Is Ginger Beer Safe for Pregnancy? Risks and Benefits

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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Most women are aware they should avoid alcohol during pregnancy, but you might wonder if ginger beer is included in this recommendation. Is this popular fermented beverage safe for pregnancy?

Overall, commercially-produced ginger beer is safe for pregnancy because it does not typically contain any alcohol, despite what the name suggests.

Additionally, the ginger in the drink may help with pregnancy-related nausea, such as morning sickness.

Let’s talk about ginger beer during pregnancy and some considerations to take into account before drinking.

Is it Safe to Drink Ginger Beer or Ginger Ale During Pregnancy? 

Ginger beer and ginger ale are both safe to consume during pregnancy when they are store-bought.

Let’s discuss the main differences between ginger beer and ginger ale.

  • Ginger ale is a ginger-flavored bubbly soda drink.
  • Ginger beer is a sugary ginger beverage that is fermented with yeast. It does not have as much fizz as ginger ale, but it has a more robust and spicier ginger flavor. 

Store-bought or commercially-made ginger beer is non-alcoholic, just like root beer. It can have trace amounts of alcohol, but it is well below the quantity needed to classify it as an alcoholic beverage.

One benefit of it is that it is typically caffeine-free, unlike sodas such as root beer or cola.

homemade ginger beer in a glass cup and fresh ginger on a plate

Homemade Ginger Beer When Pregnant

Unfortunately, homemade ginger beer, similar to homemade kombucha, is more likely to be contaminated with bacteria unless the equipment is sterilized and cross-contamination prevention measures are taken.

Additionally, if ginger beer that is homemade is fermented for too long, alcohol will be formed. Women should avoid alcohol while they are pregnant, as there is no known safe amount during any trimester of pregnancy (source: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention [CDC]).

However, the one that is bought from the store and commercially produced is deemed to be non-alcoholic and safe for pregnant women to consume. 

Store-Bought Ginger Beer When Pregnant 

As mentioned above, store-bought ginger beer is commercially made, so you can be confident that it is an alcohol-free beverage. However, while the alcohol is not a concern with the store-bought, the high sugar content may be. 

The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than six teaspoons or 25 grams of sugar per day.

For reference, a 12.7-ounce serving of Bundaberg ginger beer contains 40 grams of sugar (source: United States Department of Agriculture [USDA] Food Database). That’s almost double the daily recommended amount! 

Therefore, when choosing ginger beer at the grocery store, ensure you look for “diet” soda varieties that are lower in sugar and calories. Alternatively, if you consume the regular one, drink it in smaller amounts. 

It is important to note that consuming low-calorie and low-sugar content beverages is especially essential for those who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]).

If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, your body does not make enough insulin. Insulin moves sugar from the blood into the body’s cells so that it can be used for energy.

Bartender with bottle and glass of fresh ginger beer in bar

Can Ginger Beer Help with Pregnancy Nausea or Morning Sickness?

Ginger beer also has the potential to reduce symptoms of pregnancy-related nausea or morning sickness.

For example, a 2016 study found that consuming ginger effectively reduced morning sickness symptoms in pregnant women compared to participants who received a placebo (source: Integrative Medicine Insights). 

However, there is little information about the actual amount of ginger extract in it and how that compares to the concentration of ginger in other remedies, such as ginger tea or ginger drops.

For more information regarding consuming ginger during pregnancy, check out this article here

I hope this article has helped break down the information regarding ginger beer and how to incorporate it into your diet during pregnancy.