Beer is a beverage of moderation, as well as the perfect accompaniment to dinner and social occasions. Over the years, nearly all of the health benefits attributed to beer, or any alcoholic beverage, have been associated with moderate consumption of around 1 – 2 drinks per day. As with any of life’s pleasures, too much of a good thing can have negative results.
To help avoid negative consequences of drinking, CraftBeer.com provides a Blood Alcohol Content Calculator to inform beer lovers of the estimated potential blood alcohol content range that one might experience after responsibly enjoying beer.
Some of the possible outcomes from consumption of beer or other forms of alcohol are well understood, some are not. New research continues to explore the ways in which alcohol affects the human body. We’ve described the possible benefits of beer consumption; here are some of the possible downsides of excessive consumption.
- Cancer – For every study showing a benefit of moderate alcohol consumption there is another showing the risk of certain types of cancer increase with consumption of alcohol. These include oral cancer, hormone dependent forms of breast cancer, and possibly stomach cancer
- Diabetes, insulin dependence, and metabolic syndrome – whereas moderate consumption actually lowers the risk of diabetes compared to non-drinkers, heavy alcoholic consumption increases the risk of diabetes
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome – Doctors aren’t sure how much alcohol (if any) a pregnant mother may safely consume without placing her baby at risk. For this reason, current US health policy advises women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant against drinking any alcohol
- Hangover – described on Wikipedia as the “sum of unpleasant physiological effects following heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages”, and “a natural and intrinsic disincentive to excessive drinking.” Be sure to enjoy your favorite beer in moderation, and drink plenty of water while enjoying beer or other alcoholic beverages to help combat this side effect
- Heart Attack – among men and women
- Heart Failure
- Pancreatitis among heavy drinkers
- Stroke when drinking is heavy (more than six drinks per day) or at a binge level, and in the two hours immediately following consumption of alcohol
Remember to Savor the Flavor Responsibly®, and always keep in mind the dangers of over consumption.