Is Alcohol-Free Beer Bad For you?
The answer is, of course, it depends. Is alcohol-free beer terrible for you, and no in most cases, it is a welcome bit of extra choice?
After all, a choice of alcohol is a good thing.
Most of the time.
I will flag a few areas where it may not be the panacea we all think!
If you are drinking lots of alcohol, beer, or wine, it’s probably a good option.
It is an excellent option. It gives you the chance to have more choice and reduce your alcohol intake.
Is alcohol-free beer wrong?
It gets asked a lot on the blog, and I get why!
Maybe it comes from people who know they can’t even go near it. And that’s a significant consideration.
Some people think it is still full of alcohol, but zero beer will have a trace, but many brands are no alcohol.
But I understand there are some concerns around medical advice.
So we should take that into account 100 per cent? Yes.
But for many, it’s a bit confusing; there is natural alcohol in bananas to orange juice, especially pasteurized.
No wonder I used to get confused, having decided alcohol was no more even as a social drinker.
So why ask? That must be why.
I am not surprised there is confusion about it being not good. From the sugar content, and then there is the labelling.
So what if I used to have a drinking problem?
It’s complex, and I get it. But it does not have to be.
What is an alcohol-free label?
A lot of info is on the label of an alcohol-free beer, but you need to look for it.
After all, alcohol-free is not one drink for everyone. Not everyone has an alcohol issue; in fact, quite the opposite.
There are lots of reasons why people go alcohol-free.
- They might want to cut back on the alcohol.
- They might want to avoid alcohol because of a health issue
- They might be driving
- You might want to get rid of a hangover
- You might be pregnant.
The reasons are endless, and for many of those reasons, then an alcohol-free beer won’t be wrong for you.
It might save your life or mean a fresh face in the morning.
How cool is that!
It could undoubtedly help a hangover.
There are long-term social drinkers everywhere over the recommended limit who know they have to give up alcohol.
But no one has ever said it’s a problem.
But in reality, it probably is.
One of my best friends hates the taste, so she is 100 per cent behind alcohol-free drinks.
But the label is critical. It’s abv which is essential.
You will find the ABV of any alcoholic drink on the label.
ABV is alcohol by volume and tells you and me how much alcohol is in your drinks.
For any alcohol-free or very alcoholic, it’s helpful in beer.
Most alcohol-free beer will have a trace or no alcohol.
You will find some alcohol free beer, so 0.0 % abv has a hint.
So I think we can say that alcohol-free beer is good for you as it will have insignificant alcohol levels.
And, of course, hopefully, fewer calories than regular beer.
Having scanned most alcohol-free beer labels, that seems to be the case.
Even if you increase your alcohol-free beer of choice is up to 0.5%, it is still going to be better for you than a full-on alcohol beer.
That is good for your organs and also your mental health.
Not to mention the hangover.
You also have to remember that there is natural alcohol in many food products such as bananas, bread rolls and oranges.
Health professionals rarely mention food and alcohol.
But it is documented by research from universities.
Labelling it a glance courtesy of the drink aware website
‘Low alcohol’ labelling for drinks produced in the UK:
Alcohol-free: no more than 0.05 % ABV
De-alcoholised: no more than 0.5% ABV
Low alcohol: no more than 1.2% ABV
So is alcohol-free beer good for everyone?
No is the answer. In reality, people have all sorts of reasons for staying away.
Not everything is good for everyone!
It can be said for most food choices and includes alcohol-free beer.
Some people will have an issue with the ingredients in beer generally, but here are a few issues you best check with a medical professional.
I know many people who read the blog have an intolerance to any trace of alcohol at all, or maybe it’s the hops or the sugar.
What about if you have had a severe issue with alcohol in the past?
I know people who drink it and those that don’t.
It’s tough to generalize.
Could alcohol-free choices be a trigger?
Please avoid if alcohol-free drinking beer if it could send you back to alcohol.
For some people who have given up drinking, this is a possibility.
It makes sense, right?
