Drinking beer is often associated with an increase in body fat, particularly around the belly. This is even commonly referred to as a “beer belly.”
But does beer really cause belly fat? This article takes a look at the evidence.
What Is Beer?
Beer is an alcoholic drink made from grain such as barley, wheat or rye, that has been fermented with yeast.
It’s flavoured using hops, which make a great flavoring for beer since they’re quite bitter, balancing out the sweetness from the sugar in the grains.
Some varieties of beer are also flavoured with fruit or herbs and spices.
Beer is brewed in a five-step process:
Malting: The grains are heated, dried and cracked.
Mashing: The grains are soaked in water to release their sugars. This results in a sugary liquid called “wort.”
The wort is boiled and hops are added to give beer its flavour.
Fermenting: Yeast is added to the mix and the wort is fermented to form alcohol and carbon dioxide.
Bottling: The beer is bottled and left to age.
The strength of a beer depends on the amount of alcohol it contains, which is measured as alcohol by volume (ABV). ABV refers to the amount of alcohol in a 3.4-oz (100-ml) drink, expressed as a percentage.
The alcohol content of beer is usually 4–6%. However, it can range from very weak (0.5%) to exceptionally strong (40%).
The main types of beer include pale ale, stout, mild, wheat beer and the most popular beer, lager. The different brew styles are made when brewers vary the grains, brewing times and flavorings they use.
Beer is an alcoholic drink made by fermenting grains with yeast. There are many different varieties that vary in strength, colour and taste.
Beer Nutrition Facts
The nutritional value of beer can vary by type. However, below are the amounts for a 12-oz (355-ml) serving of regular beer, with approximately 4% alcohol content (2):
Alcohol: 14 grams
Carbs: 13 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Fat: 0 grams
Beer also contains small amounts of micronutrients, including sodium, potassium and magnesium. However, it’s not a particularly good source of these nutrients, as you would need to drink massive amounts to satisfy your daily requirements.
It’s important to note that beers with a higher alcohol content also contain more calories. This is because alcohol contains about seven calories per gram.
This is higher than carbs and protein (4 calories per gram) but lower than fat (9 calories per gram).
Beer is high in carbs and alcohol but low in almost all other nutrients. The calorie content of beer depends on its strength — the more alcohol it contains, the more calories it contains.