Does 7Up actually help an upset stomach?

When you have an upset stomach, whether it's from too much alcohol, indigestion, or some sort of stomach bug, a quick remedy from discomfort is always a top priority. There's a host of options one can look to for relief, and for years people have sworn by lemon-lime soda, with 7Up or Sprite being popular choices. Will a few sips of that soda really help your upset stomach, or is this simply a myth that we've all been relying upon because it was so much easier for mothers to convince fussy children to drink pop than actual medicine? Let's get to the bottom of this carbonated mystery. 

7Up probably isn't the best solution for an upset stomach

Generally, carbonated water and high fructose corn syrup aren't regarded as medicinal treatments, but nevertheless, 7Up and other types of lemon-lime soda have remained home remedies for years. Unfortunately, there's just not a whole lot of proof that drinking it actually helps your upset stomach according to science (via The New York Times). British researchers conducted a study on the truth behind the soda remedy and went so far as to compare the contents of several sodas with over-the-counter remedies, such as oral rehydration solutions. The sodas mostly just provided tons of sugar instead of boosting the body with necessary electrolytes

As far as easing an upset stomach for indigestion, it's often gas that's causing the discomfort, and while 7Up may help you burp, that's really all the aid it's going to provide (via STAT). The acid in soda can also lead to a queasy feeling. Also, if the 7Up is cold, it's probably going to slow down your gut's activity and might actually lengthen the stomach discomfort. 

According to gastroenterologist Dr. Braden Kuo, there's another choice you should turn to in the soda aisle — warm, flat ginger ale is probably better than lemon-lime soda, provided your ginger ale actually has real ginger in it. "I'd rather take flat ginger ale than fresh 7Up from the fridge any day of the week if I had an uneasy stomach," Kuo said.