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Should I Use Soda for an Upset Stomach?

By Bethany Keene
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Many people find that using soda for an upset stomach is very helpful. Sodas that often help soothe the stomach include cola or ginger ale, though some people also drink clear sodas. There are arguments for and against using soda to treat an upset stomach but, if you find it to be helpful and only use it every once in a while, it is probably fine. It is best to stir the carbonation out of the soda first, because it can cause bloating and gas and actually make nausea worse.

Most people sip on soda to combat feelings of nausea or indigestion. Ginger has been used for many years to combat nausea, and while ginger ale can be used for an upset stomach, there are other methods of taking it. Ginger pills or even chewing on a bit of fresh ginger can have the same effect. In cola, it is the syrup that can help to relieve nausea. Clear sodas may not have any true effect on nausea, but some people prefer to sip them anyway.

The sugar in the sodas can sometimes help to boost blood sugar and help with nausea as well. Pregnant women often drink ginger ale for this reason, because it is caffeine free. Using flat soda can be an effective method of relieving mild nausea. In general, though, experts do not recommend using soda for rehydration purposes after or during an actual illness that causes vomiting and potential dehydration.

This is because the sodas are extremely high in sugar but do not do anything to replace electrolytes. Watered down sports drinks or electrolyte drinks for children are a much better choice when attempting to prevent dehydration. Decaffeinated peppermint tea may also be a good choice. Some people find that lemonade can be good to keep them hydrated on a hot day, if they begin to feel slightly dizzy or nauseous; this is not recommended after a stomach illness, however.

Drinking plain water can be a little hard on an upset stomach, but in normal cases, it is important to drink enough water every day to stay hydrated. Preventing dehydration in the first place is a good way to prevent an upset stomach. While occasional stomach discomfort is often normal, you should not need to constantly use soda for an upset stomach; if you are frequently nauseous without any identifiable cause, it may be a good idea to visit a medical professional.

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Discussion Comments

By anon955579 — On Jun 08, 2014

I drink quinine water, ginger ale, Seven-Up or sometimes ginger beer for my stomach. It seems to quiet the nausea down and I can eat, or at least think of eating something. It is for me, like I am losing my appetite on top of the queasy feeling in my stomach. I try Alka-Seltzer every few years for a day maybe two. Quinine seems the best, though.

By anon250955 — On Feb 27, 2012

Not according to the NY Times or the World Health Organization. Not good for electrolyte replacement or rehydration.

By SarahSon — On Jun 09, 2011

Whether soda is good for an upset stomach or not, it is important to be sure and get fluids in you. I know there are several home remedies for indigestion and stomach upset. Drinking some peppermint tea always seems to help calm my stomach.

Another remedy I have heard about is to swallow some apple cider vinegar and honey to help with an upset stomach. You need to use the real vinegar that has the mother. You can find this at most any health food store. Mix it in some water with some honey and it is supposed to help with many ailments, including an upset stomach.

By honeybees — On Jun 07, 2011

I am a believer that drinking soda can be good for an upset stomach. Any time that I became sick when growing up, my mom would always have me drink some 7-up. I don't know if it really helped, but it made me feel better and I thought it was a treat to be able to drink the soda when I was sick.

Even now, if I feel my stomach turning a little bit, the sound of a Sprite or 7-up sounds good and never seems to hurt anyway. I think it must have something to do with the carbonation.

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