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Why are people more likely to order ginger ale on a plane than on the ground? Some people think that’s because ginger is known to relieve nausea, like from motion sickness or anxiety. But the ginger ale on planes doesn’t contain any ginger… or if it does, it’s trace amounts of ginger concentrate for flavoring. So it’s not providing the medicinal benefits. So why pick ginger ale?
It’s more likely the placebo effect at work. We THINK it’s going to make us feel better, so it does. But really, ANY carbonated drink would make us feel better. Because, according to neurobiologist Dr. E. Carstens from UC Davis, when the carbon dioxide bubbles pop on your tongue, they react with an enzyme on your taste buds and create carbonic acid. Like most acids, the carbonic acid hurts a little, but it’s a good hurt because it makes your brain release feel-good endorphins.