Learn more about the best beer for upset stomach.
Stomach issues can often be troublesome, and finding a beer that doesn’t exacerbate the problem is essential for those who don’t want to give up their favorite beverage. Some beers, especially lighter and less acidic options, are known to be kinder to the stomach. This article will explore the best beers to opt for if you’re struggling with an upset stomach.
From popular Mexican beers, such as Dos Equis, which uses a blend of spices that are known to help settle the stomach, to traditional German pilseners like Jever Pilsener, these options cater to a range of tastes while still being gentle on the digestive system. The grain bill high in pilsner grains and low in acid, as well as the use of German Noble hops in Jever Pilsener, provides the perfect mixture for those with sensitive stomachs.
By choosing lighter beers that are easy to drink and specifically brewed with ingredients that promote digestive comfort, it’s possible to enjoy a glass without worrying about further irritating your stomach. Continue reading to discover the top beers that won’t upset your tummy and allow you to enjoy a refreshing brew.
Table of Contents
Best Beers for Upset Stomach
When dealing with an upset stomach, it’s important to choose the right type of beer to help alleviate symptoms. In this section, we’ll explore the best options in light beers, lagers, and pilsners and why they work well for sensitive stomachs.
Light beers are often a good choice for those with upset stomachs because they tend to have less alcohol, which decreases the likelihood of stomach irritation. Additionally, lighter beers usually contain fewer fermentable sugars, reducing the potential for bloating and gas. Some examples of light beers that work well for upset stomachs are:
- Dos Equis: This popular Mexican beer is brewed with a unique blend of spices that help settle the stomach. It’s also a light beer, so it’s easy to drink.
- Bud Light: This American light beer is easy on the stomach and lower in alcohol content.
Lagers are brewed at lower temperatures and use a different type of yeast than ales, resulting in less fermentation byproducts and a smoother, less harsh flavor. This makes them easier to digest and less likely to cause stomach issues. Some options for lagers are:
- Corona: This Mexican lager is light, crisp, and easy on the stomach.
- Miller Lite: Another American option, Miller Lite is a lower-calorie lager that offers a smooth taste without aggravating a sensitive stomach.
Pilsners are a type of lager that originated in the Czech Republic and are known for their crisp, clean flavors. They are typically low in acidity, making them less likely to cause acid reflux and other stomach issues. Some pilsners to consider include:
- Jever Pilsener: This traditional German beer has a grain bill high in pilsner grains, which are low in acid and high in sugar, making it easy on the stomach.
- Krombacher Pils: This German pilsner is brewed with quality ingredients and offers a well-balanced, crisp flavor that is gentle on the stomach.
By choosing a beer from these categories, you’ll have a better chance at enjoying a beverage without aggravating an upset stomach. Make sure to pay attention to the specific beers mentioned, as well as any other light beers, lagers, and pilsners produced with quality ingredients, to ensure the best experience.
Ingredients to Consider
Ginger is a well-known natural remedy for upset stomachs and nausea. Incorporating ginger into your beer can help alleviate stomach issues. Some breweries create ginger-infused beers, which can be found in specialty stores or online. These beers combine the enjoyable taste of beer with the soothing benefits of ginger, making it a great option for those with sensitive stomachs.
The alcohol content of a beer is measured in Alcohol By Volume (ABV). High ABV beers tend to irritate the stomach lining more, leading to discomfort and potential stomach problems 1. Opting for beers with a lower ABV can be easier on the stomach. Generally, stick to beers below 5% ABV, such as light beers, lagers, or pilsners. Not only will your stomach thank you, but your blood sugar levels will also be more stable, which is essential for those with diabetes.
For people with gluten sensitivities, such as those with celiac disease, it is critical to choose gluten-free beers. Many beers contain gluten, which can cause digestive issues or exacerbate existing stomach problems. Fortunately, there are various gluten-free beer options available on the market today. Some examples include Deschutes Brewery Gluten-Free Beer, New Belgium Glütiny Pale Ale, and Green’s Discovery Amber Ale.
Carbonation can cause bloating, gas, and discomfort in some people, especially those with sensitive stomachs. Beers with lower carbonation levels can help reduce these effects. When searching for low-carbonation beers, choose ones labeled as “naturally carbonated” or “bottle-conditioned”. Alternatively, letting your beer sit for a few minutes before consuming can also lessen the carbonation and reduce the potential for stomach upset.
Alternative Alcoholic Beverages
If you’re looking for alcoholic beverages that might be easier on your stomach, there are several options to consider. This section will discuss some of these alternatives, including red wine, seltzers, tequila, vodka, and whiskey.
Red wine is typically more gentle on the stomach compared to sugary cocktails or heavy beers. The lower sugar content and presence of antioxidants found in red wine could potentially help reduce inflammation in the digestive system. However, moderation is key, as excessive consumption of red wine might still lead to stomach discomfort or aggravate any existing issues.
