Is Sprite Good for an Upset Stomach?

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Opening a bottle of Sprite when struggling with an upset stomach is a childhood memory many of us hold onto.

Over the years, carbonated drinks such as Sprite and 7-Up have become popular home remedies for aching stomachs and diarrhea. But is there any truth to it? Is Sprite Good for an Upset Stomach?

Drinking Sprite isn’t the best option when struggling with an upset stomach, but it might have some benefits.

Sprite can replace the fluids lost to diarrhea, and as a non-caffeinated beverage it’s gentle on the stomach. However, the high sugar content may negate the good effects.

If you’re experiencing an upset stomach, it’s important to consume things that will aid your recovery.

In this guide, we’ll cover all the potential benefits, as well as any issues to be aware of, with drinking Sprite for digestion issues. We’ll also provide advice on what to drink instead.

The Reasons To Drink Sprite For An Upset Stomach

Sprite, alongside other clear beverages such as ginger ale, are popular home treatments for an upset stomach. These drinks would often be left to go flat, and then drunk throughout the day to improve hydration. 

As a non-caffeinated drink, Sprite is better for an upset stomach than some other sodas. By drinking Sprite, you can replenish your fluid levels, without caffeine acting as a natural diuretic. 

Many find that a carbonated drink can help to soothe a stomach ache — at least, for a short period. However, there’s little scientific evidence to support carbonation helping stomach pains.

It might be a case of the placebo effect.

What carbonation can do, however, is get the GI tract moving. If you’re suffering from a stomach ache, or constipation, a carbonated drink such as Sprite could help. The bubbles may get things going.

If you want to drink Sprite while suffering with an upset stomach, or if it’s all you have available, there are a few things that can be done to improve it. 

First, let the Sprite go flat. While some claim the bubbles might help settle the stomach, non-carbonated drinks are best for stomach pains. Bubbles can lead to bloating, belching, or flatulence.  

Add water. Diluting your Sprite with water will increase hydration, and lower the sugar content.

Finally, add some salt. This may not sound like a great combination, but sodium is important for replacing the electrolytes lost during diarrhea. A pinch of salt improves the sodium level of Sprite, and can help you get back to normal faster.

The Reasons To Avoid Sprite When You Have An Upset Stomach

Finding the right way to hydrate when you’re experiencing stomach aches and diarrhea can be difficult. A lack of appetite can make even your favorite beverage off-putting.

However, it’s important to make the right choice, to avoid making the issue worse.

Sprite contains a high level of sugar. Sugar can be the cause of diarrhea, because it’s difficult for the stomach to digest.

Those experiencing stomach aches should avoid foods with large amounts of sugar, particularly the high fructose corn syrup commonly used in soda.

If you have a stomach ache, you may find the carbonation of Sprite causes the problem to worsen. People with sensitive stomachs may find the fizz turns to gas and bloating, causing extra discomfort.

The lack of caffeine may make Sprite a better choice than caffeinated soft drinks, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for soothing an upset stomach.

In some cases, it may actually exacerbate the problem.

What About Sugar-Free Sprite?

Although sugar-free Sprite might seem like a smarter choice than non-diet drinks, when it comes to stomach issues, it could be even worse.

Sugar-free drinks replace the sugar with artificial sweeteners. These are incredibly hard for the stomach to digest. This can make stomach issues worse, and can even cause the problem in the first place.

If you plan on drinking Sprite on an upset stomach, a diluted version of the sugary drink is better than artificially sweetened beverages.  

You could try adding some lemon or lime juice to water to help get the same flavor without the artificial sweeteners.

What To Drink When You Have An Upset Stomach?

Sprite may not be the best choice when you have an upset stomach, but it does have some benefits. As it lacks caffeine, it can help to replace the fluids that are lost with diarrhea.

If suffering from a stomach ache or constipation, the carbonation may help to get the GI tract moving. Some people might find that the bubbles have a soothing effect on the stomach.

But be aware — that carbonation can cause problems for others. Ginger ale is another popular choice when suffering from stomach aches.

If you’re struggling with an upset stomach, a clear broth is one of the best things to drink. Light and easy on the stomach, the sodium levels help to replace electrolytes, and balance the body.

Sports drinks and oral rehydration solutions can also be beneficial, as they contain plenty of electrolytes. Avoid any sugar-free options, as the artificial sweeteners can exacerbate stomach pain.

Caffeine free teas, like peppermint and fennel, are also helpful for an upset stomach. Drinks containing ginger can help with diarrhea and nausea.

Be sure to drink plenty of water, and stay hydrated between meals. Drinking with meals can make the problem worse, so try to drink throughout the day instead. 

Sprite and Upset Stomachs Final Thoughts

Finding the right drink when suffering with an upset stomach can be difficult. Sprite is a popular choice because it’s light and refreshing, and an often mentioned home remedy. 

Clear, carbonated beverages such as Sprite, 7-UP, and ginger ale can be beneficial when suffering from an upset stomach.

Fluids are replaced, and the bubbles can stimulate the GI tract if you’re struggling with stomach ache.

However, the high sugar content means these beverages are often a poor choice. As Sprite contains low levels of sodium, it doesn’t help to replace electrolytes either.

When an upset stomach is causing issues, try a salty broth instead. Ginger based drinks, such as ginger tea, are also good if you’re craving the sharp sweetness of Sprite.

And be sure to supplement with regular sips of water or a designated oral rehydration solution.

For more articles on managing upset stomachs and diarrhea solutions, check these out:

Written and Medically Reviewed By

  • Sheila Jennings

    Sheila Jennings is a 4th-year medical student and also freelances as a content writer on gut health, nutrition, and food. She lives with IBS and has learned how to keep her symptoms at bay through a healthy diet and exercise. She wants to educate others on what they can do to take back control of their gut health and live like they used to.

  • Julie Guider, M.D.

    Dr. Julie Guider earned her medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine. She completed residency in internal medicine at the University of Virginia. She completed her general gastroenterology and advanced endoscopy fellowships at University of Texas-Houston. She is a member of several national GI societies including the AGA, ACG, and ASGE as well as state and local medical societies.