Ginger ale is arguably one of the most popular soft drinks in the United States, Canada, and abroad. It has a distinctive taste and can easily be found at any convenience store.
This has made ginger ale a favorite for many pregnant women who need to intake some form of carbonated water or fizzy drink for hydration. However, this article is not only about drinking ginger ale while expecting.
We’ll still talk about its health benefits and possible side effects when consumed excessively. Keep reading to learn more.
What is Ginger Ale
Ginger ale is a carbonated soft drink that contains naturally brewed ginger, sugar, and water. The main ingredients are carbonation, flavorings, and natural or artificial sweeteners. Depending on the brand, it can be ruby red or clear in color.
Ginger ale has been around since the early 1800s when it was first produced using the root of the ginger plant.
Basically, there are many different types of ginger ales available on the market today. Some ginger dishes use powerful spices like cinnamon or nutmeg, while others allow you taste the natural ginger flavor.
Drinking Ginger Ale While Pregnancy
Ginger ale is made by adding ground ginger root to water and sugar and carbonating the mixture. The result is a carbonated beverage that contains small amounts of potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Ginger, a traditional remedy, is now found to be beneficial for nausea in pregnant women.
Ginger is an anti-nausea remedy because it increases serotonin levels — a neurotransmitter that helps regulate nausea and vomiting. Similarly, some women find less morning sickness when they drink ginger-flavored soda instead of plain water or another beverage with carbonation.
However, you should remember that ginger root can cause mild stomach upset in some people — especially those who are allergic or sensitive to it.
Health Benefits of Ginger Ale in Pregnancy
Ginger Ale is a great alternative to soda and other sweetened beverages. It doesn’t contain any calories and is low in sugar so that it won’t spike your blood sugar levels. Plus, it contains potassium which will help lower your blood pressure and relax muscles.
Thus, ginger Ale has antioxidants that fight heart disease, cancer, and skin damage. The following are its other health benefits.
- Helps Relieve Nausea and Heartburn
Ginger ale is suggested for nausea in pregnancy due to ginger extract, believed to ease nausea and heartburn by reducing body inflammation.
- Ginger Ale Eases Constipation
Ginger is one of the best remedies for constipation because it contains anti-inflammatory properties that help improve bowel movement. It also contains electrolytes that help hydrate your body and make you feel more energized.
- Ginger Ale Reduces Labor Pain
Studies have found that ginger root reduces labor pain and improves outcomes in childbirth by acting as an analgesic (pain reliever). The anti-inflammatory properties in the ginger root also help ease pain associated with hemorrhoids and other conditions related to childbirth.
- Ginger Alkalizes Blood Sugar Levels
Ginger root helps regulate blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity, which makes it easier for cells to absorb glucose from the bloodstream. This benefit helps prevent gestational diabetes or preexisting diabetes from developing during pregnancy.
- Balances hormones
Ginger helps balance insulin levels, thus controlling sugar levels in your body. It also helps maintain proper thyroid hormone levels, which help maintain a healthy metabolism rate and weight loss during pregnancy.
- Improves circulation
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that help improve blood circulation throughout your body, especially during pregnancy when you may be prone to high blood pressure or heart disease risks due to elevated stress levels for lack of movement and physical activity.
Possible Side Effects of Ginger Ale Consumption While Pregnant
Ginger Ale does not contain caffeine, so it is safe for pregnant women who want to enjoy this drink occasionally. However, some people feel that ginger ale has a slightly spicy taste that may not be suitable for pregnant women with sensitive palates.
However, if you are pregnant and want to try drinking ginger ale, take note of the following tips:
- Ginger ales contain high levels of natural sugars, which can cause changes in blood sugar levels in pregnant women, especially if they have diabetes or have preexisting conditions such as gestational diabetes.
- In rare cases, ginger ales may cause low blood pressure (hypotension), fainting spells, dizziness, and even seizures in some individuals who consume them while pregnant.
- If you decide to consume ginger ale while pregnant, try not to drink more than one serving daily, as this can lead to an increased risk for miscarriage or preterm labor.
- Ginger might also increase your risk of allergic reactions or irritability if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. If you have an allergy to ginger, you might experience itching, hives, or swelling around your mouth.
Ginger ale has no known detrimental effects during pregnancy or breastfeeding, thus the FDA does not require warning labeling.
However, some doctors recommend that pregnant women avoid drinking alcoholic beverages because they can increase their risk of miscarriage, premature delivery, and low birth weight babies.
Moderate ginger ale consumption throughout pregnancy is safe if you don’t have an allergy. Any drink is safe during pregnancy unless your doctor restricts it due to caffeine or safety concerns.
Enjoy ginger ale during pregnancy as long as you don’t drink too much (3-4 cups per day) or take certain drugs.