Seltzers, such as hard seltzers or alcoholic soda water, can be a lighter option for those with a sensitive stomach. These beverages often have lower alcohol content and minimal added sugars, which may lead to less stomach irritation. Additionally, the carbonation found in seltzers may help some people find relief from stomach discomfort. Be mindful of consuming too much carbonation, as it might cause bloating for some individuals.
Tequila, when consumed in moderation, is often easier on the stomach than some other liquors. Opting for a high-quality tequila made from 100% agave is generally better, as it is less likely to contain additives that might irritate the stomach. It is important to note that everyone reacts differently to various alcoholic beverages, and someone with a sensitive stomach should still consume tequila with caution.
Vodka is another option that might be gentler on the stomach for some people. This clear spirit is often distilled multiple times, resulting in a purer product with fewer impurities. Choosing a high-quality vodka and avoiding sugary mixers can help minimize any potential stomach discomfort. As always, moderation is essential when consuming any alcoholic beverage.
Whiskey, like other distilled spirits, might be less likely to upset the stomach when consumed in moderation. Drinking whiskey straight, on the rocks, or with a simple mixer like club soda can help reduce potential irritation from sugary mixers or additives. Keep in mind that individuals with a sensitive stomach should still take caution and determine how their body reacts to whiskey before consuming larger amounts.
Beer Ingredients and Digestion
In this section, we explore how various beer ingredients, such as barley, hops, malt, and wort, play a role in digestion. Understanding the composition of these ingredients can help you choose a beer that’s less likely to upset your stomach.
Barley is the primary grain used in brewing beer. It contains enzymes that break down the starches in the grain into sugars, which are necessary for the fermentation process. However, barley can be challenging to digest for some people, particularly those with gluten intolerance or sensitivity.
- Barley contains gluten, a protein that can trigger symptoms in individuals with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
- The fermentation process reduces the gluten content in the beer, but it doesn’t eliminate it entirely. Therefore, people with gluten-related issues should consider drinking gluten-free beers made from alternative grains like sorghum or millet.
Hops are the flowers used in beer for flavoring and preserving. They contribute to the beer’s bitterness, aroma, and taste. The primary digestive concern related to hops is their potential to trigger acid reflux symptoms, as hops contain compounds that may increase stomach acid production.
- Hoppy beers like IPAs tend to be more acidic, increasing the likelihood of acid reflux symptoms.
- Milder hop varieties and lower-acid beers may be better suited for those with sensitive stomachs. For example, Jever Pilsener uses German Noble hops, which give a hint of citrus and a mild bready flavor.
Malt refers to grains, usually barley, that have been partially germinated and then dried. This process releases enzymes that break down the grain’s starches into sugars, crucial for fermentation. Malted barley is easier to digest compared to raw barley.
- Light beers tend to contain fewer fermentable sugars, which often makes them more comfortable on the stomach.
- Some examples of beers that are easier on the stomach include Corona, Bud Light, and Miller Lite.
Wort is the liquid extracted from the mashed grains, containing all the fermentable sugar and other compounds needed for fermentation. The pH level of the wort plays a role in digestion, as a lower pH (more acidic) can contribute to an upset stomach or exacerbate acid reflux symptoms.
- Paying attention to the pH level of the beer you consume can help you avoid any potential digestive issues.
- As a general rule, lighter beers and those with a higher pH (less acidic) are more stomach-friendly.
Factors Affecting Stomach Issues
Carbonation in beer can contribute to stomach issues for some individuals. The bubbles created by carbonation can increase bloating and gas in the gastrointestinal system. This can lead to discomfort and exacerbate symptoms in individuals with gastrointestinal issues. It is essential to consider the level of carbonation in beers to find one that suits your stomach.
Fermentation plays a vital role in determining the effect of beer on the stomach. During the fermentation process, yeast converts sugars into alcohol, carbon dioxide, and other byproducts. Some beers undergo longer or more complex fermentation, which may increase their alcohol content and affect the stomach negatively. On the other hand, beers with limited fermentation like gin might be less likely to cause stomach problems.
A healthy gut is essential for overall wellness and immune function. Some alcoholic beverages, particularly those containing probiotics or live cultures, may support gut health. For instance, dry red wines have been found to offer potential gut health benefits and contain low residual sugar levels.
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation and ulcers in the digestive tract. Alcohol consumption may worsen symptoms for individuals with ulcerative colitis. It is crucial for people with this condition to moderate their alcohol intake and choose beverages with lower alcohol content to minimize irritation.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder that may cause symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, and altered bowel habits. Alcohol, especially in large quantities, can provoke IBS symptoms in some people. Those with IBS should pay close attention to their beverage choices and consider opting for light lagers with fewer calories and lower alcohol content to avoid exacerbating their condition.
