Sales of non-alcohol beers have increased massively over the last couple of years, with many of us choosing to cut back, or stop drinking entirely. There’s no doubt alcohol-free beer is better for our health, but the question is, does non-alcoholic beer still dehydrate you?
Not long ago, non-alcoholic beer was rarely available in pubs and clubs, but as attitudes towards drinking have changed, non-alcoholic beers are now readily available in most drinking establishments.
In fact, it’s never been easier to stay alcohol-free without giving up the pleasure of enjoying a drink with friends.
Of course, it still leaves you wondering, is non-alcoholic beer really good for you? And does non-alcoholic beer dehydrate you?
Well, we’re going to look at the health benefits of non-alcoholic beer, and whether this alcohol-free option will leave you completely hangover free!
What is non-alcoholic beer?
Non-alcoholic beer is a beer that contains little, or no, alcohol at all.
Alcohol-free beer has become an exceedingly popular option for people who want to limit, or completely restrict, their alcohol intake as it still looks like, and tastes like alcoholic beer! So much so, that the biggest producers of beer now include alcohol-free beers in their range!
Additionally, non-alcoholic beer still allows people to go to drinking establishments with friends, family and work-colleagues and enjoy a social drink without feeling the effects of alcohol!
So, is non-alcoholic beer 100% alcohol free?
Well, almost. In the UK and the U.S, alcohol-free beers can contain up to 0.5% ABV (alcohol by volume).
Some brands of non-alcoholic beers will state that they contain 0% alcohol, although there may be traces due to the production process.
All brands of non-alcoholic beer should, however, display the percentage on the label – even if this is 0%.
So, before we answer whether non-alcoholic beer dehydrates you, let’s look at how they make non-alcoholic beer!
How is non-alcoholic beer made?
The production of non-alcoholic beer can vary, but the most common method is to produce alcoholic beer, and then remove the alcohol at the end before sale.
This of course, explains why alcohol-free beer tastes almost exactly like regular beer!
But how do they remove the alcohol?
Well, the first option is to heat the beer at an extremely high temperature, so that the alcohol evaporates from the beer.
Unfortunately, this can alter the taste, and so the most popular method is to use a filter.
The filter method includes three steps. First, the beer is filtered so that only alcohol and water can pass through.
Next, water is added to what remains of the beer ingredients, and lastly the carbon dioxide is then added to the beer to form the sparkling beverage that we know and love!
Of course, both of these methods have the potential to leave traces of alcohol in the drink, which is why labels will usually state that the alcohol-free beer can contain 0.5%!
The question is then, does non-alcoholic beer dehydrate you?
Does non-alcoholic beer dehydrate you?
Whether or not non-alcoholic beer dehydrates you is a perfectly valid question! Along with, can alcohol-free beer give you a hangover?
Well, the answer to both of these questions, is no, probably not.
Well, alcohol is a diuretic, which means it causes you to urinate more frequently. The side effect of this, of course, is that you end up dehydrated quicker.
Combine that with the likelihood that if you are at a pub, or bar, enjoying a few pints, you are less likely to be drinking water – leaving you even more dehydrated.
Unfortunately, one of the main causes of a hangover is dehydration – yes, we all know that familiar and awful headache that makes an appearance the day after a night of alcohol indulgence!
So, does non-alcoholic beer still act as a diuretic?
No, it doesn’t. In fact, any alcoholic drink under 0.2% ABV is unlikely to act as a diuretic. This means that it will actually re-hydrate you rather than dehydrate you!
Good news for those wanting to avoid a hangover – non-alcoholic beer is unlikely to leave you with a bad head in the morning!
So, we know non-alcoholic beer won’t give you a hangover, does that mean it is good for you? And, are there any health-benefits to this alternative beverage?
Well, we’re going to tell you!
Non-alcoholic beer: the health benefits
You’ll be pleased to know there are actually several health benefits to drinking non-alcoholic beer in favour of regular beer!
In fact, this list of health benefits may even sway you to try an alcohol-free beer next time you’re at the pub – if you aren’t already a convert!
Let’s take a look at the health benefits!
There’s no denying that drinking beer comes in hand with consuming a lot of empty calories. In fact, many of us often wonder how many calories our favourite drinks contain – including gin and slimline tonic!
Luckily, a non-alcoholic beer can contain less than half the number of calories than a regular beer! So, if you’re watching your calorie intake or are in the midst of a health-kick, alcohol-free beer might end up being your drink of choice!
Relieve stress and anxiety
For a lot of us, cracking open a beer is a way to wind down at the end of a long day. Interestingly though, it is often the ritual of opening a bottle of beer, that triggers the sense of relaxation – not the alcohol itself.
In that sense, ordering a non-alcoholic drink can still release the same amount of dopamine as enjoying an alcoholic drink. Our minds will still associate the same sense of calm than if it were a regular beer in our hands!
So, this might be the best benefit of drinking non-alcoholic beer, because what is better than that smug feeling of waking up hangover-free after a night out with friends?
A clear head, and no nausea and fully hydrated – how can anybody turn that down?
Let’s not also forget the increased amount of anxiety a hangover can cause us – a notorious side effect of alcohol consumption and not one to be missed!
Reduced risk of heart-disease
Yes, another major health benefit of non-alcoholic beer.
Studies have shown that alcohol-free beer can increase blood circulation and cause less pressure on our heart and arteries.
Not only that, alcohol-free beer contains higher amounts of vitamins and antioxidants that are extremely beneficial properties for our bodies!
It is of course, important to remember that we enjoy everything in moderation. But there are certainly numerous benefits to drinking non-alcoholic beer – especially now we know it won’t dehydrate you – or cause you a hangover!