25 Jul 2018

Beer Myths & Health Benefits

The Benefits Of Beer: Myths Busted.

Ireland is home to the world’s greatest beer, Guinness. And for a long time Guinness was touted as being good for you.  The brand’s advertising and marketing is legendary, and the beer is one of the most popular, and recognizable beverages in the world today. Historically before we knew better, a pint of Guinness was promoted as beneficial for pregnant women, and offered to blood donors. You know a pint for a pint so to speak.

But what are the real health benefits of beer?

Well first things first, beer in moderation is known to have some positives, but the key here is moderation. Five pints down at the local pub practically removes all the health benefits of beer. Therefore any suggestion that beer or alcohol is good for you is limited to a single beer, and not a face melting session with extra great craic.

Does Beer Improve Your Sleep?

Hops, a key ingredient in beer helps you sleep.  It has a natural sedative sometimes compared to valerian. Hops will help you lower your core body temperature, a very important step towards getting to sleep. However hops in beer comes with alcohol. A considerable amount of alcohol will completely ruin your ability to get a good night’s sleep. So the sword is double edged. A small amount of hoppy, low alcohol beer may improve your sleep slightly, but even two pints will do the opposite.

Vitamin Beer?

Most fermented products have levels of vitamin B in them as a result of the fermentation process. A single bottle of beer can have 10 to 12 percent of the daily-recommended intake of B vitamins, which is fantastic news. However it’s still a double-edged sword. Too much beer consumption stops your intestinal lining being able to absorb vitamin B-12. Too much alcohol generally inhibits the body’s ability to do anything good with a whole range of vitamins (A, B, C and K for starters), negating the bonus of the B vitamins found in beer.

One of the greatest misconceptions for heavy drinkers is that they are getting their vitamin B from their much-loved beer. Unfortunately heavy drinking can produce vitamin and nutrient deficiencies. The vitamin B family is extremely good for the brain, and without it we can easily find ourselves weak, getting bad sleep, feeling fatigued, irritable, depressed and blaming our hangovers on turning 30. 

What you may not have known about beer.

There are three popular brands of beer available in Ireland that is actually relatively low in calories. It may surprise you to know that Guinness is one of the lightest beers in this regard, similar to both Coors light, and Corona for example.

Additionally there is also a lack of evidence to suggest that moderate beer drinking (going to repeat moderate for you lads at the back), will give you a beer belly.  That said if you are trying to lose weight, beer consumption is not ideal, and not recommended.  


Beer As Part Of A Healthy Lifestyle

Beer and alcohol are the world’s greatest social lubricants. Socialising, relaxing and enjoying the craic with a beer is synonymous with Irish culture. Beer in moderation, with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise can easily form part of a healthy modern adult lifestyle, but the key here is moderation. Heavy regular drinking, and binge drinking down at temple bar all Saturday night is harmful and associated with too many chronic health problems to list here. So enjoy a beer, in moderation, and consult your doctor if you want the best advice on how your eating & drinking habits can impact your health.

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