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Is Canada Dry Ginger Ale Bad For You?



Short answer

When it comes to soft drinks, Canada Dry ginger ale is a better alternative, but that doesn’t mean that it’s healthy. It’s a sugary drink like any other soda and frankly not that good for you.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

You’ve likely been told to drink ginger ale to help with an upset stomach or nausea. Ginger contains amazing properties that are useful for treating such ailments and there is really nothing better than fresh homemade ginger ale to calm your stomach.

What about a store-bought brand like Canada Dry? They claim to process their drinks with “100% natural flavours, including real ginger”. Naturally, you may ask yourself, how much ginger do they actually use? On the FAQ page of their website they say in reply: “That information is part of our proprietary formula and is not divulged.” Understandably they do not wish to reveal every ingredient but assure us that there is at least some amount of real ginger in their drinks.

Canada Dry has explained that the “natural flavours” listed in the ingredients is a mixture of extracts from several types of real ginger roots and blended with citrus flavors to produce its unique taste. These “natural flavours” are listed almost last on the Nutrition Facts label meaning that it is an inferior and almost negligible ingredient. Since the ginger flavoring isn’t even listed by itself we can determine that there isn’t a whole lot of ginger present.

What about the other ingredients that are listed first? Well, high fructose corn syrup is second on the list behind carbonated water. Why is this a potentially dangerous ingredient? Investigative medical studies have found that drinks sweetened with fructose will make your body’s cells more resistant to insulin, a serious factor leading to diabetes. This can also in return cause pancreatic cancer. Furthermore, high fructose corn syrup has been repeatedly linked with increased triglyceride levels and metabolic syndrome.

Let’s talk about sodium benzoate, yet another primary ingredient used as a preservative. When sodium benzoate is left in contact with extreme light and heat, it can produce benzene which is known to cause cancer and birth defects. This chemical is also found in gasoline and cigarette smoke.

Time to bring out the long scientific names… Aspartame is used as a sweetener in the diet version of Canada Dry’s ginger ale. This artificial sweetener is approved but the FDA but can be unsafe for consumers with phenylketonuria disorder, causing toxic buildup in the body.

Phenylalanine has the ability to interact with various drugs and medications and cause unwanted side effects. Children may also experience anxiety and jitteriness.

Most people drink a beverage because they are thirsty and instinctively want to keep themselves hydrated. Ironically, Canada Dry ginger ale will dehydrate you by making it harder for your body to absorb liquids.

Besides the hidden side effects, we can look at the plain facts that are given to us right on the can. Canada Dry ginger ale is high in calories (140 calories) and carbohydrates (36 g) per 12 fl oz serving. Without proper exercise, these excess calories and carbohydrates are stored as fat, making you gain weight.

Although Canada Dry seems like it would be healthy, clearly it’s best to limit your consumption as you would any other soda.

Possible short-term side effects

  • dehydration
  • jitteriness
  • anxiety
  • sugar-rush

Possible long-term side effects

  • diabetes
  • metabolic syndrome
  • pancreatic cancer
  • diabetes
  • birth defects

Ingredients to be aware of

Healthier alternatives

  • traditional homemade ginger ale

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Q Mixers Ginger Ale

  • Real ingredients
  • Premium cocktail mixer
  • Convenient 7.5oz cans
  • Pack of 24
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Desmond Richard
Published on: 03-25-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Desmond Richard
Published on: 03-25-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

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