Drinking moderately could put you on the path to a better, healthier lifestyle. No, you didn’t read that incorrectly.
Beer is full of certain vitamins, immune-boosting flavonoids, and other ingredients that may help prevent cardiovascular and kidney disease, gallstones, and type-2 diabetes. Homebrew beer includes the added benefits of containing more helpful yeast and b-vitamins and might even cause fewer hangovers!
The added health benefits of brewing your own may have you putting down the can of commercial and picking up your first homebrew kit.
Potential health benefits of beer
A glass a day keeps the doctor away!
More specifically, one to two glasses for men and one glass for women. This is what is generally outlined as “moderate drinking”.
As we’ll see, there are many instances that seem to indicate moderate alcohol consumption can lead to potential health benefits. Or, at the very least, counteract the feeling that you are doing something bad when you have a drink or two each day!
Beer could improve blood sugar control
And thus, lower your risk for type-2 diabetes.
The CDC reports that approximately one in ten Americans suffers from diabetes, and estimates that 90-95% of cases are type-2. It is important to note that beer alone will not prevent or treat diabetes but simply has been shown to lower the risk of type-2 diabetes, the most common type Americans suffer from.
Drinking beer might benefit heart health
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in America.
Once again, our friends at the Center for Disease Control report that, “One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from Cardiovascular disease.” This study shows that moderate drinkers were less likely to see their doctor for symptoms of cardiovascular distress than heavy drinkers, and those who don’t drink.
Moderate drinking improves cognitive function
Can you solve a problem faster after a few drinks?
In this study, the scientists found that individuals with a blood alcohol content of 0.07 or higher were hindered in problem solving that required their full attention, but outperformed their sober counterparts in solving problems that required them to be more creative.
Researchers speculate that this is due to a phenomenon in which people become “too focused”, so to speak, on the task at hand. They also noted that getting a good night’s sleep the night before solving the problems would have the same, or similar, effect.
Beer can help you fight the common cold
Visit any drugstore and you’ll see Vitamin C advertised as the immune-boosting superhero. But can beer do the same thing?
Hops contain a compound known as “Humulone”, which helps your body fight viruses that cause colds.
Is that a character from the Marvel universe? No, it’s a flavonoid found in the female hops plant. The National Cancer Institute is researching the properties of the flavonoid that may inhibit cancer-causing cells.
It’s important to note that they are studying the isolated flavonoid, and not studying whether one to two beers daily will inhibit cancerous cells. That would be too good to be true!
Added health benefits of homebrew beer compared to commercial
It may seem like we’ve covered all the benefits of beer, but so far everything that you’ve read has applied mostly to commercial beer.
Homebrew has its own benefits, which we’ll take a look at now.
Homebrew beer often contains more B vitamins
Why is this?
Because of the way that homebrew beer is brewed compared to the way commercial beer is brewed! Most of the B-vitamins naturally come from the yeast used to ferment it. Because homebrew is typically unfiltered and bottle-carbonated, more of that beneficial yeast is left inside the beer when you drink it.
Put simply, smaller batches are better. Mass-produced beer is often watered down in order to maximize profit.
Homebrew supports the local economy
Commercial beer companies use ingredients they can obtain cheaply, and in large quantities. Conversely, homebrew typically uses locally sourced ingredients.
In the end, it’s not about profit for homebrewers, it’s about quality beer.
Homebrewers report fewer hangovers
Arguably the most beneficial aspect of homebrew, many brewers report fewer hangovers.
Although the reasoning may be unstudied for now, it appears that the added B vitamins and yeast may be the culprits. We have previously discussed the presence of fusel alcohols role in this phenomenon here.
Homebrew is always safe
Is your friend Dave’s garage brew going to be safe? The simple answer is, almost always. We can’t say for sure that Dave isn’t putting something in his brew that he shouldn’t be, but according to ABC news, “Even contaminated homebrewed beer can’t make you sick.”
How is this possible?
Put simply, the process for homebrewing does not allow for pathogens to exist. So while you can’t get sick from homebrew alone, you might want to make sure that Dave takes the first sip. (Sorry Dave.)
Homebrew contains less harmful ingredients
Brewing beer in large quantities for profit has its own pitfalls. Beer brewed commercially often has more preservatives, added sugar, and is often made with one goal in mind – “How can we maximize our profit margins?”
This alone is reason enough to brew your own beer. Homebrew typically contains ingredients you can identify, and recognize. To homebrewers, all that matters is top-quality beer.
Big Beer also does not bat an eye at adding extra dyes and preservatives to make the beer more “marketable”.
Is homebrew beer better for you?
There are plenty of reasons to put down the commercial beer and reach for homebrew, but the number one reason is that it’s better for you.
Beer itself offers many benefits, but it’s important to know your limit! More beer, unfortunately, does not equal more benefits. Yet moderate beer consumption has proven time and time again to have an overall positive effect on health.
Benefits of Beer:
- Improved blood sugar control
- Improved heart health
- Better cognitive function
- Antioxidant properties
- Added Vitamins
Benefits of Homebrew:
- All the benefits of commercial beer
- More concentrated benefits
- Better taste
- Supports the local economy
- Fewer hangovers
- Totally safe
If it’s so good for me, why haven’t I heard all of this before?
If you’re wondering why you don’t see more about these benefits, it may be because researchers fear that publishing the beneficial effects of alcohol consumption will cause people to use the “but it’s good for me!” excuse to over-indulge. This is why it is important to only drink moderately.
The health benefits to homebrewing outweigh the health benefits of commercial beer. “It tastes better”, may be reason enough for some to walk away from commercial beer and towards their first homebrew kit, but you can feel even more assured now that homebrew is the way to drink.
Have you personally found any additional benefits that aren’t listed here? Did you discover that after one sip of your homebrew you could suddenly solve complex equations and run at superhuman speeds?
Let us know!