5 Reasons alcohol-free beer won’t kill you
Maybe I am dramatic, but since the growth of alcohol-free beer or, as some would call it, non-alcoholic beer, there are more and more scary stories.
Could alcohol-free beer kill you? I get this increasingly.
Mainly from people who drink.
Come on, let’s cut alcohol-free beer some slack.
Alcohol-free is not a trigger to go back to drinking alcohol for the majority of people.
I get some grief on the blog from people who have never drunk in their lives.
When I say I was just a social wine drinker and nearly died, they soon shut up.
Never mind, anti-smokers, what about anti-non-alcoholic drinkers.
Sorry I could not think of a snappy title!
I enjoy a drink with my alcohol drinking friends.
Of course, if non -alcoholic drinks are an issue for you, please get some help right now and trust me, I will be your cheerleader extraordinaire!
However, there are many reasons, from health to hating alcohol, why going for a zero alcohol option might be your thing!
Let’s stop bashing the alcohol-free beer industry.
So why am I a fan?
It is not alcohol, for starters.
I can’t drink alcohol, and yes, people judge me for it.
But it’s still beer, but without the alcohol and in my case, that is life-saving!
Thanks to drinking awareness, we have some excellent guidelines for beer and alcohol, as in does it contain any.
The fact is some beers have a trace, and some low alcohol beers have a lot more.
But as long as we know what they are!
Alcohol-free beers have better labelling than most things I can think of; we will be fine.
It won’t kill you.
We need some ownership.
So the stats:
And in the UK, it’s obvious and will vary from country to country.
- Alcohol-free: no more than 0.05% ABV ( so a trace if any)
- De-alcoholised: no more than 0.5% ABV
- Low alcohol: no more than 1.2% ABV
The trace is because of the brewing methods in some beer and alcohol forms naturally.
Many brewers use techniques that do not have any alcohol at all, like Bavaria.
So let be honest with that level of trace amounts of alcohol in some of the alcohol-free beer brands; you are onto a winner.
Well, it gives you a choice, and what’s more, it’s fewer calories.
Yes, alcohol has fewer calories, and unlike mocktails (cocktails) without the alcohol, it has less sugar.
I don’t hate mocktails; it’s just that some have more sugar than you could shake a sugar cube at.
And that means it’s healthier this evil alcohol-free beer
So if you are looking for an alternative to alcohol to extend your life, not shorten it, then these non-alcoholic beers seem like a good option, right.
I mean, beer like Bitburger even have a drive symbol on them. How cool is that?
If alcohol is causing us such an issue and even the World Health Organization says it’s a bad boy, then drinking alcohol-free beer must be better for us, right.
If you have no health issues, then even beer up to 0.5 per cent could be a better option.
Given the alcohol that many orange juices and bread rolls might have, I can’t see many people who would argue against it.
They do, which is why I wrote this for you.
But let’s be honest: I know what I would be saying if I was your liver!
One of our recent guests on the alcohol-free podcast told us that switching to alcohol-free had the following benefits.
- Better sleep
- Clearer skin
- Better mental health
- More control
- They could drive and not worry about taxis
- People told them they looked great
- Saved money
You will have your list. What are they let me know?
Alcohol-Free Beer can be isotonic
What’s isotonic? Do you mean after the gym?
You might want to sit down for this one. Or workout, it’s up to you.
Yes, some of the best alcohol-free beers are now marketing themselves as isotonic. If a personal trainer I work with says that it is valid for some brands, it’s hard to argue against their claim.
But it just means that it balances out the sugar, carbs, water and salts after a workout.
I know these personal trainers who say people who slam alcohol-free beer as isotonic usually sit with a full fat cola and a pizza.
They are piling on the weight after taking some critical steps needed for health and fitness.
Not all non-alcoholic beers are officially isotonic, though there are now beers being marketed in that way.
And I know when I did drink, and beer was an option, going to the gym then drinking alcohol went straight to my head, and it was not a good feeling at all.
So it seems having an alcohol-free beer regardless is a good thing.
After all, if you go for a zero alcohol-free brand, whether it’s isotonic or not has to be better than 4 pints of your favourite beers after a workout.
And remember, what your body is craving is carbs and liquid, not alcohol.
Non-alcoholic beer has now been documented as helping you recover more quickly from exercise.
And at the end of the day, you are cutting your calories and alcohol if you swap it full-on alcohol-free beer.
You seriously can’t get legless even if you tried?
There is a rumour going around that you can get drunk on alcohol-free beer, and I know where it comes from.
I recently heard someone tell me a story via the blog at 00abv that their grandfather has turned up at a house gathering and asked for an alcohol-based strong beer.
