Move over, wine: beer has its own healthy advantages, like keeping yours. Wine hogs the spotlight when it comes to healthy alcoholic drinks, but the beer is actually a pretty formidable competitor. In fact, the most important thing isn’t what you drink, but how much:
People who frequently hit happy hour reported less ill health than abstainers, no matter what their alcohol of choice, according to a study of 19,000 adults published in in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. The sweet spot is at one drink a day for women, two for men. And brews our health perks a glass of vino doesn’t.
Healthy Benefits of Drinking Beer
Check out these given healthy benefits of drinking beer:
It Can Help Your Workout Recovery
Forget the Gatorade—downing a pint post-workout could help you recover faster says a Spanish study. Researchers at Granada University asked students to exercise until their body temperature reached 104 degrees, and then had them rehydrate with beer or water. People who refueled with a beer were actually slightly more hydrated than those who drank plain ol’ H2O. Great news for when you head straight from the gym to drinks, although we still suggest stocking up on water and protein to help your body recover.
It Protects Your Brain
Compounds in hops may protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, according to a new study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. Chinese researchers discovered that hops compound xanthohumol, known to have antioxidant and anticancer benefits, may slow the development of neurodegenerative diseases.
It Boost Your Immunity
Beers with your buds can actually keep your body healthy. Non-drinkers were three times more likely to catch a cold, in a study by the Common Cold Unit in Salisbury. Why? Moderate drinking boosts your immune system and helps it fight off infection, reports a study from Oregon Health and Science University. Researchers aren’t sure of the exact reason, but point to some booze benets we already know, like antioxidants protecting our cells from damage. But stick to one a day: Heavy drinkers showed even less resilience against viruses than abstainers or moderate drinkers.
It Strengthens Your Bones
Women who indulge in at least two beers a day actually have stronger bones, according to a study analysis in Natural Medicine Journal. Beer is an excellent source of bioavailable silicon, an element fundamental to our basic bone and skeletal bone structure. For example, 64 percent of the silicon found in alcohol-free beer is absorbed, while only 4 percent of the same compound in bananas is absorbed, reports the same study. Plus, certain compounds in hops may help slow the release of calcium from bones, keeping them healthy
It’s a Healthy Source of Vitamins
Beer gets a bad rap for being unhealthy, but it’s actually chock full of vitamins: Most varieties contain several B vitamins, and actually pack more calcium, magnesium, and selenium than wine. But dark brews beat the others for nutritional value. A standard 12-ounce lager oers just under one gram of ber, while a dark beer has just over a gram. More impactful, though, is the amount of iron: Dark beers have free iron content of 121 parts per billion (ppb) compared to pale beer’s 92 ppb and non-alcoholic beets 63 ppm, according to a Spanish study. Why does that matter? Iron carries oxygen from the lungs to the muscles and other organs, so when your iron intake is low, oxygen circulates more slowly, which can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and irritable.
It Protects Your Ticker
Wine gets all the credit for helping your heart, but actually, all drinks can help: 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. And beer, in particular, can help your ticker: Moderate beer drinkers (that means one a day for women) had a 42 percent lower risk of heart disease compared to abstainers, an Italian study shows.
It Lowers Your Diabetes Risk
In an analysis of over 20 studies on drinking habits and health, Canadian researchers found that both people who never drank or who drank too much were actually at the greatest risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Women who indulged in two drinks per day were 40 percent less likely to develop the disease. Stay in that Goldilocks range: Another Swedish study found that women who reached for one or two alcoholic drinks a day were at a lower risk, but once they started indulging more, their risk increased.