Posted on November 22, 2017 in Alcoholism

What Are the Health Effects of Drinking Non-Alcoholic Beer?

Non-alcoholic beer is beer that has had its alcohol content removed after going through the normal brewing process. There are many possible motivations for consuming this beverage, including a desire to avoid intoxication and any risks for alcohol abuse or alcoholism. But what does drinking non-alcoholic beer actually do to your health? A brief rundown will help provide an answer to this question.

Non-Alcoholic Beer Essentials

Before going through the dealcoholization process, non-alcoholic beer contains just as much alcohol as regular beer. Even when dealcoholization is complete, a small amount of alcohol remains (typically 0.5% or less in the U.S.). This means that no non-alcoholic beer is truly non-alcoholic, even if you can consume it in large amounts without feeling any notable effects of intoxication.

Health Benefits

One of the main health benefits of drinking non-alcoholic beer is helping alcohol consumers follow public health recommendations for a moderate level of intake that won’t generally boost the odds of developing diagnosable alcohol abuse or alcoholism. If you want to control your body weight, drinking non-alcoholic beer can help you meet your goals by substantially reducing your intake of drinking-related calories. You may also receive a weight-related benefit by improving your ability to avoid common alcohol-inspired food choices, which often contain high levels of fat.

In addition, a switch to a non-alcoholic product will help you avoid a hangover and other unpleasant, drinking-related physical and mental after effects. Finally, the results of a 2011 study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise indicate that consumption of non-alcoholic wheat beer may help athletes lower their risks for inflammation and certain physical illnesses. This effect comes from the presence of beneficial plant-based chemicals called polyphenols.

What If You Already Have Alcohol Problems?

If you already have serious alcohol problems or are in recovery from alcohol abuse, you may want to know if you can safely consume non-alcoholic beer. The answer to this question is no. Consumption of the small amount of alcohol in a non-alcoholic product won’t necessarily trigger a relapse in and of itself. However, the mere act of consumption can strongly reinforce ingrained drinking behaviors that do lead to a serious increase in your relapse risks.

Resources

Drinkaware: Difference Between Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Beers
https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/alcoholic-drinks-units/alcoholic-and-non-alcoholic-beers/

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: Nonalcoholic Beer Reduces Inflammation and Incidence of Respiratory Tract Illness
http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2012&issue=01000&article=00004&type=abstract

 

 

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