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Once upon a time,…

… many, many years ago, beer was discovered and became popular. Since then, numerous myths have evolved around the liquid gold. Everyone knows one legend or another that’s new to someone else. But what’s behind it? Or is it all hot air? I decided to investigate, and took a closer look at five beer-related myths:

Bier makes you fat

Everyone’s familiar with it, and lots of people have one: the beer belly. But does it really come from the beer? No! Admittedly, beer is not the lowest-calorie drink around, as the posting on “Superfood Bier” explained. But this alone does not make you fat. Beer consumption stimulates your appetite, since the calories in beer don’t fill you up, because they are almost all contained in the alcohol. And the calories in beer are converted into fat, in addition to the calories contained in the food.

To sum up: the beer makes us hungry, and so we eat more. So the amber nectar is (happily) not solely to blame for a beer belly.

Beer makes you tired

Some of my friends find a beer helpful if they’re having trouble sleeping, or incorporate it straight away in their evening after-work routine – often to the distress of their partners. Is that an excuse, or does it really help?

The fatiguing effect comes from the hops in the beer, which contain a lot of essential oils and bitter substances. Besides the alcohol, this is said to have a calming effect on the nerves and thus relax us. This has not yet, however, been medically proven.

Whether this “sleeping draught” should become a habit, however, is questionable, and should best be left to each individual to decide.

Warm beer helps to cure a cold

Many of you will certainly have already heard of this household remedy. It doesn’t actually combat the causes of the illness, but it helps us to relax and calm down – which tie in with the previous point. In addition, it has an antibacterial effect. The beer should not, however, be boiled, since otherwise the alcohol will disappear, and it’s needed to combat and kill off the bacteria. Since warm beer tastes rather bitter, you can add some honey or sugar, which will help the alcohol to enter your bloodstream faster.

You should always bear in mind, of course, that we’re talking about alcohol and not a medically confirmed remedy. So you shouldn’t take too much, , since after all the alcohol also dehydrates your body. But after all everyone can try it out – if you have a bothersome cold you want to get rid of.

Wine before beer will make you feel queer

… but beer before wine will make you feel fine.

The proverb refers to the times before the Middle Ages, since beer was the drink of the common people. Wine was reserved for the rich. Anyone switching from beer to wine had risen in the social rankings.

So the aphorism does not refer to the order you drink the beverages in, because this is totally immaterial, and plays no role at all in regard to the next day’s hangover. “It all comes together in your stomach,” as the saying goes.

Beer enlarges your bust

This myth is destined to remain one, since beer is not responsible for a more buxom chest. The hops in beer do in fact contain phytoestrogens that are supposed to resemble female hormones in their effect, but in quantities that are far too low.

So unfortunately I have to dash the hopes of all our women readers, because this legend is wrong. It would have been too good to be true anyway …

I hope I’ve been able to unveil some everyday words of beer-based wisdom for you. Were you already familiar with these myths or do you know any others? Please feel free to comment – I’m looking forward to reading some new researches.

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