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Is Non-Alcoholic Beer Healthy?

There is no doubt that alcohol-free beer is healthier than traditional beers, even though it still contains trace amounts of alcohol.

When you drink non-alcoholic beers, you avoid the risks commonly associated with alcohol. But apart from the reduced alcohol consumption, are alcoholic beers actually healthy?

What Makes Non-alcoholic Beer Healthy?

Scientists agree that moderate consumption of alcohol has some health benefits. But, what would happen if your alcohol consumption is completely replaced by alcohol-free beer?

Non-alcoholic beers contain fewer calories and have a variety of minerals and nutrients. They help with hydration, and when consumed responsibly, they can form part of a healthy lifestyle.

What Are the Health Benefits of Drinking Non-alcoholic Beer?

It contains fewer calories

Alcohol-free and 0.5% beers contain fewer calories than regular beers. This is because of the calorie content of alcohol.

Regular beers have around 145-175 calories, while light beers have between 95 to 120 calories. Alcohol-free beers have as little as 60 – 120 calories.

Reduces the risk of heart disease

Non-alcoholic beers are good for blood circulation, which in turn reduces the risk of heart disease.

One study found that when you drink alcohol-free beer, you reduce your risk of developing blood clots. Another study found that the phenols in non-alcoholic beers prevent your arteries and veins from becoming clogged, helping with blood circulation.

It boosts dopamine levels

Dopamine is also called the happy hormone, and when you drink alcohol, your brain releases dopamine. Because your brain associates the taste of beer with alcohol, you also release dopamine even when you are drinking non-alcoholic beers.

These results were backed up by another study that found the reward centre of the brain lit up when men consumed both 0% beer and 4.8% beer.

Rehydrates the body

Most people struggle to drink the required 2.7 – 3.7 litres of fluids a day. Being dehydrated can make you feel tired and negatively affect your concentration.

Drinking non-alcoholic beer will help with hydration. Alcohol-free beers are isotonic (meaning they have the same essential salts as the body’s fluids) and are absorbed quickly after drinking.

Helps you sleep better

Hops have many health benefits, one of which is their sedative effects. Consumption of hops results in reduced anxiety and better sleep.

This is backed up by a study that found that when nurses drank non-alcoholic beers, they had a more restful sleep.

Although a night of heavy drinking may make you pass out, alcohol limits melatonin production, impacting how deep you sleep.

Promotes bone growth

Beer contains a lot of silicon. The dietary silicon in beer is used by your body to improve bone density, strengthening bones and making them less brittle.

Drinking any type of beer can help with stronger bones, but not alcoholic beers are preferred because of their additional health benefits.

Helps reduce muscle inflammation after exercise

In one scientific study, a group of male athletes were asked to drink alcohol-free beers for three weeks leading up to a marathon as well as three weeks after the marathon.

The study found that there was less inflammation in the muscles after strenuous exercise. This is because the organic compounds in beers – called phenols – are anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants.

Reduces the risk of upper respiratory tract illnesses

The very same study mentioned above also found that the group had a reduced risk of respiratory tract infections because of the phenols in the non-alcoholic beers.

Rich source of vitamins and minerals

Alcohol-free beers contain more than just silicon. Beer is full of vitamins and minerals that your body requires, and without the alcohol, non-alcoholic beer is a perfect choice to boost your healthy diet.

Here are some vitamins and minerals found in beer, each with an essential function within the body:

  • Vitamin B2
  • Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B7
  • Vitamin B9
  • Vitamin B12
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Zinc:
  • Iron
  • Selenium
  • Sodium

Are There Any Health Risks Associated with Consuming Non-alcoholic Beer?

Although alcohol-free beers are lower in calories than their alcoholic counterparts, they do contain more carbohydrates and sugar, often due to limited fermentation where the sugars are not broken down into alcohol.

Beers contain “free sugar”, which is added sugar and naturally occurring sugar. The NHS recommends less than 30 grams of free sugar a day, which is often exceeded by non-alcoholic beers.

Here is a list of non-alcoholic beers and their carbs and sugar content.


Is it OK to drink non-alcoholic beer every day?

Most non-alcoholic beers are healthy (and certainly healthier than traditional beers) and can be used to rehydrate you like a sports drink, aid sleep, and improve your overall health condition.

It is OK to drink alcohol-free beer every day, however, if you are trying to cut back on your sugar and carb intake, or if you are a recovering alcoholic, you may want to consider avoiding the daily alcohol-free beers.

Can you get drunk off non-alcoholic beer?

You will not get drunk from non-alcoholic beer, even if it contains trace amounts of alcohol. If you drink a lot of low alcohol (0.5%) beer, you may start to feel relaxed.

Read more…

Does non-alcoholic beer affect your liver?

Excessive alcohol intake will cause alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD), as well as damaging other organs such as the stomach, kidneys, and pancreas.

The liver can process one 5% beer an hour, and anything exceeding that is considered excessive. In comparison, you will have to drink 10 non-alcoholic beers for it to be considered excessive, so non-alcoholic beers are certainly better for your liver.

However, if you drink a lot of non-alcoholic beer, you can still develop ARLD.

Can a person with cirrhosis drink non-alcoholic beer?

Ethanol is found in non-alcoholic drinks and may have negative effects on someone who has cirrhosis, so it is best for those with the condition to skip the non-alcoholic beers altogether.

This is just one reason why alcoholics should not drink non-alcoholic beer.

Final Thoughts

If you want to cut back on alcohol, alcohol-free beer is an excellent choice for several health reasons. And there are lots of fantastic non-alcoholic beers to choose from.

If ever you are enjoying a non-alcoholic drink and someone asks you why you are not drinking alcohol, then you can provide them with these facts about why alcohol-free beers are good for your health!

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