Beer is one of the most popular and consumed drinks in the world, especially in Spain, where it has also become a kind of symbol of culture and leisure. However, do you know what happens to your body if you drink a beer every day? Is it good or bad for your health? What amount is appropriate?
What can happen to you if you drink beer every day
Beer is a drink made from the fermentation of barley grains, water, yeast and hops. Its alcohol content varies depending on the type and brand, but usually ranges between 4% and 8%. In addition, beer contains other components such as sugars, proteins, organic acids, minerals and B vitamins. For every 100 ml of beer, between 38 and 45 calories are provided.
Beer, consumed in moderation, can have some positive health effects, as long as it is accompanied by a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. For example, improve cardiovascular health, since it contains polyphenols, antioxidant compounds that protect cells from oxidative damage and prevent the formation of blood clots. In addition to improving bone health (beer is a source of silicon) and also improves brain health (it contains xanthohumol, a flavonoid that has neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties).
But we can take advantage of all these benefits when, as we say, consumption is moderate. On the other hand, drinking it daily in quantities higher than recommended can be full of risks, especially in the long term, which are:
Causes liver damage. Alcohol is a toxic substance that the liver must metabolize and eliminate. However, when you ingest more alcohol than the liver can process, a buildup of fat and harmful substances occurs that can inflame and scar liver tissue. This can cause diseases such as alcoholic hepatitis or cirrhosis⁵. Increases the risk of cancer. Alcohol is a carcinogen that can alter the DNA of cells and promote abnormal growth. Excessive alcohol consumption has been associated with an increased risk of developing cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, liver, breast or pancreas. It causes obesity and diabetes. Alcohol provides empty calories, that is, without nutritional value. In addition, it stimulates appetite and reduces the feeling of satiety. This can lead to an increase in caloric intake and body weight. On the other hand, alcohol alters blood glucose and insulin levels, which can cause insulin resistance and diabetes. Causes dependence and addiction. Alcohol is a drug that generates tolerance and physical and psychological dependence. This means that more and more amounts are needed to obtain the same effect and that you suffer a withdrawal syndrome when you stop using it. Alcoholism is a chronic and serious disease that affects all areas of a person’s life and requires specialized treatment. Interferes with medications. Alcohol can interact with many medications, enhancing or decreasing their effects, which can be dangerous to your health. Some of the drugs that can be affected by alcohol are analgesics, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, antidepressants, anticoagulants or hypoglycemics.
What amount is appropriate?
There is no safe amount of alcohol that can be consumed without risk to health. However, moderate and responsible consumption is considered to be that which does not exceed 10 grams of pure alcohol per day for women and 20 grams for men. This is equivalent to one pint of beer (200 ml) for women and two pints for men. In addition, it is recommended not to drink every day, alternate with water or non-alcoholic soft drinks, not drink on an empty stomach and avoid risky situations such as driving or getting pregnant.
In conclusion, beer is a drink that can have health benefits if consumed in moderation and within a healthy lifestyle. However, if abused, it can cause serious short- and long-term health problems. Therefore, it is important to know its effects and consume it responsibly.
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