Potential Side Effects of Beer on Stomach
Drinking beer can cause acid reflux, as it stimulates the production of stomach acid. The carbonation in beer can also contribute to this issue, as it can cause gas and pressure buildup in the stomach, making it more likely for acid reflux to occur. To reduce the risk of acid reflux, it’s advised to consume only a moderate amount of beer and avoid lying down or going to bed soon after drinking.
Heartburn is a common side effect of beer consumption, especially if you drink large quantities or drink too quickly. This burning sensation in the chest is due to the increased production of stomach acid from alcohol, which can irritate the esophagus. To prevent heartburn, try drinking your beer slowly and in moderation, and avoid mixing it with other alcoholic beverages.
The carbonation in beer can cause bloating, as the bubbles create gas within the stomach. This can lead to discomfort and an increase in abdominal size. Additionally, the high sugar content in some beers may exacerbate bloating in certain individuals. To minimize bloating, you may want to opt for low-carb, low-sugar beers or switch to a different type of alcoholic beverage without carbonation.
Beer can cause nausea, particularly if consumed in large amounts. Alcohol is an irritant to the stomach lining, which can lead to feelings of nausea and even vomiting. Furthermore, excessive alcohol consumption can cause dehydration, which can contribute to nausea. To prevent nausea, it’s important to drink beer in moderation, avoid drinking on an empty stomach, and stay hydrated by consuming water or electrolyte-rich drinks alongside alcoholic beverages.
Health Risks and Benefits of Drinking Beer
Moderate drinking is typically defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. Studies have shown that this level of consumption has some potential health benefits, such as reducing the risk of all-cause mortality for women and the same results for men as seen in this study.
However, it’s worth mentioning that moderate drinking isn’t right for everyone, as individual factors such as age, medical conditions, and personal preferences play a role in its suitability.
Research has shown that moderate alcohol consumption can have a positive impact on heart health. Specifically, it has been linked to a reduced risk of developing heart disease. This is because moderate drinking can have a positive effect on blood clotting, help reduce inflammation, and increase blood flow, which can all contribute to better heart health. Keep in mind, though, that excessive alcohol intake can negate these benefits and put a strain on your heart.
Ischemic stroke, which occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked, is another area where moderate alcohol consumption may have some benefits. Studies have found a connection between moderate drinking and a reduced risk of ischemic stroke. However, it is essential to remember that excessive alcohol intake can increase the risk of stroke, so moderation is key to reap the benefits.
HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol, often referred to as “good” cholesterol, helps protect against the development of heart disease by transporting excess cholesterol to the liver for disposal. Moderate alcohol intake has been linked to increased levels of HDL cholesterol, which can be a positive factor for heart health. However, it’s crucial not to rely solely on alcohol consumption for this purpose and focus on maintaining overall healthy lifestyle choices.
In summary, moderate beer consumption can potentially bring some health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease, ischemic stroke, and increased levels of HDL cholesterol. However, it is essential to maintain a balance and not over-indulge, as excessive alcohol intake can lead to various health issues, including liver and kidney disease.
Choosing the Right Beer
When dealing with an upset stomach, it’s essential to choose the right beer that can help alleviate symptoms while still providing a satisfying drinking experience. In this section, we’ll discuss various options for craft beer, dark beers, and gluten-free beer. Keep in mind that everyone’s stomach sensitivities are different, so it’s crucial to experiment and find what works best for your body.
There is a wide range of craft beers available in the market, each with unique ingredients and brewing methods. Some craft beers may contain spices, herbs, or fruits that could help soothe an upset stomach. For instance, Dos Equis is a popular craft beer known for its unique blend of spices that might help settle the stomach. Alternatively, lighter beers like pilsners or lagers are often easier on the stomach due to their mild flavors and lower alcohol content.
When it comes to dark beers, many people may think that stouts and porters are heavy and therefore not recommended for an upset stomach. However, this is not always the case. Some dark beers are brewed with a careful balance of flavors that can offer a soothing effect on the stomach. Nonetheless, you should avoid highly acidic beers like lambics or sours, which can exacerbate acid reflux or heartburn due to their lower pH levels.
For those with gluten intolerances or sensitivities, gluten-free beers can be a great option to enjoy without upsetting their stomach. Some breweries focus on crafting delicious gluten-free beers, such as Deschutes Brewery, which offers a gluten-free beer made from alternative grains like sorghum, millet, or rice. Other options to consider include the New Belgium Glütiny Pale Ale and Green’s Discovery Amber Ale. These gluten-free beers can provide a delightful drinking experience for beer lovers with gluten sensitivities while reducing the risk of stomach discomfort.
By considering your personal preferences and stomach sensitivities, you can explore a variety of craft beers, dark beers, and gluten-free options to enjoy a satisfying and stomach-friendly beer.