Beer is a popular alcoholic beverage that millions of people worldwide enjoy.
It is primarily made from water, grains, hops, and yeast and is known for its distinct taste, texture, and aroma.
Throughout history, many civilizations consumed beer for medicinal purposes.
One potential benefit of drinking beer is its ability to settle the stomach.
For many people, drinking beer can help soothe digestive discomfort and improve overall digestive health.
This article explores the various reasons why beer may have this effect on the stomach and how safe is it to use beer as a medicine in such cases.
The Gastrointestinal system and Beer: The composition of Beer
Beer contains carbonation, which can help stimulate the production of stomach acid and promote digestion.
When you drink a carbonated beverage like beer, the carbon dioxide gas in the liquid mixes with the stomach acid in your stomach, creating carbonic acid.
The mixing can help stimulate the production of more stomach acid, which can aid in the digestion of food and prevent indigestion.
Other ways in which carbonation in beer can benefit the gastrointestinal system are:
- Carbonation in beer can help settle the stomach by increasing gastric emptying.
- Furthermore, the carbonation in beer can help relieve bloating and discomfort in the stomach by promoting the release of gas.
- This feature can be beneficial for people who experience digestive issues like gas, bloating, or abdominal discomfort.
- When carbonated beer enters the stomach, it causes the pyloric sphincter to relax.
- This relaxation allows the stomach’s contents to pass quickly into the small intestine.
- Carbonation also stimulates the production of gastric juices, which can help with digestion.
- The carbon dioxide bubbles in beer can help alleviate bloating and discomfort in the stomach.
- Carbonation can also help reduce nausea and vomiting by settling the stomach.
- Carbonation can help relieve indigestion and heartburn by neutralizing stomach acid.
- The effervescence of beer can also provide a refreshing sensation that can soothe an upset stomach.
In addition to carbonation, beer also contains hops, a type of flower added to beer during the brewing process.
Hops contain bitter acids and essential oils that can have a soothing effect on the digestive system.
Acids and the Digestive system
Some studies have shown that the bitter acids in hops can help reduce inflammation in the stomach and intestines, which can help alleviate symptoms of indigestion and other digestive disorders.
The anti-inflammatory effect may be due to the presence of compounds in hops that can inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines that can cause inflammation in the body.
Furthermore, hops may have a soothing effect on the nervous system, which can help calm the nerves in the stomach and promote relaxation.
Other benefits of hops to the stomach include:
- The soothing effect of hops can benefit people who experience digestive discomfort due to stress or anxiety.
- Acids in beer stimulate the production of digestive enzymes in the stomach.
- The acidity of beer can help neutralize stomach acid, reducing discomfort.
- Acids in beer may also promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
- Acids in beer can stimulate the liver to produce more bile, aiding digestion.
- The hops in beer contain bitter acids that can help stimulate appetite and digestion.
- The acids in beer help improve the absorption of nutrients in the gut.
- Drinking beer in moderation may help reduce inflammation in the gut.
- Beer can provide a source of beneficial antioxidants that can help protect the stomach and digestive system.
Another potential benefit of drinking beer is its diuretic effect.
A diuretic is a substance that promotes urine production, which can help flush out excess fluids and toxins from the body.
When you drink beer, the alcohol in the beverage can increase urine production, which can help reduce bloating and fluid retention in the body.
The diuretic effect can be beneficial for people who experience digestive issues like constipation and diarrhea.
Drink in Moderation: Effects of Over Consumption
However, it is essential to note that excessive alcohol consumption can have the opposite effect and worsen digestive issues.
Drinking excessive beer can lead to dehydration, exacerbating symptoms like constipation and diarrhea.
Moreover, excessive alcohol consumption can irritate the lining of the stomach and increase the production of stomach acid, which is a leading cause of heartburn and indigestion.
Choose the right brand of beer
When choosing the right type of beer to settle your stomach, there are a few things to remember.
First, it is essential to choose a beer that is low in alcohol, as excessive alcohol consumption can exacerbate digestive issues.
Generally, beer with an alcohol content of 5% or less is considered low alcohol and may be a good option for people with sensitive stomachs.
In addition, it is crucial to choose a beer that is not overly bitter or acidic.
Beers high in hops or other bitter compounds may be more likely to irritate the stomach lining and cause discomfort.
Highly acidic beers may cause heartburn or indigestion in some people.
Long-term effects of overconsumption of beer
Overconsumption of beer can lead to the stomach producing more acid than it can handle.
Some of the effects of overconsumption of beer include:
- The increased acid production can cause inflammation and irritation in the stomach lining.
- Excessive beer intake can also increase the risk of developing stomach ulcers.
- Extravagant consumption of beer can lead to bloating, abdominal pain, and discomfort.
- The carbonation in beer can cause gas to build up in the stomach, leading to belching and flatulence.
- Overindulgence in beer can also disrupt the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut.
- The high-calorie content in beer can lead to weight gain and obesity, which can further impact the stomach and digestive system.
- Excessive alcohol consumption, including beer, can weaken the muscles that control the release of stomach acid, leading to reflux and heartburn.
- Long-term, heavy beer consumption can increase the risk of developing certain types of cancer, including stomach cancer.
Beer has many medicinal properties that can help digestion and settle your stomach due to the chemical composition of its substituent ingredients.
However, it is essential to remember that, like all medicines, it is vital to control your beer consumption rates.
Overconsumption can have long-term, adverse effects on the human body, which can be very dangerous.
Drink well, have a good time, and take care of yourself!