If you’re someone who doesn’t partake in drinking alcohol or simply trying to reduce your alcohol consumption, N/A (non-alcoholic) beer sounds like a great option.
While non-alcoholic beer looks and tastes like the real thing, that’s not the case. Before you decide to crack open a non-alcoholic brew, there’s some information that you should know. Especially if you have any misconceptions about the beverage, you want to make sure you are fully educated on NA beer.
In this article, we’ll go over what exactly is non-alcoholic beer and if it’s a good fit for you and your lifestyle.
What is Non-Alcoholic Beer?
A term like “non-alcoholic beer” seems fairly straightforward. Simply put, it’s a beer that has little to no alcohol in it.
If they sell the beer in the United States, they can only label it as “non-alcoholic” if it has no more than 0.5% ABV (alcohol by volume).
Non-alcoholic beer is somewhat of an umbrella term that can refer to three separate varieties of “non-alcoholic beer.”
Different Non-Alcoholic Beers and Their Alcohol Content
There’s alcohol-free beer that refers to beer with less than 0.05% ABV, de-alcoholized beer that has no more than 0.5% ABV, and low-alcohol beer which must contain less than 1.2% ABV.
Here's the breakdown again:
Alcohol-Free Beer: < 0.05% ABV
De-Alcoholized Beer: 0.05% - 0.5% ABV
Low Alcohol Beer: 0.5% - 1.2% ABV
Regular Beer: 1.2% > ABV
While non-alcoholic beer may contain a lower ABV percentage than a regular beer, they still have trace amounts of alcohol.
Therefore, you need to read the label up and down to know what benefits the beverage may offer before you make any purchase.
How Is Non-Alcoholic Beer Made?
Most non-alcoholic beers you’ll find on the market are crafted by using the same water, cereal grains, yeast, and hops that are used to make alcoholic beer. The primary difference is that somewhere in the brewing process, they took measures to reduce or expunge the alcohol.
There are several techniques for accomplishing this, with most N/A beers doing so by evaporation, which uses heat to evaporate the alcohol, or filtering, which removes the alcohol at the end of the brewing process.
There’s even a new brewing method that has thrown its hat into the ring. They refer to this method as ‘restricted alcohol fermentation,’ and it’s accomplished when the production of alcohol is reduced from the get-go by using a specifically designed yeast that creates a minimal amount of alcohol during the fermentation process. The eventual result should taste and smell like the real deal, just as with other forms of non-alcoholic beer brewing.
Benefits of Non-Alcoholic Beer
You may think, what in the heck is the point of non-alcoholic beer? Seeing as how most people who drink alcoholic beer do so to have a good time, especially when in a social setting.
Not that it doesn’t have its share of drawbacks. This is undeniably one of the top reasons so many people are choosing to cut down or completely abstain from alcoholic beer altogether.
The benefits of non-alcoholic beer have people switching over in droves, with some completely ditching regular beer altogether. We’ll briefly go over some of the many benefits that non-alcoholic beer has to offer.
- A Good Source of Vitamins and Minerals
- Can Reduce Stress
- Promotes Bone Health
- It Might Help with Sleep
- Aids with Hydration
- It Might Help Reduce Your Drinking
- Can You Get Drunk Off Non-Alcoholic Beer?
A Good Source of Vitamins and Minerals
Some may be surprised to know that non-alcoholic beer is packed with all sorts of vitamins and minerals. And, unlike regular beer, you can reap the full benefits minus the slew of side effects that come with the real thing.
Some of the noteworthy vitamins and minerals in non-alcoholic beer are iron to aid in transferring oxygen throughout the body, selenium to help in defending your body from disease, and zinc, which helps with the immune system. Researchers have even discovered that drinking non-alcoholic beer might reduce the risk of heart disease.
It is important to note that as beneficial as non-alcoholic beer is, it’s still no substitute for a nutritious, well-balanced diet that will provide you with the necessary nutrients to lead a healthy life.
Can Reduce Stress
Everyone knows that drinking a brew when in an uncomfortable situation such as a party or other social activity can help to ease your anxiety. And with the growing popularity of N/A beer in recent years, there has been a multitude of studies conducted on the beverage.
One non-alcoholic beer study found that those who downed a non-alcoholic beer with their dinner for two weeks straight reported a decrease in stress when compared to when they did not have a N/A beverage every night.
After a slew of physical tests, the participants exhibited lower 5-HIAA levels, which signify an anxiety reduction, seeing that high 5-HIAA levels go hand-in-hand with anxiety disorders.
Promotes Bone Health
Non-alcoholic beer contains an exorbitant amount of silicon, which is essential for increasing the production of collagen in the body. The result is healthier hair, nails, and skin, in addition to increased bone mineral density.
