Emerging research highlights that beer in moderation can offer some health benefits. But crucially, so too can non alcoholic beer, which comes without the negative effect of alcohol.
1. Alcohol-Free beer is filled with health boosting ingredients like vitamins and protein
one of the biggest benefits of beer is that it contains high concentrations of group B vitamins (B1, B2, B6 and B12) which are important for maintaining good health and wellbeing. B vitamins directly impact on your energy levels, cognitive function, metabolism, and nerve function.
Vitamin B deficiency causes an increase of homocysteine, a chemical which is linked to an increased risk of both stroke and heart disease.
In addition to Vitamin B, beer is packed full of protein, which fuels your body, and fibre which aids healthy bowel function, slows down digestion and the absorption of food and reduces cholesterol levels.
Add in magnesium (associated with muscle recovery), selenium (a powerful antioxidant), potassium (reduces blood pressure), and phosphorus (repairs cells and tissues), and you’ve got a glass of goodness.
The good news is that alcohol-free beer contains these ingredients while also being hydrating, low sugar and low calorie. In fact, if beer calories are important to you, alcohol-free beer is often at least 50 per cent lower in calories than regular beer.
2. Alcohol free beer helps to protect your heart
According to some research, a beer a day may keep the doctor away. Experts believe this is related to alcohol boosting levels of good cholesterol in the blood.
A study published in the British Medical Journal found that moderate drinkers are less likely to turn up at their doctor suffering from 12 heart and circulatory conditions such as angina, heart attack, heart failure or ischaemic (the most common type), compared to non-drinkers.
Research also shows that of men who have already suffered a heart attack, those that drank beer moderately were 42 per cent less likely to die of heart disease.
3. Alcohol-free beer lowers bad cholesterol
Beer contains no cholesterol which is good news for you in a case of good versus bad.
Your body contains both ‘good’ (HDL) and ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol. The ‘good’ guy keeps your veins and arteries healthy. The ‘bad’ guy does the opposite, thickening the walls of your arteries increasing chances of heart attack and stroke.
So how does beer help? Compounds in beer such as the plant sterols attach to cholesterol and flush it out keeping the HDL levels up. Drinking beer regularly and moderately will help stabilise your HDL/LDL cholesterol for the better.
A 2016 study presented at the American Heart Association Scientific sessions followed 80,000 participants over six years. Findings showed that moderate drinkers had the slowest decline in ‘good’ cholesterol levels.
4. Alcohol-free beer strengthens your bones
Beer is high in the mineral silicon which is linked to increased bone strength and density.
A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that moderate beer drinkers had a higher bone-mineral density when compared to people who drank more or fewer beers. Another study found that people who consume about one alcoholic drink a day had lower risk of hip fractures than abstainers.
While further research is required, experts suggest that an increase in silicon can help prevent bone loss and potentially ward off osteoporosis. An analysis of six studies showed this to be true.
Published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence the study found that compared with abstainers, people who consumed 0.5 to 1 drink per day had 1.38 times the risk of developing osteoporosis. People who consumed 1 to 2 drinks per day had 1.34 times the risk of developing osteoporosis.
5. Alcohol-free beer could help improve cognitive function
Beer contains ingredients that can boost your brain power. Research has shown that hops have significant benefits on cognitive function and can improve depression like behaviour and memory impairment.
In fact, researchers at Loyola University in Chicago found that moderate beer drinkers are 23 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s and dementia than those who don’t drink beer.
More recently, a study in the Journal of Agricultural and food chemistry explored this further. The study concluded that hops improved mental fatigue and mood state and that hops in beer or non-alcoholic beer should act in the same way as supplements.
6. Alcohol-free beer makes you feel good
We associate drinking with relaxing, socialising and having a good time. But you may be surprised to learn that it’s not necessarily the alcohol that makes you feel that way. It’s the association of drinking and how you perceive it to make you feel.
A review of studies in the journal Addictive Behaviours found that when drinking zero alcohol beer, people experience the same intoxicating effects as when they drink alcoholic beer.
Unknowingly drinking an alcohol free beer creates a placebo effect. If it looks, smells and tastes like alcohol, it should give you the same buzz as alcohol right? And it does.
If you believe that drinking makes you more relaxed and social, that alcohol free beer drink will make you more relaxed and social. If you think booze ups your sexy, flirtatious side, you’ll become more aware and responsive to potential romantic interests.
The really good news
The really good news is that with myriad non-alcoholic beers available, you will be able to find one you love - whether it's a lager beer, a stout, a wheat beer or just a classic Australian beer, we've got you covered.
Neural regeneration research:Role of vitamin B12 deficiency in ischemic stroke risk and outcome - 2021
Science Daily: Diet high in B vitamins lowers heart risks in Japanese study - 2010
TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute - 2005
BMC Medicine -Association of alcohol consumption with morbidity and mortality in patients with cardiovascular disease (2021)
Alcohol Intake Linked to Slow Decline of HDL Cholesterol – American Heart association - 2016
European Heart Journal -Long-term alcohol consumption in relation to all-cause and cardiovascular mortality among survivors of myocardial infarction - 2012
Alcohol drinking patterns and risk of diabetes – European association for diabetes -2017
American Diabetes Association - Moderate Alcohol Consumption Lowers the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Science Direct: Drug and alcohol dependence - The effect of alcohol on osteoporosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis -2019