The key to healthy beer drinking is moderation

Aabha Gopan

Beer is one of the oldest drinks in the world, with its brewing dating back to 3500 to 3100 BCE. Once upon a time, this drink was believed to be safer than water because its preparation included boiling water. It was so popular that its recipes were found in Egyptian tombs, Mesopotamian archaeological sites, and Babylonian texts. So, it's no surprise that we carried the heritage and drink it regulary.

Precisely speaking, people of the legal drinking age in the US together had 26.1 gallons of beer and cider in 2020. Since we are such beer enthusiasts, it's crucial to know how it affects our bodies.

Before we get into that, let's have a look at the ingredients of beer.

What's beer made up of?

The main ingredients of beer are grain, hop, yeast, and water.

The grain in beer gives the drink its unique color and luscious flavor along with maltose, proteins, and dextrose. The natural bitterness, aroma, and stability of beer can be attributed to hops.

In addition to these ingredients, some makers add brown sugar, honey, lactose, etc., for flavor.

Nutritional information

A can of beer (about 12 ounces or 355 ml) will give you:

  • Calories: 153
  • Fat: Less than 1 gram
  • Carbohydrates: 13 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Fiber: Less than 1 gram
  • Sugar: Less than 1 gram

Besides, the drink is also a source of potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, folate, and niacin.

Why should you drink beer?

1. Decreases risk of heart attack

As per a study conducted on a group of men with coronary heart disease, drinking a can of beer a day for a month reduced the risk of heart attack. Regular, moderate beer consumption showed an increase in antioxidants and a decrease in bad cholesterol and fibrinogen ( a protein that helps with clot-formation) levels.

2. Controls sugar levels

A study conducted in China reported that having low or moderate amounts of beer positively affected people with type 2 diabetes. Controlled beer consumption (20 grams or less alcohol) decreased the amount of blood fat (triglycerides) and insulin. They suggested a maximum of 1.5 cans of beer (330 ml of 5% alcohol) in a day.

3. Stronger bone strength

Beer is rich in dietary silicon, an element essential for BMD (Bone Mineral Density ), because it's made from malted barley and hops. It was proved in a study that men who had 1-2 drinks per day had high BMD. A similar observation was made on postmenopausal women who had more than 2 drinks per day.

Note: One drink is 12-ounce of regular beer.

Why shouldn't you drink beer?

1. Could lead to addiction

Though beer has a lower ABV (Alcohol by Volume) concentration than other alcohols, it's still an alcoholic beverage. Consuming too much of the drink can make you addicted to it.

2. Decreases life expectancy

According to a study, a 40-year-old should only have five 175ml glasses of beer in a week, i.e., not more than 100g of alcohol a week. Drinking more beer than the daily recommended amounts can decrease the lifespan.

People who have 5 to 10 drinks of beer in a week are reducing their lifespan by 6 months. Whereas those who consume 10 to 20 drinks may live one to two years lesser than average.

3. Increases chances of liver disease

The liver breaks down alcohol to eject it from the body. Drinking a lot of alcohol can burden the liver and cause conditions like:

4. Causes weight gain

Beer is a calorie-rich drink that can increase fat storage around bellies. This fat can interfere with the your body's hormone production, developing the risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

So, should you have beer?

Having beer is a great way to socialize and de-stress a hectic day. Also, alcoholic drinks, like beer, trigger the release of endorphins and dopamine, inducing feelings of joy - which is another reason to drink beer.

Ensure you don't drink more than 1 to 2 glasses in a day. Also, you should stick to the daily limit and not have more because you didn't drink your quota the previous day. By drinking in moderation, you can have the best of the both worlds.

Follow me for similar articles! Also, let me know what you think about beer in the comment section.

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