before drinking.

This easy-to-make recipe for ginger ale has many benefits and hence is a good way to stay healthy.


Is ginger ale good for dehydration? No. While ginger may be good for you, commercially available ginger ale does nothing for your hydration levels. The excess sugar content and artificial ingredients are not beneficial for your health.

Homemade ginger drinks may help with hydration, especially when you are struggling with nausea or a sore throat.

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