Tap into this new workout trend
While adding beer can incentivize exercise, does it actually have any benefits for the participant?
Amy Strutzel, a registered dietitian at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill., shares some of the pros and cons.
- Moderation is key: Drinking beer can have some nutritional benefits if done in moderation. Moderation is considered one 12-ounce beer per day for women (<5% ABV) and two 12 ounce beers per day for men (<5% ABV per beer).
- Bone and joint: US News & World Report cites one study from the Journal of the American Medical Association which found moderate drinkers were 38 percent less likely to have osteoporosis than non-drinkers, while another study published in Osteoporosis International found that moderate drinkers had a 20 percent lower risk of hip fractures than non-drinkers. These benefits are attributed to the dietary silicon, which promotes the growth and development of bone and connective tissues.
- Neurological health: Compounds in hops may protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Chinese researchers discovered that hops compound xanthohumol, known to have antioxidant and anticancer benefits, may slow the development of neurodegenerative diseases.
- Heart disease and stroke risk: Alcoholic beverages—including beer—boost HDL (good) cholesterol, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and thin your blood, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke, multiple studies have shown. Moderate beer drinkers have been shown to have lower risk of heart disease compared to abstainers.
- Relaxation: Ales, stouts and lagers have been found to stimulate the production of dopamine in the brain, a compound that may be prescribed to insomnia sufferers by a doctor. Simply tasting beer increases the amount of dopamine in the brain – and thus makes drinkers feel calmer and more relaxed.
“Drinking beer in moderation poses few health issues; however, excessive consumption of this beverage may cause a variety of health problems,” says Strutzel.
- Cirrhosis: This is a liver condition that is characterized by severe scarring of liver tissues. The condition results in decreased liver function, which impairs the ability of this organ to filter toxic wastes from your bloodstream. It also blocks the flow of bile to your intestines, which can decrease absorption of fat-soluble vitamins from food sources.
- Cancer: Chronic and excess consumption of beer is linked to several types of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Specifically, it may increase your risk of developing mouth, throat, colon, breast, liver and larynx cancer.
- Injuries: Excess consumption of beer may result in impaired judgment and slowed reaction times, which may increase your risk for motor vehicle accidents, firearm injuries, falls and burns.
- Heart risks: Long-term heavy drinking increases the risk for high blood pressure, heart disease and some kinds of stroke.
Moderation is key to enjoying the benefits of beer and, in this case, it may be more than just a gimmick to get you into a yoga class.
Be on the lookout for a yoga class, beer or otherwise, near you!
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.