Learn the benefits and differences between beer vs spirits.
Alcohol consumption has been recorded as far back as ancient Egyptian times. While the processes and types of drinks have changed considerably since then, a human’s penchant for a little tipple at the end of a hard day is nothing new.
Sometimes there is nothing nicer than having a few drinks with friends. Whether it’s a spicy winter warmer or a refreshing summer tipple. Alcohol is a booming industry, and as a result, there are many different alcoholic drinks available on the market.
Two of the most popular categories are beers and spirits. In this article, we will compare beer vs spirits to understand which is better in terms of health benefits.
Table of Contents
What is Beer?
Beer is the top-most consumed alcoholic drink today, alongside being one of the oldest known to humans.
The main ingredients in beer include malted cereal grain, yeast, water, and hops. Depending on the beer and the conditions under which it is brewed, you get different ABV (alcohol by volume) levels and a wide range of tastes, colors, and more.
What you may know about beer is that it has numerous health benefits, to the point where cases can be made arguing that a daily beer could be more beneficial to you than complete abstinence. For example, several studies have revealed that beer can reduce the risk of heart diseases such as heart attacks and stroke by approximately 30%.
What are Spirits?
Spirits are hard-level alcoholic drinks whose alcohol content is higher than that of beer. Distilled rather than brewed, spirits are made using everything from cereal, rye, and barley to fruits, flowers, and sugars.
Depending on the spirit in question, people will either drink them neat, ‘on the rocks,’ or mixed with a non-alcoholic drink such as cola or lemonade. Many spirits are higher in calories than beer, especially once you start mixing them with sugary sodas.
As with beer, drinking large quantities of spirits can have adverse effects on your health. Experts trace these health problems to the liver’s inability to convert alcohol into energy efficiently. However, moderate consumption of spirits is also considered by many to impact your general health positively.
This is because; consuming spirits can reduce the risk of conditions such as heart disease and strokes along with other illnesses such as diabetes.
As mentioned, moderation is the key. According to John Hopkins Medicine, daily consumption of hard liquor is one of the lead causes of obesity.
What Does Your Favourite Drink Contain?
There are several notable differences between beer and spirits, starting from how they are prepared to their contents and how they are consumed.
Beer tends to be calorie-light compared to spirits, while spirits have higher ABV levels. That said, spirits are often served in smaller quantities, which can often lead to increased consumption.
Beer happens to be one of the oldest drinks in the world behind mead, and it has a rich and interesting history. Throughout the ages, beer has played a role of varying importance across different cultures and societies. A fun fact about beer is that it is the third-most consumed drink in the world after water and coffee.
While the distillation of alcohol dates back millennia, the presence of spirits as we know them today is far more recent. Spirits are different from beers in how they are made and the broader range of ingredients they contain. Spirits are widely consumed across the globe, with Vodka being the most common;y drunk spirit.
Comparison between Beer and Spirits
|Has more oxidants||Contains fewer oxidants unless in a cocktail|
|Contains a lot of carbohydrates||Contains little or no carbohydrates|
|Is a fermented alcoholic drink||Is a distilled alcoholic drink|
|100 grams contains 43 calories||100 grams contains 250 calories|
|Is a light alcoholic drink||Has a high alcohol content|
There are so many comparison points between beer and spirits. For example, in terms of health benefits, there are more antioxidants in beer than spirits. Spirit consumption, on the other hand, is known to reduce heart disease.
The carbohydrate content in beer is also higher than in spirits, which have lower sugar levels due to the comprehensive distilling methods. The secret carb danger with spirits is when you start mixing them with sugar-rich sodas like lemonade or cola.
Verdict on Beer Vs Spirits
In the discussion of beer vs spirits, I feel beer takes home the trophy. When it comes to beer consumption, it is much easier to control the calories, especially if you are on a diet. When you balance that with the known health benefits, it is a clear winner in my book. While spirits also have health benefits, it is more the mixers that work against them. Once you start sampling those sweet and moreish cocktails, you enter a calorie-filled wasteland.
Regardless of your personal preference for beer or spirits, you should always drink in moderation. It is all too easy to go overboard, and that is when both drinks start to turn against you, and those health benefits we discussed are canceled out.