Non-alcoholic beer is becoming increasingly popular in Germany. It is considered healthier than regular beer, as it contains little or no alcohol and therefore has fewer calories. Especially athletes like to go back to the non-alcoholic variant after training. But is non-alcoholic beer really healthy? Read here what you always wanted to know about non-alcoholic beer.
Alcohol-free beer: Few calories
Definitely positive about non-alcoholic beer is that it has relatively few calories. Just half a liter of non-alcoholic Pils has just about 120 calories - that's only half of a normal beer. In contrast to many soft drinks, non-alcoholic beer performs well: for example, half a liter of apple juice is enough to make 150, half a liter of coke even 215 calories.
120 calories can be reduced relatively quickly through sports training: For example, a man weighing 80 kilograms burns the calories by jogging for ten minutes. After sports, a non-alcoholic beer is therefore allowed for refreshment. However, who wants to lose weight through sport, should rather drink water.
Suitable for athletes
Athletes, however, not only rely on a non-alcoholic beer because of their relatively low calorie content, but also because most varieties are among the isotonic drinks. Isotonic means that the beverage is as concentrated in composition of its salts as body fluids. As a result, water and mineral losses can be compensated for particularly quickly after exercise. Often it is noted separately on the beer bottle that it is an isotonic beverage.
Non-alcoholic beer is suitable for athletes but also because of its maltodextrin content. The carbohydrate mixture ensures that the emptied by the movement glycogen stores are refilled. However, maltodextrin contains less sugar than, for example, a juice spritzer. It is also beneficial for athletes that non-alcoholic beer contains magnesium - this can prevent cramping. In addition to magnesium, there are also potassium and various B vitamins in the barley juice. However, the sodium content is too low for athletes.
Alcohol content zero?
Alcohol-free beer should not contain alcohol by name, but that's not quite true. Alcohol is still present in many varieties - but only in very small quantities: the alcohol content must be less than 0.5 percent. Similarly small amounts are produced by fermentation processes in some fruit juices. You can not be drunk by this amount of alcohol.
In other countries, the regulations governing the alcohol content of non-alcoholic beer are stricter: for example, non-alcoholic varieties in the UK may contain a maximum of 0.05 per cent alcohol. In Germany, too, there is a constant demand for beer with a low alcohol content not to be labeled 'alcohol-free' but 'low in alcohol'.
Healthy or unhealthy?
Alcohol-free beer is healthier in many ways than regular beer: it has fewer calories and the liver is less burdened by the lack of alcohol. In addition, alcohol-free beer should also have a positive effect on the immune system. According to one study, the polyphenols contained in the beer are responsible for this. These are intended to kill viruses and bacteria, intercept free radicals and also have an anti-inflammatory effect.
However, such polyphenols are also found in many other foods - for example in apples, eggplants, onions or blueberries. So you're no excuse to drink gallons of alcohol-free beer. As a general rule, they can now and then approve a non-alcoholic beer. However, you should still cover your fluid needs as much as possible with water.
Non-alcoholic beer in pregnancy
During pregnancy, many women treat themselves to a non-alcoholic beer from time to time. Presumably, this is harmless - but the consumption should be kept within limits, because in non-alcoholic beer are often still low levels of alcohol contained. However, such small amounts can also form in broken fruit juices.
For gouty patients, however, non-alcoholic beer is definitely taboo: it contains just as many purines as normal beer. Since purines can contribute to the triggering of a gout attack, gout patients should generally abstain from beer - whether alcohol-free or not.
Production of non-alcoholic beer
In the production of non-alcoholic beer basically two different methods are distinguished. In the first method, the fermentation process is stopped so early that no alcohol is produced. In the second method, the beer is first produced as normal. Subsequently, the alcohol is removed by distillation.