English | Deutsch

In vino veritas, in aqua claritas, and there’s something in beer as well!

Beer is the beverage to which probably the most doubtful myths and minor household-remedy effects are ascribed. Most people then often regard these as established facts, and don’t really question them. But which of them are actually true and which are absolute nonsense? I resolved to get to the bottom of this, and have examined and clarified five beer myths for you.


There isn’t any alcohol in alcohol-free beer! Or is there!?

You might justifiably think, if it says so on the label, it must be true. But in Germany you cannot safely assume that this statement is correct. At least as far as alcohol-free beer is concerned. Because our first myth is definitely wrong: in actual fact, beer that contains 0.5 or less percent of alcohol by volume is classified as alcohol-free. So next time, keep your eyes open when choosing a drink!


Sport and beer: a definite no-no!

Anyone whose friends include even a moderately ambitious cyclist knows that the obligatory stop-over in a beer garden is an integral part of every cycling tour. But isn’t beer bad for your circulation and doesn’t it make you even tireder? Does the whole thing make any sense at all, then? Quite definitely: yes! Well, yes and no. Actually it all depends on the beer involved. Because alcohol-free beer is isotonic. This means that the ratio between nutrients and liquid in the beer corresponds precisely to the ratio in our blood.  So it can be quickly absorbed and digested, enabling the body to replace the sweated-out liquid as quickly as possible and absorb the minerals with particular efficiency.

The situation is different, though, when it comes to normal beer. This, you see, is not isotonic, but hypertonic. In other words: normal beer has a higher content of nutrients than our blood. But these minerals don’t benefit our bodies; due to the alcohol content in the liver, they are immediately broken down and excreted again.

So it could be said that our Myth Number 2 is more or less half-true, since it is wrong for alcohol-free beer, of course, but is correct for normal beer.


Drinking beer in the hot sun gets you drunk faster

Many of us will doubtless be familiar with the feeling: you’re on holiday, sitting on a beautiful beach, enjoying the view, and sipping a chilled beer. After a time, you start to notice that you feel as if you’d quaffed not just two or three beers on the beach but more like four or five! But that just has to be your imagination, that’s simply not possible, is it?! Well, I’m afraid it is! This myth is in actual fact true. The intensified feeling of inebriation on a hot day is quite simply attributable to the fact that your body’s cells contain less water due to perspiration, which means the alcohol in your body is more concentrated and takes effect more swiftly. Intoxication is not far away.


Hair of the dog is good for a hangover

The truth content of this statement lies once again in the eye of the beholder. The hangover symptoms are at their worst when the alcohol level is falling, and gradually approaching zero. (This is why you often still feel good when you’ve just got up, and the hangover doesn’t really hit you until towards the afternoon.) So now, when you drink another beer before the level has sunk to zero, the alcohol level rises again. This means, of course, that you don’t get to the almost sober state in which you feel most awful. However, this is not really a solution to the problem – unless you intend to never stop drinking (which wouldn’t in truth be realistic or particularly good for you!).

To sum up: a hair of the dog helps to postpone your hangover. But unfortunately you cannot escape it altogether.

Here’s a small tip: as we’ve just learned, you can’t avoid a hangover. But there are ways to ensure in advance that it doesn’t turn out too agonising! Studies have shown that the purer the alcohol is, that you’re drinking, the less bad the ensuing hangover will be. Or the next time you simply stick to water or a rather more controlled enjoyment of high-quality alcoholic beverages …


Beer is good for your hair

Online, especially, we repeatedly read of the marvellous effects obtained by washing your hair with beer. There are numerous recipes for conditioners, hair masks all the way through to setting lotions based on beer. So there must be something in it, surely? Well, much as I hate to disappoint you, the answer is: no, not really … Whatever the reason is why these rumours prove so obstinately prevalent, in scientific terms, at any rate, beer has more or less no effect on your hair. Beer does in fact contain both Vitamin B2 and pantothenic acid, but in pretty small doses. What’s more, there’s still the alcohol. And that totally nullifies the minuscule effect that these small quantities of vitamins would have had. So next time, just drink the beer in the shower instead of tipping it onto your hair to no avail!

This brings us to the end of my small investigatory series. But if you haven’t had your fill of beer facts yet, or there’s another myth you’re keenly interested in and you’d like me to look into, then simply take a look at the first part of this article. And if you have any more questions or amusing claims about the magical powers of beer for me, please feel free to leave a comment!

Share on Pinterest
Your Comment

All (*) marked fields are mandatory fields