It might be the glass, the smell, or even the atmosphere is a bar.
We all have triggers, and of course, we need to know if they could cause a problem or not.
I gave up alcohol because of health reasons, but I have no issues, so I don’t worry about alcohol-free beer wines or spirits.
I probably find the opposite.
The fact is more choice is better socially. It takes the pressure off.
But I accept it’s not for everyone.
Having a choice is backed up by university research that says we are desperate for different options.
I also know that I get more pressure as a non-drinker than a prominent social wine drinker.
We are all unique, so if you are concerned, talk to your medical professional, but you will know your triggers.
Deep down, everyone knows what works for them.
You drink alcohol-free beers like it is going out of fashion!
I get asked this a lot on this blog, and let me shout about the rooftops about it!
Alcohol is not a diet drink.
One look at the label will tell you that.
Read my review of Free -Star Beer here.
Alcohol does have around 56 calories per unit.
So the good news is the alcohol-free beer will have fewer calories as a rule.
But it’d be a bit like when people swig orange juice like it’s going out of fashion and then wonder why they put on weight,
It’s all that sugar.
Alcohol-free beer will have all the carbohydrates, including the sugar listed on the labels and the alcohol content, so it is worth checking out.
I would say sugar and alcohol by volume are vital indicators when looking at alcohol-free beer.
Plus, of course, the calories.
But yes, with zero beer, you are looking at fewer calories, but of course, drinking lots and lots will never be good for you!
Some beers will have natural sugar, and some added, so you will get a good idea from studying the brands to see their ethos.
The NHS says we should not consume more than around 30g of free sugars a day.
You can read about health and sugar advice from the NHS here.
Again if you remember they are not dieting drinks, you won’t go far wrong.
If you want to cut back on a primary addiction to alcohol and think you are drinking too much alcohol, I recommend the online course from Mark Tyrrel.
He also points out chocolate can be an addiction. It’s a helpful frame.
Mark’s has an online course that is ideal to use anywhere online with headphones and quiet time.
He talks about it more below.
It is an affiliate link, and I get a small commission, but you pay the same.
If you are concerned, always get advice. If you use the course, let me know what you think.
Best Check With your health professional. You can also check your alcohol limit via the drink aware website.
Some Alcohol-free beer can contain trace amounts of alcohol.
Up to 0.05% in some cases.
But some alcohol-free beers have a brewing process like Bavaria that involves no alcohol in its production at all.
But even if you drink up to 0.5 per cent alcohol, free beer, the amount involved will be less than some food products.
A banana will have much more, and no one has told me never to eat those, so we have to have some common sense.
But I am firmly in the zero alcohol camp when it comes to beer, and I won’t touch anything else.
If you stay with 0.0% alcohol-free beer, you will be on the right side. Always check the label if it’s a concern for you.
I check every label and look online.
Of course, it depends on why you are cutting back, as we all have different reasons.
But please, if you have a specific health condition, talk to your Doctor.
Bear In mind that alcohol in food and beers is still very misunderstood as to what is natural and not.
If you’re concerned about the effects of drinking alcohol-free beer on a health condition or medication, it’s good to check. In fact, it’s a must.
For the majority, it’s fine, of course.
So yes, alcohol-free beer is a good choice.
Yes, there could be some situations where alcohol-free beer could be wrong for you.
If you have a drinking dependent alcohol issue stay away from the alcohol-free beer if it is a trigger to go back to alcohol.
However, most won’t consider it a trigger even for big once social drinkers.
But we are all different.
No one size fits all. Why would it!
But do consult with your doctor if you are unsure and stay away.
But in reality, are you just looking to cut back or give up compared to alcohol-laden drinks?
Yes, of course, you are going to be better off with an alcohol-free beer open.
Only you will know if alcohol-free can be a trigger for you.
I would love to get your view on whether the alcohol-free beer is terrible for you. Just leave a message below, and I always get back to you.
But for me. Is alcohol-free beer bad for you? No, but as they say, always check the label and yourself.