Therefore, many believe that non-alcoholic beer can play a crucial role in preventing osteoporosis. The same can be said for regular, alcoholic beer as well. The primary difference is that when you drink regular non-alcoholic beer, you must deal with all the side effects that come with it.
Regarding non-alcoholic beer, you’re able to reap all the benefits that come with regular beer without all the drawbacks.
It Might Help with Sleep
When it comes to brewing, whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic beer, hops are obviously at the top of the ingredient list. It’s their preservative properties and distinct flavor which make them so important to the brewing process.
Researchers accredit this to the bitter resins found in hop compounds which have sedative characteristics and raise the levels of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acids which soothe the central nervous system. This explains why N/A beer can not only help you sleep better but allow you to stay asleep.
It’s recommended that you drink a non-alcoholic beer approximately one hour before bedtime to receive the most sleep benefits, even though they stay in your body the entire night.
Helps with Hydration
Simply put, every living organism requires appropriate hydration to remain healthy and keep on living. But the fact is, most people don’t drink enough of the wet stuff. And an excellent way to supplement your h₂0 intake is to grab a non-alcoholic beer.
As long as you’re drinking a non-alcoholic beverage with less than 2% ABV, it won’t dehydrate you like alcoholic beer. Especially since most N/A beer is isotonic as well; your body will absorb them right away.
Non-alcoholic beer also won’t make you go to the bathroom like regular beer since alcoholic beer is a diuretic. This is your body’s way of removing excess salts, poisons, and water, which speed up dehydration.
There was even a study conducted in 2016 where they evaluated participants on the effects of three beverages (water, alcoholic beer, and non-alcoholic beer) before their workout.
The findings showed that consuming 0.7 liters of nonalcoholic beer before exercise might aid in the maintenance of blood electrolyte balance during exercise.
And unlike most sports drinks found on the market, non-alcoholic beer rarely contains any sugar.
It Can Help Reduce Your Drinking
Non-alcoholic beer may be the answer you’ve been looking for if you want to reduce or entirely quit drinking.
One reason it can benefit those looking to decrease alcohol intake or quit altogether is that your body associates the flavor and aromas with regular, alcoholic beer. As a result, it produces dopamine, the same neurotransmitter that makes you feel good after drinking alcohol.
There has been extensive research with a study that states that Non-alcoholic beer provides the same sensations of satisfaction as alcoholic beer. So, by drinking a non-alcoholic beer, you can receive all the benefits of normal beer while avoiding all the harmful side effects.
You should know Non-alcoholic beer may not be suitable for everyone, so make sure it’s the right fit for you and doesn’t impede your recovery.
Can You Get Drunk Off Non-Alcoholic Beer?
If you’re looking to get blitzed off some non-alcoholic brews, we hate to break it to you, but that just won't happen.
To break down the numbers, one regular alcoholic beer is equal to 10 non-alcoholic beers. This means that an average 160-lb adult would have to consume at least 40 non-alcoholic beers to reach the alcohol level of four alcoholic beers (four alcoholic beers have a blood alcohol count of .08, the legal limit for drunk driving).
Given that most N/A beers boast even lower alcohol content than the .05% allowed, which ups the number of beverages you’d have to drink in an hour to get drunk.
When you imbibe non-alcoholic beer, your body is so quick to process it you don’t have a chance to feel the effects as you would with regular beer.
Can Pregnant Women Drink Non-Alcoholic Beer?
With the growing popularity of non-alcoholic beverages, the question of whether pregnant women can safely consume non-alcoholic beer is more widespread than ever.
Regarding your unborn child’s health, the last thing you want to do is take any chances. And alcohol is a known teratogen, which makes it a primary factor concerning congenital disabilities.
There aren’t any studies to confirm or deny the safety of women drinking non-alcoholic beers while pregnant. But there is evidence that suggests non-alcoholic beverages such as beer may contain higher levels of ethanol than stated on their labels, which can be misleading.
The unborn child’s liver is the last organ to develop and doesn’t fully mature till the end of the pregnancy. So, they obviously can’t process the alcohol the mother drinks during pregnancy. What it all boils down to is what you and your obstetrician feel works best for you and your unborn child.
Where Can You Buy Non-Alcoholic beer?
When talking about brick-and-mortar stores, this all depends on where you live and what’s currently available in your area. If you’re looking for a certain brand of non-alcoholic beer, there’s always a good chance your local grocery or liquor store won’t carry it.
That is where our website comes into play. We feature a fantastic selection of N/A beer styles and brands so you can shop for non-alcoholic beer online and saving money!
We also personally evaluate everything before it makes it onto our website. So, you can rest assured knowing it’s of the highest quality. Just remember that one of the primary goals of any non-alcoholic beverage is to enjoy the amazing flavor while socializing and reaping the full benefits your non-alcoholic beverage has to offer.