Craft beer tastes incredible, but is it healthy? Healthier than Pabst Blue Ribbon? Coors? Heineken? Maybe it is, but probably it’s not.
First let’s dispel the myth that beer isn’t a healthy beverage. Aside from it’s alcohol content (which is lower than most alcoholic beverages) beer contains high levels of hops, malted barley, B vitamins, protein, fiber, folate, niacin, and phosphorus. Oh, and it also contains silicon which has been deemed to help prevent osteoporosis.
There’s another myth going around that beer is somehow high in calories. This also isn’t true. Many beers have fewer calories than soda drinks. They also have an average of 64 mg of potassium versus the measly 2 mg of potassium in coke and pepsi. There’s also a whopping 1 g of protein in beer versus the 0 g in coke.
Craft beer is usually higher in alcohol content than regular beer. This typically results in a higher caloric intake, equating to about 7 calories for every gram of alcohol. A higher amount of alcohol leads to poorer eating decisions, aka burgers, pizza, nacho cheese fries, double-double cheeseburgers, etc.
But light colored beers have less alcohol, correct? WRONG. If the beer in question is an IPA, it really doesn’t matter how blonde or how dark it appears. There will be more alcohol, meaning more calories and carbs.
So what about beer if you like to exercise? Well it’s probably not smart to drink it during a workout, but if you’re in the mood afterwards then why not? All studies point to the fact that people who exercise regularly also drink more. Does that suddenly mean that drinking is okay, or better yet, encouraged? You bet your buns it does! Okay, we’re taking liberties with that statement. After all, most of those fitness people are still relatively moderate drinkers.
Let’s get back to the issue at hand. Craft vs regular beer, which is better for you? Pound for pound, regular beer is better for you. However, most people don’t drink all beers the same way. If you’re drinking an 8 oz glass of an IPA, chances are you won’t have too many. Conversely, you’ll drink 6 Miller Lights like they’re water. Portions matter when it comes to food and they also matter when it comes to beer.
For those of you seeking a light buzz, but you don’t want to get out of your mind and you DO want a semi-good tasting beverage, try a craft beer like AleSmith’s .394 Pale Ale. It’s oh so good.