• The caloric content of a 350ml beer is comparable to a number of other beverages and contains less fat, sugar, and carbohydrates than many other beverages
  • Overconsumption in general and lack of exercise are the main contributors to obesity
  • Beer contains many wholesome ingredients and is a source of antioxidants, B vitamins, hops, yeast, protein, minerals, and fibre; B vitamins and beer yeast have nourishing and cleansing properties
  • Ethyl alcohol is a diuretic and, if consumed in excess, can dehydrate the skin
  • There is little evidence that rinsing your hair in beer makes it shiner

'There are many myths and questions concerning alcohol and beauty'

Does alcohol make you fat? Does it ruin your skin? Will rinsing your hair in beer make it shinier? There are many myths and questions concerning beauty, diet and alcohol.

Weight and nutrition

Having too many alcohol drinks can of course contribute to weight gain, as can eating or drinking too much of almost anything. However, research has found no consistent link between alcohol and obesity. The primary reasons behind obesity are overconsumption and decreased metabolism. Genetics may also play an important role in a person's weight.

Many adults responsibly enjoy beer and maintain their weight. Gram for gram, ethyl alcohol, by itself, contains fewer calories (7 calories) than fat (9 calories), but more than carbohydrates (4 calories) and protein (4 calories). Beer is fat free and, in general, most beers are relatively low in carbohydrates, free sugars and sodium. Since beer is made from wholesome raw materials, such as cereal grains (e.g. barley, wheat and sorghum), hops, yeast and water, it is a source of natural protein and antioxidants, is plentiful in B vitamins and minerals (such as silicon, calcium, potassium and magnesium), and is a source of soluble fibre.

As the alcohol content increases in beer, the calories increase. An average 350ml serving of beer ranges from about 100 to 145 calories, depending on the type selected. A 350ml serving of one of our lagers contains around 145 calories. In comparison, a 350ml glass of grape juice contains around 192 calories, a 350ml glass of whole milk around 204 calories and the average 350ml can of carbonated soda around 150 calories. Water and unsweetened tea have zero calories. A wide range of beers, with varied alcohol, caloric and carbohydrate content, are available to choose from.

Despite what some popular diet books say, traditional beer contains little or no maltose or other sugars. During the brewing process, the barley malt is cooked, and the resulting liquid contains maltose, which is a sugar. However, during fermentation, yeast consumes the maltose and converts it to alcohol and natural carbonation.

Some women, and men, skip food when they are drinking to offset the calories, a practice that has been called 'drinkorexia'. This is unwise. Intoxication can happen more quickly on an empty stomach and levels of alcohol in your body will rise faster. Every person's diet and genetic makeup is unique. Seeking the help of your doctor or healthcare professional to determine the best overall diet and exercise program to fit your lifestyle can be very helpful.

Alcohol and your skin

Many things in your lifestyle and environment can affect your skin, including the climate you live in, how much sleep you get, the heating and cooling systems you are exposed to, the amount of sodium in your diet, medications you take, the skin products you use, and your daily skin care ritual.

To avoid dehydration of the skin, no matter what one consumes or your exposures, it is important to drink plenty of water. A good rule to follow is to drink about eight glasses of water a day – and increase your water intake if you live in a dry climate or during hot weather.

Alcohol is a diuretic, which can dehydrate the skin, particularly if consumed in excess. If you are prone to dry skin, limit your intake of alcohol by consuming lower strength beer and additional water. On the other hand, beer is plentiful in B vitamins and brewer's yeast that have nourishing and cleansing properties. As with everything else in life, moderation is the key.

Beer and hair

Sadly, there is little evidence that rinsing your hair in beer makes it shinier, although women have sworn by this for centuries.

If you have concerns about your weight, or the effect of beer consumption on your weight, it may be wise to evaluate your diet. Eating or drinking too much of almost anything can affect the way you look and feel. Seeking the help of your doctor or healthcare professional to determine the best overall diet and exercise programme to fit your lifestyle can be very helpful.