National Beer Day

 

April 7 is National Beer Day. I am obviously not partaking in this celebration but really missing my Summer Shandy on this beautiful day (it is all worth is for baby Bittner!). On this beautiful Sunday, with 70 degrees, we are doing some yard work, grilling, and will go for ice cream. Here is a picture of our neighbors and my hubs stopping the yard work to cheers to National Beer Day.

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My work asked me to write a short article on drinking while keeping your health in mind. So as you go about enjoying a nice cold one on this day, just read this before!


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April 7 is National Beer Day. If you choose to celebrate this day, it is important to go into this day with a healthy mindset. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism considers binge drinking being a blood alcohol level of 0.08g percent or above. Which usually occurs with more than 4 drinks for women or 5 drinks for men (1 drink= 12 oz beer; 8-9oz malt liquor; 5 oz wine; 1.5 fl oz shot of hard liquor). To avoid binge drinking and the negative effects it has on your body, here are some tips to enjoy your beer and still be good to your body!

 

1.     Eat before drinking: Fill up with whole grains with fiber, protein, and healthy fats to keep your stomach full longer and prevent you from eating common drinking food once the sipping starts  (think fried food and snacks). Food will help alcohol slowly absorb into the body. Examples of good food choices: whole grain sandwich with turkey and avocado, apple with peanut butter, or eggs with whole grain toast.

2.     Drink water between drinks:  Alcohol has a diuretic effect, meaning it increases bathroom visits and decreases your electrolytes. This will make you dehydrated and will cause a craving for those salty foods (hello chips and pizza). By consuming enough water you will stay hydrated, prevent that awful feeling the next morning, and it will help slow down the sips of your alcoholic drinks!

3.     Keep your liver in mind: Your liver’s job is to detoxify your body and it also metabolizes alcohol. Between the dehydration and alcohol, your liver is working overtime to remove the alcohol from your blood. Chronic drinking can lead to accumulation of alcohol, leading to damaged liver cells, fatty liver, cirrhosis, and increased risk for liver cancer.

4.     Choosing lower calorie drinks: Weight gain is associated with heavy drinking. One gram of alcohol provides 7 kcal, when you compare this with food: 1g of carbs provide 4 kcal, 1g of protein provides 4 kcal, and 1g of fat provides 9 kcal. Alcohol is “empty calories” from ethanol and sugar. When you combine the alcohol with high sugar mixed drinks (1 tequila sunrise= 200cal and 20g sugar), it will increase your sugar intake, spike your blood sugar, and add more extra calories for the day. Try choosing a lower calorie drink, for example: vodka and seltzer with lemon or a lite beer.