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, 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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