We love beer.
There, we said it. Here at DadBods, we have a longstanding, unwavering, borderline worrying affection for the liquid gold. We love our beer on tap, we love our beer in a bottle. We love tinnies, stubbies, growlers, pots, pints, schooners, shotguns and yardsticks. We love lagers, ales, pilsners, stouts, porters, malts and wheat beers. We love your more traditional beers, we love the huge array of craft beers now available to us. We love them brewed on home soil, we love them brewed afar. We love them cold, we love them… well… we love them cold. Let’s not get too crazy.
And if you’re reading this article, odds are, you love beer too (or at least really like it)!
But just how good (or bad) is beer for us? We all know there is such thing as too much beer (just ask my better half)… but is there such thing as too little beer? Or just enough beer? The right amount of beer?
We know there are lots of negative effects of long term and/or high volume beer-drinking … but are there any health benefits from drinking beer? Can it be good for us in moderation … or is the majority of the Australian population doomed to live shorter lives because of our innate connection with this sweet, sweet God’s nectar?
Well, look, the news isn’t great, but it’s not that bad either, and it’s probably exactly what you expect. Excessive consumption of beer is most definitely not good for you. Apart from the short term dangers of loss of control, inhibition and memory, long term consumption of significant amounts of beer (and other alcohol … we’re talking more than 2 standard drinks/day here) can lead to much higher risk of liver disease, pancreatitis, brain damage, malnutrition, stroke, mental health problems, and a long list of cancer types. For those of us who like to limit their drinking to one day each week/fortnight/month… but make up for it by consuming a lot, the news isn’t much better. Binge drinking presents basically the same dangers as long term frequent drinking, but of course with much higher risk of immediate problems (car crashes, falls, assaults, blackouts etc.)
OK OK, you get the point, but is there ANY good news??
Yes. Studies have shown that low to moderate drinking of beer can provide similar effects to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease as the oft-mentioned ‘glass of red wine a day’.
Beer has approximately the same level of antioxidants as wine, and is actually higher in protein and Vitamin B. It is also contains calcium, iron, phosphates and fiber. Studies have also shown that low to moderate amounts of beer can boost your creativity levels, lower your risk of kidney stones, and even improve your immune system. Not to mention the social benefits of having a few beers - instant confidence boost, great excuse to hang out with your friends (read another DadBods blog here to learn just how important that is for your health), ability to talk to that gorgeous girl standing at the bar, and, dare I say it … better dance moves?!?
But the key words here? Low to moderate.
NONE of these studies showed any positive effects from high levels of beer consumption, and here lies the lesson.
If you are an otherwise healthy, responsible adult - enjoy your beer!
Drink a couple at a family BBQ, knock one back after mowing the lawn on Sunday afternoon, enjoy a schooner at happy hour after a long day’s work. But try as hard as you can to drink in moderation. That means both in volume and in frequency.
The better you become at drinking in moderation, the lower your risk of drinking-related chronic conditions, and the higher the chances of you living longer ... which, in turn, yep, you guessed it … means more years of getting to drink beer!
So really, it’s a win, win right?
I’ll drink to that.
P.S. Has reading this article made you thirsty? Yeah, me too. Maybe head on over to our good friends at Young Henrys and grab yourself a case for the fridge. We recommend the Stayer - it’s a mid strength lager, so you get to enjoy a few more. Drink responsibly.
P.P.S. Does your drinking cause you or your loved ones problems? Speak to someone. Talk to your GP, your mental health professional, or a friend. Alternatively, call Alcoholics Anonymous Australia on 1300 222 222. Trust us. It helps.