Sober social scenes are trending in 2017 as more and more people grab a green juice instead of a green beer. And drinking often makes you feel a little less than fabulous anyway.
But it can be hard to forgo a drink on a holiday centered on drinking (looking at you, St. Patrick’s Day). Let’s not forget, too, that studies have shown a moderate amount of alcohol can be good for your heart health, thanks to antioxidants and polyphenols. And if you’ve ever been handed a cold beer after a long run, you’ll know it helps with inflammation.
Don’t ignore that key word moderate though. That does not mean binge drinking ‘cuz it’s the freakin’ weekend or a booze fest that results in waking up in a bumper car at an abandoned amusement park with no shoes.
If you feel yourself drawn to the green beer, step away. There are much better options out there that won’t leave you with cotton mouth, a mad case of the runs, or a jack hammer in your head.
Read on to learn how to pick a healthier beer and actually remember the festivities.
Pay attention to the alcohol by volume content.
You probably already know that beer is mostly alcohol and carbohydrates. But did you know alcohol has 7 calories per gram and carbs have 4 calories per gram? The rule of thumb here is that the higher the ABV, the more calories a beer will have. So consider choosing a Yuengling Light Lager or a Heineken if you’re counting calories or carbs.
But don’t be swayed by color.
Raise your hand if you’ve picked a beer just because it’s lighter in color. Sheepishly guilty. While a light beer might have fewer calories, it could also have more carbs. Plus, it just so happens that dark beers have more health benefits than the pale ales, thanks to their higher hops content and less processing. The famously dark Guinness - which has recently been revamped to remove the fish bladder and HFCS - is full of antioxidants and fiber, making it an excellent choice. Irish revelers, rejoice!
Go for a craft beer.
Craft beer brewers are our friends, especially when they use superfoods during the fermentation process. The superfoods definitely up the nutrition profile a bit, giving your brewski more antioxidants and vitamins. Craft beers are typically less processed as well, meaning they retain more of their nutritional value. Check out Abita’s Purple Haze or try a Magners Irish Cider if you’re gluten free.
Remember, moderate drinking means one drink per day for women. If you choose to enjoy some alcohol, act like the grown-ass woman you are and opt for a brew that doesn’t sabotage your hard-earned health and wellbeing. You owe it to yourself.