There’s a bright yellow superfood taking over our smoothies, acai bowls, and Instagram accounts… and now, our beer. Bees, the insects that have been villainized and underappreciated for so long (unless you saw Bee Movie, arguably Jerry Seinfeld’s single greatest performance of all time), are flipping the dialogue after the unique superfood has become so popular. While have all swatted at pesky bees mid-picnic, you may think twice about cursing the constant buzzing once you understand how vital they are to our ecosystem - and that the pollen they are carrying around is both protein-packed and delicious.
While the small granules have been lauded by Victoria Beckham, Gwenyth Paltrow, and other health and wellness “goddesses” for their extensive magical powers, we’re here to debunk a few myths and tell you what you’re really getting out bee pollen. After all, we’ve added it to brew the newest member of the Sufferfest family for a reason!
What is bee pollen?
When bees carry the pollen from flowers to their hive and scrape it off, it forms small granules of bee pollen. In its truest form, bee pollen is crunchy like a chia seed and can be eaten straight or taken in capsule or supplement form.
What are the health benefits of bee pollen?
The health community is fairly split on some of the more “woo-woo” powers of bee pollen. An article from Science-Based Medicine concludes that many “...claims made for bee pollen supplements are typically over-hyped and evidence-free”. The food is said to act as an immune booster, increase a person’s lifespan (one site claims bee pollen will make a person live until 125), and potentially act as an “ergogenic”, or an athletic performance-enhancing supplement. None of these claims are scientifically proven or backed by any research.
However, there are nutritional benefits of bee pollen that aren’t as disputed. The pollen is forty percent protein and contains B vitamins and folic acid. When we’re thinking in the context of a great-tasting recovery beer, anything we can brew with that increases the already-existing health benefits of beer (in moderation, of course) sounds pretty good. Plus, it has a great taste and adds a sweet, honey-like aroma to the beer. The pollen itself may not be some magical elixir that will heal you, but it tastes awesome and gives you an extra little kick of vitamins and minerals for that post-sweat celebration.
Of course, if you’re allergic to bees, it’s recommended that you stay away from eating or drinking bee pollen. Consuming it can result in anaphylaxis, so know your tolerance before chowing down!