When you think about beer, do you think "healthy"? Usually when we read headlines about the benefits found in an alcoholic beverage, we're reading about wine. Wine usually gets all the credit (I think that has more to do with the amount of wine-backed dollars in PR and tourism vs. beer-back spend, IMO), but beer has just as many antioxidants, and is higher in protein and vitamin B, to name a few. Due to the water content and grains, beer also contains nutrients like iron, calcium, phosphates and fiber – and that's just scratching the surface.
With all these naturally occurring, good-for-you nutrients in our favorite cold beverage (with a buzz), it’s no wonder why we athletes crave a delicious beer after an activity or effort.
My brewing journey was serendipitous and led me to voraciously study beer: how to brew it, how to make it taste great, and why it's actually an under appreciated health drink. When I decided to brew a beer that would meet my needs as an athlete, I started taking courses at UC Davis where I really began to appreciate the microbiology (and the many positive attributes) of beer.
I'd like to take a few more moments to tell you more about why beer compliments my meals (and my fitness) so well.
First rule to any fitness and diet regimen, in my opinion, is: Everything in Moderation. Now that that’s behind us let’s go.
It’s a Natural Probiotic
Drink beer for better digestion. Plain and simple. Sufferfest Beer, like many others, contains up to one gram of soluble fiber (unlike wine which doesn’t contain any fiber at all - sorry winos). Another reason why beer pairs so well with food. :)
It’s a Natural Cold Buster.
Did you know drinking warm beer is an excellent cold remedy? When barley is warmed up it improves blood circulation and helps with congestion. It also provides relief for joint pain and boosts your immunity. After a race or just when I’m feeling under the weather, I put our pilsner into a glass mason jar, warm it (in our kid’s bottle warmer) using a double boiler and add a squeeze of lemon and honey to taste. Voila!
Keeps Cholesterol and Heart Disease in Check
Beer has been found to lower bad cholesterol -- another win by fiber, which can also help reduce levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol. It’s also been studied that beer drinkers have a 40-60% reduced risk of suffering a heart attack compared with non-beer drinkers. An Iron Supplement Too Like many ladies out there, I’ve dealt with iron deficiency most of my adult life, especially after pregnancy. Bring on the Sufferfest. Drinking a beer can increase your vitamin B levels. Beer actually contains vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12! More importantly for the ladies, beer is a great source of vitamin B12, an anti-anaemic factor that’s hard to find in a lot of foods. Look no further.
Fight Stress & Get Those Zzzz
As a new mom and business owner, I am plagued by restless nights. Instead of taking some heavy handed or disorienting medication, try beer as a natural remedy to get to sleep. Its natural levels of lactoflavin and nicotinic acid promote restful sleep! And what’s more, researchers at the University of Montreal found that two glasses of beer a day can reduce work-related stress or anxiety. I could have called that, but nice to know the docs are reinforcing my behavior.
Reduce Kidney Stones
Luckily I’ve never passed a kidney stone and I pray I’ll never have to. Beer keeps your kidneys healthy! Amazingly, a Finnish study recently singled out beer among other alcoholic beverages, finding that it was better for your kidneys. In fact, each bottle of beer you drink reduces the risk of developing kidney stones by 40%. (Dad, get on this bandwagon!)
Clots, Bone Density, Memory, Oh My
Beer has also been known to help prevent blood clots from forming, aids in preventing dementia (more so than non beer drinkers) and the naturally occurring calcium content in the water gives my bones a helping hand! If that weren’t enough (and there’s more), take a Sufferfest along on your next spa day. Certain vitamins in beer can regenerate your skin and impact pigmentation giving you a smoother and more supple skin texture. (We’ll talk beauty next time!)
Long story short, I’m a big fan of beer and its many benefits. I’m not going to sit here and type away on how you should replace a tall glass of water or a cup of joe for it every time, but as alcoholic beverages go, you can’t be it. And if all these great things happen so naturally in beer, why not continue to push the envelope and demand more from this amazing beverage? This is the very thesis that kicked off Sufferfest Beer Company.
Sufferfest Beer challenges itself to make functional beer products that help you feel good and help you thrive, even if you're taking a time out to celebrate. If it's a better option for you than something similar you're considering, and still tastes awesome, then why not? We see ourselves as advocates and shepherds of this effort, helping to educate healthy and active consumers on the benefits of this amazing beverage while pushing our recipes even further. If Sufferfest is to succeed, we will have redefined the role beer plays into our active lifestyles and how we view it as discerning consumers. It's my hope and goal for Sufferfest to enrich your rituals and meet you at the finish line.
Next time (after we discuss beer and beauty), I'm excited to jot down a few notes about the amazing beers we have releasing in 2018. Amazing for their taste and profile first and foremost, but also remarkable for what they contain. Stay tuned!