We have less than a month before the calendar-recognized beginning of summer. And I don’t know about y’all, but I definitely enjoy cracking a cold beer on a hot day! And that enjoyment has already started. I was tilling and seeding my back yard early last week, and when it was all said and done, my reward was to sit down with a cold brew and read a few chapters of a Lee Child book.
The truth is, beer has a notorious reputation and a love/hate relationship with many. Some of the world’s worst decisions and actions are a result of getting blitzed on beer. But like most things in life, the negative can be avoided simply by practicing some moderation. In fact, consuming beer in moderation (no more than one or two drinks a day) can lend a number of health benefits.
Much like wine, beer can help reduce the risk of heart disease. This is done by reducing inflammation and thinning the blood, thereby reducing the chance of developing a clot. It can also help to increase the “good cholesterol” and fight plaque in the arterial walls.
Beer is often considered to be bad for you but the reality is that beer contains a number of nutrients and minerals that can be beneficial. A Spanish study reported that people who worked out and rehydrated afterwards with beer were shown to be slightly better hydrated than those who drank only water. This is likely because beer contains many of the minerals required to maintain hydration and prevent hyponatremia.
Since beer increases insulin sensitivity, some studies have shown that moderately increasing your consumption of beer can reduce the risk of developing Type-2 Diabetes. That doesn’t mean getting lit every night and hoping you won’t develop Type-2! Moderation is the key, here.
Healthline.com has a good article that covers a number of the benefits and just to keep things on an equal playing field, they cover some of the downsides as well. Concerning someone with Diabetes, it’s important to remember that beer is loaded with carbs. This means you’ll have to take additional insulin to accommodate your drink. The average 355mL can of beer contains between 11 to 15 grams of carbohydrates. It starts to add up quickly if you have more than a couple.
Another issue is beer gut. Drinking beer in heavy amounts can lead to weight gain, especially from the calorie count. And of course, let’s not forget that drinking any alcoholic beverage in excess can lead to an addiction. But it’s nice to know that if someone comments about the cold beer you’re enjoying on a hot, summer afternoon on your afternoon off, you can brag about the benefits. ☯