Ginger Johnson
(Ginger Johnson)

(Ginger Johnson)

Beer has long been a beverage of necessity and hydration. The boiling steps in beer render the water used in the brewing process safe to drink. And that's been important for time immemorial.

So what about these days? Why do we drink beer? There's clean water a-plenty that we usually take for granted. Add that to a huge variety of juices, teas, coffees, sodas, flavored waters and energy drinks and we're positively swimming in choices. What, then, are the benefits to quaffing a moderate amount of beer?

A is for Alcohol. The Noble Experiment of American Prohibition showed us that trying to shut the door on alcoholic beverages is a disastrously bad choice. As Americans we want to choose what we want, when we want it and how we want it. Knowing what alcoholic drinks offer is what we need to consider. Alcohol is 7 calories per gram. It's lighter than water and most beer, on average, is between 90-95 percent water.

B is for balance. Balancing all elements of a healthy diet is one key factor in enjoying beer. Moderation, responsibility, frequency and volume -- all of these are designed to work together in harmony to create an enjoyment of beer.

B is also for benefits. Beer has a good deal of nutrition to offer. "Really?" you ask. In all seriousness, yes. Take the report the California Small Brewers Association sponsored, with over 250 references and citations about the beneficial links of beer and health (1). Take the in depth article published in the American Dietetic Association, Winter 2011 by Andrea Giancoli, MPH, R, "A Toast To Good Health" (2). She includes a full chart of beer serving nutritional facts are clearly outlining what's what. Giancoli states "moderate alcohol consumption is associated with greater bone mineral density ... " and "moderate beer drinkers seem to have a more protective effect because of the high content of silicon in beer."

C is for careful consumption. The volume of alcohol as a recommended healthy quantity seems to vary a bit from different sources. While it may be a bit confusing, there's an overall standard alcoholic drink quantity (3): One drink per day for women and two for men. One drink then equals 12 ounces of average beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80 proof spirits (i.e. vodka, tequila, rum).

If you're concerned about potential negative attributes of beer, it is wise to be mindful every which way. When I ran regularly, training for a half and then a full marathon, my husband would be ready for me post-run with a beer. He'd only half-jokingly tell me of the Vitamin B and Silicon in that lovely cool beverage. While I didn't need a lot of extra enticement, these two cited pieces alone more than solidify these claims.

M is for Moderation. No one can hang their hat on drinking too much of any alcohol for good health reasons. A very friendly and helpful beer lover shared that digging into (4) and searching for "beer health benefits" yielded many articles extolling beer's assets. Indeed. A quick search brings up titles including cardio vascular health, how hops in beer are advantageous and solid immunity in healthy adults.

R is for Resources. The book "Beer in Health and Disease Prevention," edited by Victor R. Preedy (5), was recommended to me by another helpful beer professional. She told me that the book is loaded with great information, in good detail. In the review of the book online, we learn the following. "For example, some cancers like bladder cancers and the incidence of cardiovascular disease are reported to be lower in moderate beer drinkers. Furthermore there is a considerable body of emerging evidence to show that the anti-oxidant capacity of beers is high."

Look into the fascinating and voluminous beer and health resources, several of which were cited here. I'd encourage you to talk about beer with your health care providers. Most importantly, I'd encourage you to enjoy beer and all alcohols in moderation, with friends and food.

Beer can be part of a healthy lifestyle for those who thoughtfully welcome it in their lives. If you agree, I'll buy the next round.

Resources cited:

1. California Craft Brewers Association, "Alcohol Proves To Have A Protective Effect On Health,"

2. "A Toast To Good Health", Andrea Giancoli, American Dietetics Association,

3. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University,

4., search for "beer and health",

5. "Beer in Health and Disease Prevention", edited by Victor R. Preedy,

Ginger Johnson can often be found grocery shopping, prepping and cooking wherever she may be. As a professional entertainer, speaker and business owner, she loves to meet new people in the various pursuits of life. Read more via and