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Moderate Beer Consumption Linked to Good Health (Part 1)

As always, this information is intended for education and entertainment purposes only. Consult with your health care team for all things medical.

You read that correctly; beer has health benefits. In fact, early strongmen swore by it. World-renowned strongman Arthur Saxon, from the early 1900s, was one of its biggest proponents. Saxon, star of the famous Saxon Brothers Trio, was one of the absolute strongest men of the day. According to strength writer Connor Heffernan, Saxon was said to have consumed 10’s of thousands of calories per day and that his diet included copious amounts of beer.

Remember, there were no nutritionists back then, and medicine was still rather primitive, so knowledge came from “experts” who arrived at their conclusions via trial and error. In 1906, Arthur Saxon wrote:

“Spirits I have proved to be disadvantageous to the would-be athlete, and my favorite drink is lager beer. Beer and stout should be, among alcoholic liquors, the best drink for the weightlifter, as they are better calculated to build up the physical powers than any spirit drink, such as whiskey or brandy. If a man has been all his life teetotal, then my advice is “stay so.” It must be admitted that anyone who commences to take spirituous liquors in moderation is, at any rate, running the risk of eventually succumbing and drinking to excess.” Basically, Saxon felt that if you didn’t drink alcohol, don’t start; however, if you were going to drink, drink beer.

Another famous lifter of the time, Hermann Goerner, a giant from Austria, was also known to promote the health effects of beer. Like most lifters from that part of Europe, his routine would be to work out vigorously most days of the week and end his session with some good German beer. In a biography titled Goerner the Mighty, he advocated drinking moderate amounts of beer for health but avoiding hard liquors.

In more recent times, science has backed up the findings of early fitness pros. According to an article titled, The Health Benefits of Beer, found on the Piedmont healthcare website, some studies show that beer, consumed in moderation, may be beneficial to your health. The article went on to cite eight specific reasons why this wonderful and delicious liquid may be good for you.

Beer has a significant amount of antioxidants and is nutritious. In fact, some studies show it has just as many antioxidants as wine. As I previously mentioned, certain types of beer, such as stouts, are also high in protein and B vitamins. According to the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, the drink also contains iron, calcium, phosphates, and some fiber.

Beer can be heart-healthy. Studies suggest that moderate beer drinking (or general alcohol consumption) may make you less likely to suffer from a heart attack and are associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease. (The keyword here is moderate.)

Beer can help prevent kidney stones. According to a study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, people who consumed a moderate amount of beer reduced their risk of developing kidney stones by up to 41%. Beers that are hoppy such as IPAs are especially beneficial as they contain a significant amount of healthy phytochemicals.

Check out part 2 of this article next week in Living Well.

For more information about fitness and wellness or if you would like to connect with Dave, find him online at or check out Bellomo Fitness on Facebook.

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