Drinking cold beer while relaxing at home can make you feel better. Because of its positive emotional effects, drinking beer can also be a good way to ease pandemic-related stress.
Beer is a popular beverage primarily because it is a social drink. It gives you more confidence to be more sociable, allowing you to engage in discussions easily. Despite the good effects of beer, it also has negative effects on our health. It can be addictive if you consume it in large amounts.
Because beer can both provide positive and negative health effects, should you be drinking it? There is no simple answer. However, to help you with this question, we will discuss the good and bad things about beer.
What Is the Process of Making Beer?
Let us give you a short background on how beer is made. The process involves four main ingredients: yeast, hops, water, and barley.
The main concept of the process is to get sugars from grains. This allows yeast to convert the extracted sugars into carbon dioxide and alcohol, making beer. The process then involves malting, mashing, boiling, fermenting, bottling, and then aging.
Nutrients Found in Beer
Despite being viewed as “empty calories”, beer has essential vitamins and minerals. To give you an idea of which nutrients beer has, here is a list:
- Pantothenic acid
- Vitamin B12
Both light and standard beer contain small amounts of the above nutrients. B vitamins were a result of yeast and grains as part of the process of making beer. Light beer, however, has two-thirds of regular beer’s calories.
Beer might be a good source of tiny amounts of micronutrients, but it is not as rich as vegetables. If you will rely on beer alone for these micronutrients, you must drink huge amounts of it.
Potential Health Benefits of Beer
Drinking light-to-moderate beer has potential health benefits:
Good for the Heart
Heart disease is common in the USA. Some studies found that light-to-moderate beer drinking may lower the risk of developing heart disease. However, heavy consumption can increase the risk of a stroke or heart disease.
Your stomach needs acid to help digest food. Beer contains bitter acids that trigger the production of the stomach gastric acid. This acid plays a crucial role in digesting food and stops the development of bad gut bacteria.
Boosts Social Health
Drinking small amounts of beer with family members helps strengthen bonds. Staying at home and bonding can be a great way to create better family relationships. Family time can make you feel happy, secure, and loved. As a result, you give back the good emotions that you receive from the people around you.
Downsides of Beer
Heavy consumption of beer is not good for your health. It can lead to harmful effects such as:
Disrupting Blood Sugar Levels
Two functions of the liver are to turn glycogen into glucose and deliver it into the bloodstream. Heavy consumption of beer can disrupt this process. As a result, it increases your appetite and tempts you to overeat. This can lead to weight gain.
Developing Beer Belly
Heavy consumption of beer can also increase fat in your belly. It stores many calories in your abdominal area. So, if you want to maintain a flat belly, it is best to minimize beer consumption.
Harming People with Gluten Sensitivity
If you are sensitive to gluten, drinking beer may not be a good option. Many beer variants on the market have malted barley, which contains gluten. In case you consume foods with gluten, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
Developing Alcohol Addiction
Too much of everything may not be good. If you consume large amounts of beer, it can make you addicted to it. When this happens, your body becomes dependent on it. You may feel uneasy without consuming it in huge amounts daily.
How Often Should You Drink Beer?
At this point, it is understandable that light-to-moderate drinking is good but heavy consumption is not. Therefore, it is essential to keep in mind to always drink beer in moderation.
The question you might have now is what should be the recommended amount? You often measure alcohol consumption as the number of “drinks”. But one drink should be equal to 12 oz of beer.
A good rule of thumb is consuming beer at a maximum of two “drinks” each day. This is equivalent to 24 oz of beer per day.
However, there are situations that would require you to avoid drinking alcohol, such as:
- You are taking prescribed medicines that may interact with alcohol.
- You have a weak heart.
- You have liver disease.
- You experienced a stroke.
- You have an alcohol addiction.
- You are planning to get pregnant or are pregnant.
Tips to Help to Cut Back on Drinking Beer
Cutting back on alcohol consumption might be hard, especially if you are a heavy drinker. However, there are helpful ways to try to help you:
- List down the reasons why you want to minimize drinking beer. This will serve as your motivation during the transition process.
- Think about how you felt when you overdrink. These emotions are your triggers. By identifying them, you will be mindful next time you drink.
- Monitor how often and how much you drink. This helps you see the pattern of your consumption.
- Divert your attention to other activities in times you want to drink. You can offer beer bottles for sale if you want to earn from your empty containers. You can also design these bottles and place them as decors at home. This can rewire your mind to allow new habits in your life.
- Learn to say no to others sometimes when they offer you a beer. This practices your mind to reject the temptation of drinking alcohol.
- Eat something before and while drinking. This helps you feel full, so you can lessen alcohol consumption.
- Practice drinking little every 30 or 60 minutes. This tricks your mind not to drink multiple times in a short period.
Drinking beer in moderation can be a good habit you can continue. Make sure to be responsible when drinking beer if you do not want to have health issues linked to it. So, consider minimizing beer consumption now, and live a healthier lifestyle!