Athletes often need ice and ibuprofen after a hard game, but they should be grabbing for a cold one instead, because beer fights inflammation. It all comes from the hops. The female flowers of the hop plant give beer its bright, tangy, often bitter flavor. And that bitter flavor is the key. Bitter acids fight inflammation, especially one type of bitter acid: humulone. Two studies have indicated the existence and health benefits of humulone in beer: a 2009 study published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research and a 2013 study funded by Sapporo.
Drink Your Nutrients
Beer equals nutrition, according to a variety of studies. Suds contain fiber, iron, calcium and phosphates. It also contains protein and vitamin B. Beer is superior to every other alcoholic beverage in these nutrition categories, but here's the kicker: it has as much antioxidants as wine. And since 12 ounces of beer is the standard drink, versus just seven ounces for wine, you get more antioxidants with every serving.
Good for Digestion
Have a troubled stomach? Grab a beer. A 2012 study in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, which examined the effects of five different types of German beer on the gut, found that all of them stimulated the release of gastric acids. The more bitter the beer, the better the digestion. As an added benefit, gastric acids not only give you better digestion: they also fight off bad gut bacteria. (IPA tends to be the most hopped beer option: you might want to keep this in mind, strictly for the sake of your digestion.)
A Cancer Destroyer?
Lupulone, another chemical found in beer, destroyed cancerous colon cells in lab rats. Xanthohumol, another chemical found in your favorite brews, has been shown to fight off cancer and prevent DNA damage due to invasive cancers in lab rats. While these studies have only been performed with mice in a controlled setting, the results are promising. So knock back a few and maybe you’ll crush a few cancer cells and protect your DNA while you quench your thirst.
Keep Your Ticker Tocking
A study by researchers at Italy’s Fondazione di Ricerca e Cura found that moderate beer drinking reduced death from heart attacks, strokes and heart disease. The heart is a pump, and every pump needs some form of lubricant. Make ours IPA.
A Beer a Day Keeps Kidney Stones Away
The Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology published a study that found men and women who drank at least one beer a day reduced their chances of kidney stones by 41%. If you see someone crumpled over with kidney stone pain, you might want to slide them a brew.
Disclaimer: Rock Harbor is a brewery, not a medical center. Don’t confuse this with medical or nutritional advice. But if you want some input on great beers in Rockland, Maine, come on in! Who knows? It might do you good.