How Do Saltines and Ginger Ale Treat Nausea?

Nausea is a queasy feeling that includes an urge to vomit. Fortunately, there are ways to calm nausea. It's commonly caused by pregnancy, chemotherapy medications, viral gastroenteritis, gastroparesis, motion sickness, migraine and many other health conditions, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Saltines help absorb stomach acid and reduce nausea.
Credit: Garrett Aitken/iStock/GettyImages

Tips

Saltines help nausea because they are odorless, a little salty, light and pass through the stomach easily. Ginger, not necessarily ginger ale, helps nausea by providing to the bioactive compounds shogaol and gingerol.

Saltines for Nausea

MedlinePlus recommends that pregnant women experiencing morning sickness eat crackers before getting out of bed in the morning. Bland foods are best for nausea, and saltine crackers pass easily through the stomach, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

The Cleveland Clinic goes on to state that saltine crackers help nausea because the crackers soak up irritation-causing acid from an empty stomach, are less likely to cause nausea because they don't smell, have salt to help replace lost electrolytes and prevent more acid from being released in the stomach. There are a lot of pros, with saltines, for nausea.

The National Cancer Institute also recommends saltines for nausea in cancer patients. It seems that saltines can help ease nausea, no matter the cause. Grab some saltines when you're feeling nauseous. If you're experiencing some morning sickness, place some saltines on your nightstand so you can eat some after you wake up, to help settle your stomach.

Read More: The Best Foods to Eat to Prevent Vomiting

Ginger Ale for Nausea

It's the ginger in ginger ale that helps with nausea. Check the label, because some ginger ale companies put artificial flavoring instead of real ginger in their ginger ale, according to the Cleveland Clinic, so they recommend choosing ginger root instead of ginger ale.

The soda has much sugar. That, combined with the carbonation, can make bloating, stomach aches and nausea even worse. Reach for some ginger tea ,or a ginger supplement, as one of the best ways to calm nausea.

You can make your own ginger tea by grabbing some ginger root from the grocery store, peeling it, cutting a small bit (about a teaspoon) and putting that in some warm water, advises the Cleveland Clinic. You can also try powdered ginger, low-sugar ginger lollipops or candies and foods that contain ginger, such as ginger snaps.

A January, 2017, review published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition found that ginger has multiple properties that help ease chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). These come from bioactive compounds, including shogaol and gingerol.

Ginger capsules of 1 gram, taken once a day, can relieve chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, according to an August, 2016, study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention. Chamomile was also used in the study, and proved helpful for calming nausea.

An April, 2018, study published in Foods found that ginger is safe and effective for treating morning sickness in pregnant women. Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy affects 7 in 10 women.

Read More: The Best Food to Eat With a Stomach Bug

Ways to Calm Nausea

When you're eating food for nausea and upset stomach, Cleveland Clinic and MedlinePlus recommend reaching for bland foods with little to no odor, and avoiding spicy, fatty or salty foods. You probably won't want to, but if you have an appetite, make sure you avoid eating large meals. Eat smaller portions frequently throughout the day. Also, make sure you're staying hydrated, but not drinking too much at once. Sip water, or other clear, non-sugary fluids through a straw. BreastCancer.org recommends reaching for cool or room temperature foods, instead of hot foods.

Here's a list of some food for nausea and upset stomach courtesy of the Cleveland Clinic and BreastCancer.org. Try this list of food for nausea and upset stomach if you're not feeling well:

  • Bananas
  • Applesauce
  • Poultry or soy instead of red meat
  • Yogurt
  • Crackers
  • Clear soup
  • Fruit flavored gelatin
  • Low-fat pudding
  • Boiled starches like potatoes and vegetables
  • Noodles (plain)
  • Pretzels
  • Rice
  • Toast
  • Bread sticks
  • Oats
  • Dry cereal
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