Monday, September 23, 2013

Respect Your Beer

Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer. ~ Henry Lawson

The true purpose of this memorandum is to uncover the truth about beer. The truth is, I really like beer. Now, that's the truth! But it's not just how it makes you feel that is important, though the beer Gods and my German ancestors know that it really is important. Consider these immortal words from a great Irish-American statesman, "Ask not what you can do for beer; rather, what can beer do for me?"

So, what can beer do for you, or me...well, us?

It’s a hearty drink: Any type of alcohol in moderate amounts can help lower your risk of heart disease by helping to lower blood pressure and increasing “good” HDL cholesterol and lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol. Unfortunately, beer isn't a cure-all. I still have to watch my diet and try to exercise...something more than 12 ounce arm curls.

It has nutrients: Beer is made from grains (barley and hops), so it makes sense that it contains some of the same nutrients you’d find in grains, including B vitamins, protein and even fiber. A 12-ounce beer has 1 to 2 grams of protein and up to 1 gram of fiber (which isn’t all that much, but still!). Darker beer tends to have more fiber than lighter beer. The important take-away here is this: Food has no beer value, but beer does have food value.

It’s a bone builder: Beer contains silicon, a compound that helps create strong bones. Silicon is also found in cereals, whole grains and green beans. Beer also has phosphorous and magnesium — two other minerals in your body that are needed for building bones. Buzz kill: Too much alcohol can weaken bones though, so keep it moderate. Maybe include some cereal and bananas with your morning beer?

Speaking about a bone builder, nothing can build a bone like a whistle wetting Vergina.

I loves me a good Vergina! It lowers your risk of certain diseases. Like wine, moderate beer drinking is linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and some types of cancer. The antioxidants in beer are likely responsible for these effects. Beer is made from barley and hops, which give beer a different antioxidant profile than wine, which is usually made from grapes.

It’s hydrating: Since beer has less alcohol per volume than wine or spirits, a serving of it counts toward your total water intake for the day. I like this benefit as I have been trying to cut back on my bottled water intake. Oh crap, another buzz kill: Alcohol is dehydrating in larger amounts though, so if you’re drinking more than one beer, or another type of alcoholic beverage, make sure to drink water too! A little goes a long way. Water can rust your pipes, and no one wants a rusty pipe.

It’s good for your kidneys: Some research has shown that men who drink beer — compared with other types of alcohol — have a lower risk of kidney stones. Apparently the combination of high water content and being a diuretic might help keep kidneys healthy. I had a doctor at the MacDill AFB hospital verify this little factoid after I got back from a deployment during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Four freakin' months in Saudi with no beer and a week after returning home I got hit with the stones. Thanks to the nurses for Demerol...even better than beer!

Upon discharge, the good doctor said to drink more beer going forward. Well, all right then. I asked him for a script for medicinal beer that I could claim as an expense on my 1040. He renounced his Hippocratic oath to properly care for his patients by refusing my request for a needed medication. He is a poop-head...a full bird colonel poop-head at that.

In closing, remember these words, Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer. ~
Arnold Schwarzenegger

Prost, y'all.

Editor's note: This article and my opinions should not be taken with anything stronger than a grain of salt. If you have health issues, see a doctor. If you take any of the above to heart, see a phychiatrist.

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