Is You Body Better Off Without Craft Beer?

Leave it to Don to be a total downer.  Yesterday, I posted about the nutritional value of craft beer, and how it has some pretty good stuff to offer the drinker.  Thanks again to Clyde Soles for sharing his research here.

Good beer is made of simple, wholesome ingredients like water, hops, barley and wheat. A 12 oz. bottle typically offers a couple of grams of protein, about 200g of potassium, 5 to 15 percent of the daily recommended intake of riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, and vitamin B-6, and the list goes on.  It sounds great to me, but my brother isn’t buying it.

He questions if I’m being objective, or if my love of craft beer has blinded me to reality.  It got me to thinking – is drinking craft beer good for you, or is your body better off without it?

Well, let’s start by saying we’re talking about drinking in moderation, enjoying one or two beers per session.  Blasting your body with 48 ounces of Old Chub might be fun, but it will probably wipe out whatever benefits you might get from beer.

So let’s look at this as responsible adults.  Why are you laughing?

The New England Journal of medicine did a study a decade ago, and found drinking beer in moderation can lower the chances of suffering a stroke by 20%.  They found no difference in the benefits between drinking one beer a day and one beer a week, but Dr. Jim says life is short, make it one a day.

Another study by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas found that drinking beer in moderation lowers you chances of coronary artery disease by up to 40%.

So drinking in moderation significantly lowers risk of stroke and heart disease, and as our post revealed yesterday, it has also been attributed to increasing the good kind of cholesterol (HDL).  Add that to the protein, minerals and vitamins found in good beer, and it makes a solid case that you’re better off with craft beer in your life.

Responsibility and balance is the key here, because there is a downside to beer drinking. There are the calories in beer, which can add up quickly.  If you don’t figure these calories into what you eat and how much you exercise, you’ll wind up putting on weight and being saddled with all the potential health complications that come with that.

Also, there’s the whole impairment issue.  If you’re bumbling around drunk, there an increased risk of hurting yourself or doing something stupid.  Now that we can call the blog and leave an audio post, you can expect auditory examples of what I’m talking about to appear here soon.  After all, Don has access.

And let’s not gloss over the issues of drunk driving and alcoholism. Being tipsy behind the wheel is a tragedy waiting to happen, and isn’t an issue if you’re drinking Perrier while at dinner, so be smart.  Also, if you can’t drink in moderation, you should consider giving up drinking altogether, as it could be a sign of addiction.

Finally, there’s the whole dehydration and the morning after to consider.  If you overdo it and don’t match each beer with a glass of water, there will be consequences. We’ve all been there more than once.

So overall, it looks like craft beer is beneficial to your health, as long as you enjoy it in moderation and make it part of a somewhat healthy lifestyle.  Sitting in front of the TV and polishing off two bombers and a large bowl of ice cream every night will lead to problems. But drinking sensibly and keeping hydrated will allow you to enjoy the relaxing benefits and delicious flavors of craft beer while reaping all the health advantages the world’s greatest beverage has to offer.

So take that Donny Downer.  Craft beer IS good for you!

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Categories: Beer, Lifestyle


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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11 Comments on “Is You Body Better Off Without Craft Beer?”

  1. July 8, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    There will always be a study that proves a theory and a study that disproves it…”what the thinker thinks, the prover proves”. Moderation in all things in life (including moderation) is the best way to go 🙂

    • July 8, 2010 at 11:35 am #

      Here here for moderation in moderation!

  2. paulette
    July 8, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

    too much of a good thing is usually… too much!

    • July 8, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

      Yes, but sometimes it’s just enough. 🙂

      • Don
        July 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

        And sometimes its never enough!

  3. July 9, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    Mental health benefits are harder to quantify, albeit undeniable.


    • Don
      July 9, 2010 at 10:21 am #

      Amen Brother!

    • July 9, 2010 at 10:24 am #

      I agree. I didn’t really touch on flavor or stress relief, but the sensory benefits of beer are important (at least to me).

  4. July 13, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    I used to have one or two a night. Mostly just one. For a while there I stopped drinking completely. Maybe a month. I felt a ton better. Now I just have maybe 4 beers a week. I think I learned my lesson. =)

    • July 13, 2010 at 10:21 am #

      I’m mostly a weekend guy at this point, too, Dave. I find I enjoy beer more if I have it to look forward to during the week. Of course if I have a hankering for something, I’ll pop open a beer on a weeknight.


  1. Why Beer is Better Than Whiskey « Beer & Whiskey Brothers - August 24, 2010

    […] written here before about the potential health benefits of craft beer, which offers proteins, flavoniods and other nutrients that can do a body good when consumed in […]

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