Beer is a relatively low alcoholic beverage: from 2.3 to 7% Vol, less than wine. This does not prevent it from having devastating effects on health when you drink a lot of it. But if you consume it in moderation, it can be beneficial.
How many alcohol and calories in beer?
The alcohol content of a drink is always expressed in % Volume: it indicates the number of milliliters of alcohol per liter of drink. In everyday language, we speak of an alcoholic degree.
In terms of nutrition, we use grams of alcohol to calculate the calories of an alcoholic beverage: 1 g of alcohol = 7 calories.
But what complicates the calculation is that alcohol is lighter than water: 1 ml of alcohol does not weigh 1 g. To determine the number of grams of alcohol in a beverage, multiply by 0.8, which is the density of the alcohol.
The average contents are for 1 liter:
Table beer: 2.3 to 2.6%Vol = 18.4 to 20.8 g alcohol
Bock beer: 3.7 to 5% Vol = 29.6 to 40 g
Luxury beer: above 5.5% Vol = 44 g
Non-alcoholic beer: 1.2% Vol. Approx. = 0.96 g
Thus, when you drink a 250 ml can of beer at 7% vol., you absorb 13 g of alcohol or 91 calories provided by it. There are also more or fewer carbohydrates in beer: from 1.5 to 7%, depending on the variety (there are more than 4500 varieties worldwide). The caloric intake of 250 ml can varies between 80 and 160 calories.
If a beer from time to time is without any damage to the dietary balance and health, it is not the same when you drink it several times a day.
Including so-called “light” or “light” beers: they are made of carbohydrates but not alcohol unless they are also “alcohol-free”.
Beer: good for the heart?
Various studies have shown that one beer a day can have beneficial effects on the good state of the cardiovascular system.
This effect seems to be due to alcohol, which, in small regular doses, increases the “good” cholesterol and reduces the risk of platelet aggregation. In addition, beer contains B-group vitamins that reduce the formation of amino acid, homocysteine, which is considered a risk factor.
In the meantime, this reduction in homocysteine would also have a positive effect on the risk of osteoporosis and depression.
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It has had this reputation for centuries, in fact since hops were added to it in the Middle Ages. Hop flowers contain lupulin, a substance that is believed to have calming and even antidepressant properties. In the past, the calm of beer drinkers was recognized and often celebrated. But no study has ever shown whether this was due to the happy effects of hops or to a chronic dulling from excessive alcohol.
Beer drinkers’ syndrome, on the other hand, is well known. Excessive beer consumption inevitably leads to excess water in the body that exceeds the kidneys’ excretion possibilities and at the same time leads to a sodium deficit. This leads to an imbalance in the body that can be fatal. And which, unfortunately, sometimes occurs during a beer “binge drinking” with which some teenagers love it.
For pleasure, one or two beers a day…
But no more!
A cold beer is a real treat, in summer, for those who love it, there is no point in depriving yourself of it.
If you want to drink more, then choose the so-called “alcohol-free” beer.
And if you ever breastfeed, don’t fall into this old belief, still in force in some regions: beer and especially brown beer would stimulate milk production.
Because the alcohol in beer (like that in all other alcoholic beverages) passes through your milk.
For the record: zero alcohol during the entire pregnancy and zero alcohol during breastfeeding!
Some information about beer
Where does the beer come from?
Beer is a fermented drink made from a germinated cereal, then dried, ground and fermented in water, which produces alcohol. It dates back to time immemorial and can be found on all continents.
It is most likely that it was, in various places and at various times, the result of chance: a harvest of grains moistened by the rain, dried in the sun to recover it, crushed and mixed with water to make a nourishing soup that proved to be euphoric.
In China, its discovery is explained by a bowl of rice soup left somewhere by a farmer who felt very happy after eating it later. Hence, the term “liquid bread” which was attributed to it in the distant past.
The oldest trace of beer, dating back 9000 years, has been found in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) in the remains of Babylon. It is found in Egypt: the Pharaohs were great beer brewers and Egyptian women used it to refresh their skin.
Beer then spread to Europe: Gauls, Celts, and Saxons made cervoise (the magic potion of Asterix!), which did not yet include hops: it was not introduced until the 12th century by Bavarian monks.