Saturday, 30 January 2010

Beer and Health

As someone who takes an interest in beer, fitness and diet I thought it was a good idea to discuss the scientific knowledge about beer and the healthy lifestyle. Beer is of course a poisonous substance which makes people aggressive, unfaithful and fat. Wine on the other hand is a sophisticated lifestyle choice and is the secret behind the fact that everyone from France and Italy is beautiful and lives forever. Drinking at least 5 litres of ‘glacier’ water, imported from Iceland out of a plastic bottle per day while starving yourself is terrifically beneficial to entire body as well as the spirit, soul and chi.

All of the above is of course total w**k but could hopefully get me a column in a ladies celebrity-worship magazine. Everything is poisonous if consumed in large enough quantities. Some substances like cyanide or cigarettes are not beneficial at any exposure level but all alcoholic drinks are beneficial when consumed in moderation. With its very modest alcohol (average beer not barley wine) level and large amounts of micro nutrients beer can be argued to be the healthiest of all alcoholic drinks. Try drinking 4 pints of gin a night for the next fortnight and see how your eyes turn an attractive shade of yellow (don’t do that, it was a joke you doughnut). I don’t want to get too much into the evidence. There is a nice well-spun document from the Brewers of Europe which sets out the case for involving beer in your healthy lifestyle.

http://www.thebrewersofeurope.org/docs/publications/pdf-Mei04.pdf

NO studies either epidemiological or clinical have demonstrated that wine is more beneficial than beer.

If you’re really keen on the science behind beer and nutrition then THE book on the subject is http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beer-Nutrition-Charles-W-Bamforth/dp/0632064463

A steal at 80 notes!

As with most food stuffs the product which is closest to its natural state is best for the body. You can look upon cask ale verses commodity lager as analogous to homemade wholemeal verses value sliced white.

I have to admit to drinking more than what the government defines as moderate consumption of beer. Through tasting each day I get through a couple of pints and then at the weekend I like to relax and enjoy a few beers to the point where I am engaging what is defined as binge drinking. What impact does this life of excess have on my body? I am probably one in the top 1% of the UK population in terms of fitness and have never had a sick day since I have been brewing beer (15 years). Obviously anecdotal evidence based on one person is the around level of scientific proof offered by a Jane Moore Channel 4 investigation into a potential food scare but it does serve to illustrate the fact that beer is not an evil poison.

Photographic evidence of my fitness is avialable on request.

5 comments:

snatch_pete said...

Yes most of the first paragraph is total rubbish, but I think we should keep the unfaithful part going, need some get out of jail card for when things go tits up!

Good blog, actually went off and looked up what OG actually meant the other day after feeling rather stupid from reading numerous posts and having no idea what you were on about.

This could soon become part of HWU's course material!

Stuart Howe said...

You are too kind Pete! I won't hold my breath for a HWU honorary professorship! Surely you should be be making the step up to prof soon?

MicMac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MicMac said...

Hi Stu,
did you spot today's Guardian?
Nice piece on beer & bone health -
I tried to post the URL link, but it wouldn't allow me - search Google search for Guardian Beer Bone

Have you got the Bamforth book? I'd like it but not that much, but there is a 2nd hand copy via Amazon for 40 of your Earth sovs.

cheers
MikeMcG

Stuart Howe said...

Mike hi,

Seen the silicon article, although as usual it's about pale beers becuase the big brewer's have paid for the research. Someone who cares about cask ale should fund a study into whether cask is better for you than processed. I would suggest CAMRA but they are too busy passing motions to save the world from cask breathers and pubs who serve keg.

I have got the Balmforth book. He is a great writer and it's a very good read for what is strictly a text book. It's not the biggest tome on the planet so £80 is pretty steep. A tax-deductable addition to the Betwixt technical library at £40 makes it more of a good deal.

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