Ginger ale is a carbonated drink with a refreshing and irresistible taste that many soft drinks do not offer. It has numerous health benefits and is also one of the best home remedies for an upset stomach. This drink is popular and available in groceries, bars, and restaurants in the United States.
You should know if ginger ale triggers acid reflux symptoms before you add it to your diet. This article explains how ginger ale affects acid reflux patients.
Is Ginger Ale Good For Acid Reflux?
Ginger ale typically has a pH between 2.0 and 4.0. This value indicates that ginger ale has high acidity, and you may suffer the effects of acid reflux when you consume it. As a result, ginger ale is not a good choice for your acid reflux diet because acidic foods and drinks top the list of acid reflux triggers.
Acid reflux is also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), and it occurs when excess stomach acid flows backward and irritates the esophagus. The lower esophageal sphincter is a valve located in the lower esophagus, and it closes after you swallow food to prevent this backward flow of stomach contents. However, the lower esophageal sphincter could lose its shape and strength due to intense pressure, allowing acids free passage to the esophagus.
Some symptoms of acid reflux include a burning sensation in the chest, sore throat, and nausea. You should avoid ginger ale and others with high acidity if you do not want to experience these GERD symptoms. These symptoms vary among people, as pregnant women or people with medical conditions like obesity are more likely to suffer from symptoms of GERD.
While ginger is a good option for your acid reflux diet, you should be wary of drinking ginger ale. One of the benefits of ginger is its anti-inflammatory properties making it a natural treatment for acid reflux. Ginger ale lacks these properties as the beverage increases the risk of chronic heartburn.
Read also: Does Drinking Hot Water Help Acid Reflux?
Why Ginger Ale Is Not Good For Acid Reflux
Though ginger ale is a product of ginger extracts, this fizzy drink does not have the ginger’s acid reflux-solving features because of artificial flavoring instead of real ginger used in the manufacturing process. If otherwise, ginger is not enough to counter acid reflux symptoms. It also has a lot of sugar content which is hard for the body to digest.
Some ingredients used to make ginger ale are also bad for acid reflux. Some of these ingredients are:
The creation of carbonated water occurs when water is diffused with carbon dioxide gas under pressure, causing the formation of bubbles. These bubbles can lead to gastric pressure triggering acid reflux symptoms by pushing stomach contents toward the esophagus. Carbonated drinks are also high in acidity, and acid reflux sufferers should avoid them.
Citric acid is naturally found in citrus fruits but is a flavoring and preservative in ginger ale. It is high in acidity and causes stomach acid production leading to GERD symptoms.
Sodium benzoate is an artificial preservative used in ginger ale to prevent it from expiring quickly. You can thank sodium benzoate for helping drinks maintain their smell, size, and color, but its side effects on the body include irritation of the GI tract. The esophagus is a part of the GI tract that has its role in the digestive process, and irritation of the esophagus leads to symptoms of GERD.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HCFS) contains highly acidic sulfuric acid and other chemicals that weaken the lower esophageal sphincter. Acids can freely flow backward and irritate the esophagus if the lower esophageal sphincter does not close tightly.
Read also: Can Acid Reflux Cause a Bad Smell In The Nose?
How To Drink Ginger Ale With Acid Reflux
Ginger ale is acidic, but you can drink small amounts if you do not experience chronic heartburn. However, do not drink enough ginger ale to trigger these symptoms, and observe your body’s reaction after consumption.
Many commercial ginger ales use artificial flavoring instead of natural ginger. You should go for the ones made with raw ginger to avoid symptoms of acid reflux and read the label to be sure. Though ginger ale pairs well with beers, whiskey, and vodka, you should avoid these drinks if you do not want to worsen your acid reflux symptoms.
Read also: Can GERD Cause Shoulder Pain?
What To Do If You Experience Acid Reflux Symptoms
You can avoid acid reflux symptoms if you make a few diet and lifestyle changes.
You should ensure you eat foods in small amounts to make digestion easy and chew your food well to help the digestive system break them down. You should eat these foods at least three hours before you sleep or undergo rigorous activities because awkward body positions bring stomach contents closer to the esophagus.
You should also consider a weight loss program if you have excess weight in your body. The digestive system finds it harder to process foods if you are overweight or obese, and foods that remain longer in the stomach are more likely to trigger acid reflux symptoms.
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Is Ginger Ale Good For Acid Reflux Summary
Ginger ale is acidic and should not be part of your diet if you suffer from acid reflux symptoms. However, you can drink it in moderation if your body permits and notice the amount that triggers heartburn or other symptoms. You should seek medical attention if these symptoms worsen despite avoiding ginger ale.