In Part 1 of this blog series I talked about how alcohol relates to your health and fitness. There are pros and cons to consuming beer and alcohol in moderation. So if you do decide to reach for the occasional cocktail, what is the best choice for the health-conscious consumer?
Choosing a Beer
A general rule is dark over light. Wait; aren’t dark beers higher in calories than ‘light beers”? Yes they are, but dark beers have some nutrients in them. Use that with caution. No beer is “nutritious”, but consuming something with a little bit of nutritional value, over something with virtually none at all may be the better choice. Dark beers tend to have a high iron content, contain some antioxidants, and have more vitamin content that pale beers.
Another thing to consider is brand. Craft beers or microbrews tend to use better quality ingredients in their batches and don’t contain fillers like most mass-produced brews. Craft beers use higher quality hops and more of them giving the beer more flavor and more value. Stout style ales tend to have the least amount of calories and highest benefits in terms of nutrients.
Beer should not be your main source of iron and antioxidants for the day. Remember that if you do drink that moderation is the key.
What if you’re human and occasionally decide to have more than 1 or 2 in a night? Another thing to consider is having a glass of water in between alcoholic beverages. This can keep you from getting dehydrated and hopefully prevent you from overdoing it.
Beer and Diet
Remember that beers do contain calories. Drinking too much will give you a bunch of extra calories that have little benefits, and also consuming alcohol can hinder muscle growth and slow down fat loss. Just a few beers can have the same calorie content of a healthy meal, but will have a fraction of the nutrients, a lot of extra carbs, and very little protein.
If you do choose to drink, do so wisely and consciously.