Top 10 Side Effects Of Drinking Beer

From impacting heart health to raising blood pressure, it can harm health in many ways.

By Jyotsana Rao

Group of friends, clinking sounds of beer mugs, and lots of laughs. This is how many describe a perfect weekend. But are you aware of the side effects of drinking beer? Yes, and most of these are associated with overconsumption of beer regularly.

Many recent studies have clearly stated that there are several health benefits associated with the limited consumption of beer. These benefits can be attributed to brewer’s yeast, a major component in beer. It is rich in nutrients and renders beer with certain healthy properties (1). But moderation is key. Too much of a good thing can be bad – and this definitely applies to beer. If you consume it without considering the limits (which are dependent on your age, medical history, and lifestyle), you may end up with many health issues. Also, beer intake may not be safe for all. Read on to understand the negative effects associated with excess beer consumption. Making the right changes to your lifestyle today can have positive effects in the long run.

10 Side Effects Of Beer Consumption

Beer consumption in moderation can be good for health. However, when you drink in excess or gulp a glass too many in quick succession, it can also have a negative impact on health. Listed below are a few adverse effects of beer:

1. Interferes With The Blood Sugar Level

Beer drinking can actually interfere with your body’s blood sugar levels (2). The liver converts glycogen stored in it into glucose and releases it into the bloodstream. Alcohol in beer actually interferes with this process. It can create hunger pangs and will leave you gorging on more food. This can pave the way to weight gain (3). This can be countered by taking a proper meal before gulping down beer.

2. High In Calories

Beer causes weight gain

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Commercial beer brands contain fewer amounts of nutrients, but come loaded with calories. This makes them less than ideal for people who are trying to lose excess weight. It makes your body burn fewer calories than it would do normally. The alcohol in beer is converted into acetate by the liver. The body then burns acetate for energy and the excess fat remains stored in parts like the hips and belly (3).

3. Works As Diuretic

When you want relief on a scorching day, a glass of chilled beer comes as a soothing relief. Natural Antidiuretic hormones aid the body to retain fluid and beer slow down the release of this hormone. As a result, you may feel an increased urge to urinate when you gulp down a few glasses of beer (4), (5). It can be especially harmful when you are into athletics. You lose fluid both through urine and sweat in such situations.

4. Gluten Insensitivity

A majority of beer variants found in the market contain malted barley. Barley contains gluten, a type of protein. Some people are found to be sensitive to gluten (6). If you are among them, opt for beers made with gluten-free compounds.

5. May Be Bad For Cardiovascular Health

Beer may cause cardiovascular diseases

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Some studies have shown that drinking beer can actually be good for the heart, but that happens when you drink in limited amounts. Besides, someone who has an existing cardiovascular ailment will not benefit from drinking beer at all. In fact, it will worsen their heart health (7), (8).

6. Can Raise Blood Pressure Level

Beer can raise blood pressure

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If you take several glasses of beer a day, it can lead to a spike in blood pressure level (9). So, stick to a mug or 2 of beer to keep your blood pressure levels under control.

7. Can Lead To Heartburn

Beer can lead to heartburn

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Beer contains some stimulants that work with gastric acid, which may lead to the onset of gastro-oesophageal reflux and result in heartburn (10).

8. You May Develop Beer Belly

If you are proud of your slim waistline, it is time you quit drinking beer or at least bring down your consumption. Gulping down kegs of beer is only going to give you a beer belly—remember beer bellies are stubborn and really difficult to get rid of (3).

9. Leads To Intoxication And Hangover

Beer causes intoxication and hangover

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Like all forms of alcohol, excess beer consumption does affect your nerves and motor skills. This can lead to accidents. You can also expect a bad hangover after a night out binging on beer (11).

10. Interacts With Certain Medications

Sedatives and Erythromycin can interact with beer and can be bad for your health (12). Several antibiotics too interact with beer and can lead to side effects like headache and vomiting (13). The same holds good with a few pain medications.

A mug or two of beer on a warm afternoon or at a friend’s birthday bash is certainly harmless. It is when drinking becomes an obsessive compulsion, that you stand the risk of being affected by the several effects of drinking beer daily. So, exercise in moderation and stay healthy! These were some of the major side effects of drinking beer.

Beer is an alcoholic beverage that may have some health benefits. However, one also must note the side effects of drinking beer. Excess beer intake may interfere with blood sugar levels, work as a diuretic, cause cardiovascular disease, lead to heartburn, increase blood pressure levels, and interact with certain medications. In addition, these adverse reactions may also depend on your lifestyle, medical history, and age. Hence, reduce its intake to avoid its side effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many beers per day is healthy?

16 gms of alcohol or 1 beer per day for women and 28 gms or 1-2 drinks for men is considered a healthy amount.

Is beer better than whiskey?

Beer contains more antioxidants and less sugar compared to other alcoholic drinks like whiskey. Also, whiskey contains ethanol, which may cause serious health risks.

Is beer good for the kidney?

Consuming alcohol in moderation (like a glass or two of beer) is fine for your body. But, overconsumption of beer may deteriorate kidney function and worsen existing kidney conditions.

Does beer increase cholesterol?

Beer contains carbohydrates and alcohol that can increase the triglyceride level in your body. Too many beers can increase this level, indirectly contributing to an increase in cholesterol levels.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Brewer’s Yeast Supplementation Enhances Immune Response of Aged Mice
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28502146/
  2. Effect of drinking bottled beer on plasma insulin and glucose responses in normal subjects
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7046102/
  3. Beer consumption and the ’beer belly’: scientific basis or common belief?
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19550430/
  4. Health-Related Aspects of Beer: A Review
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232821963_Health-Related_Aspects_of_Beer_A_Review
  5. Effects of a moderate intake of beer on markers of hydration after exercise in the heat: a crossover study
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4459073/
  6. Beer and Celiac Disease
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123738912000560?via%3Dihub
  7. Is Drinking Alcohol Really Linked to Cardiovascular Health? Evidence from the Kardiovize 2030 Project
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC7551763/
  8. Benefits and Risks of Moderate Alcohol Consumption on Cardiovascular Disease: Current Findings and Controversies
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC7020057/
  9. Consumption of alcohol and blood pressure: Results of the ELSA-Brasil study
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5757983/
  10. The Effect of Beer and Other Alcoholic Beverages on the Esophagus with Special Reference to Gastroesophageal Reflux
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123738912000572?via%3Dihub
  11. Effects of Alcohol Hangover on Cognitive Performance: Findings from a Field/Internet Mixed Methodology Study
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331251567_Effects_of_Alcohol_Hangover_on_Cognitive_Performance_Findings_from_a_FieldInternet_Mixed_Methodology_Study
  12. Fact versus Fiction: a Review of the Evidence behind Alcohol and Antibiotic Interactions
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC7038249/
  13. RISK FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION AMONG ROMANIAN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS- PRELIMINARY RESEARCH
    http://journals.usamvcluj.ro/index.php/fst/article/view/12992
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Jyotsana Rao is an engineering graduate from NIT, Nagpur, who discovered her love for writing during her undergraduate days. She... more

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