He drank lots of it. And guess what he got louder and tipsier as the night went on.
But then the grandfather noticed that it said 0.0% alcohol on the can, but the beer branding was very similar!
It is one of the reasons I drink alcohol-free directly from a bottle to make sure.
But the “feeling” that you are drinking alcohol and its enjoyment lets the serotonin hormone in the brain go on the loose, and you get the same feeling.
As soon as you realise that there is no alcohol in it, of course, the feeling goes away. It’s what is known as the placebo effect.
With the sugar pill, you get better because your brain convinces the body that the drug has worked. But, of course, then reality kicks in.
Even if a 0.0% beer has a trace of 0.05%, you would have to drink an impressive ten bottles to consume a 0.5% beer.
You could see in reality there is more alcohol in some foods and way more.
Plus, the alcohol would be out of your system before you’ve even got to the 3rd bottle. And why would you drink so much anyway in such a short space of time?
Bear in mind that many 0.0% beer has no trace of alcohol at all.
But even if you drank many bottles of a 0.5% beer, you would have to consume at least 8 of them to get to a stand of 4 per cent abv beer.
For health reasons, I stick to 0.0% and to be honest, my doctor has never warned me against eating bananas, so I think I am on safe territory.
A trace amount of alcohol is everywhere in food.
So the bottom line is you would have to be a drinking maniac, and even then, it’s kind of impossible to keep drinking alcohol-free beer with a chance of a trace to get drunk.
It’s physically possible.
But your imagination is a different matter.
Yes, you may have a problem with it.
Now I take this criticism on the chin as readers often say that alcohol-free could kill you if it drove you back to alcohol.
And you are right. It could. But so could drinking it you are not an alcoholic.
I know if I drink alcohol, it could kill me.
But here is the thing. It’s not a trigger for me.
It’s our relationship with alcohol-free beer that could kill us, not the alcoholic free drink itself.
Now, are we going to say we will take away an alcohol-free choice that could help millions of people cut back or give up alcohol?
Should it have a warning, maybe?
But there has to be ownership in us personally.
So if it’s a trigger, don’t go near it.
The same, of course, could be said for lousy boss or stress in general.
Lots of things could send us heading for the wine or beer fridge,
But if it’s a problem, know it and stay clear.
Most people who read this blog want to have some social choice when they are out.
Otherwise, we would be locking ripe banana’s away that have up to 0.5%.
I know my limits, and the last thing I want is that choice to be taken away.
But if you are concerned, check in with your medical practitioner as some people have conditions it may affect.
Does alcohol-free beer make you fat?
Probably if you drink enough of it, and being overweight can kill you, so that is me being caught out.
But let’s be honest.
The same goes for food, but that does not mean that it’s a non-alcoholic beer that could kill you.
Did you know that, on average, alcohol as a substance contains 56 calories per unit?
So that full-on alcohol beer is always going to add more to the hips than an alcohol-free beer.
But it’s not a diet drink either, so it comes with its usual caveats. But on average, every non-alcoholic beer contains fewer calories.
Plus, because we are not drinking, we don’t go for the bar snack or cook a micro meal when we get home.
In the UK, it involves alcohol, then chips or a visit to a kebab shop.
Alcohol changes our eating habits to help balance the sugar imbalances it causes, so it is not just the calories in the drinks.
Therefore, beer will always be higher in calories than the same beer with the alcohol removed.
But if you are replacing it with an alcohol version, then alcohol-free beer remains an excellent alternative, and it does taste better than ever.
If you are worried about your sugar intake, head over to an excellent resource in the UK from our NHS Health service.
I better watch my ice lollies then.
The NHS recommends we consume no more than around 30g of free sugars a day. So keep this in mind if you regularly choose non-alcoholic beers high in sugar.
The Alcohol-Free Zero Revolution is here.
We are living in an unprecedented time of non-alcoholic drinks, alcohol-free drinks, including some of the best beer brands in the world right now.
No, they are not diet drinks and no, generally speaking, alcohol-free beer is not wrong for you.
But it’s not for everyone.
But the same goes for food and habits far worse than having a zero alcohol beer.
Yes, we will watch our sugars, and yes, if it is a trigger, we will avoid it.
But the majority of us want some choice.
We can walk into a pub and order an excellent alcohol-free beer which is prejudiced by many, while those around us drink alcohol to their heart’s content.
I hope for more alcohol-free beer, not less, and no, it won’t kill you.
It’s about our relationship with it.
I know my life depends on not touching alcohol, but I do like my alcohol-free beer choice!
It seems alcohol-free beer is good for you, and no, it won’t kill you.