Beer and health: nutritional aspects

What kind of nutrients is my body absorbing when I drink a beer? Here below we propose a review of the most important nutritional aspects of our favourite drink.

Ethyl Alcohol – derived from the fermentation process

It has been demonstrated that, in adult and healthy people, a moderate consumption of ethyl alcohol has positive effects on the body. It has, in particular, to be underlined its role in reducing heart conditions, arterial hypertension and vascular problems. Furthermore, a moderate use promotes the synthesis of “good cholesterol”. Vice versa, an improper use or abuse of alcohol is dangerous both to oneself and others.

Group B vitamins and folic acid

Group B vitamins and folic acid are primary allies to health. Folic acid is important to the life of cells, to the regeneration and growth of new tissues and to protect from cardiovascular risks. It is found in great amounts in some foods such as green vegetables (spinach, broccoli, asparagus, lettuce), oranges (and orange juice from concentrate), legumes, cereals, fruits such as lemons, kiwis and strawberries, and in liver.

Polyphenols and flavonoids

Polyphenols and flavonoids are very important because they are natural antioxidants preventing aging. It has been demonstrated that these substances are more active if they derive from a fermentation process instead than from distillation. A lot of potassium and little sodium.This balance is coherent with diets stimulating a right arterial pressure and make beer suitable for hyposodic diets. A lot of magnesium and little calcium and sodium. Diuresis is enhanced and calculus formation is inhibited.

Carbohydrates/Maltodextrins

They are complex sugars, with high molecular weight, that gradually release glucose, supplying energy to the body for a long time. Thanks to these sugars it is possible to spare glycogen, which is not consumed from muscles stores. Maltodextrins are the basic ingredient of the dietary supplements used by sportsmen. For this reason, beer is a drink suitable also for sportsmen, always in moderate amounts. Beer must not be drunk before sport activity, but only some time after that.

Calorie intake

The calorie intake from beer is mainly due to its alcohol and carbohydrate content; actually the other ingredients are contained in smaller quantities. It is amazing to observe that the calorie intake from beer is one of the lowest. For a quantity of 100 grams we have the following kcal:

Pale beer: 34 kcal

Carrot juice: 35 kcal

Orange juice: 33 kcal

Soft drink, e.g.. orangeade: 38 kcal

Fruit juice (pear): 56 kcal

Whole cow’s milk: 64 kcal