There are few things more satisfying on a hot summer day than a nice cold beer. But if you’re trying to feel and look younger, it’s not the best drink to grab.
“Beer doesn’t provide your body with essential nutrients, and it actually dehydrates you,” says Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, registered dietitian nutritionist, and National Media Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
She explains that although it’s a liquid, it pulls water out of your body, and makes you more dehydrated when drinking it.
“When water is being pulled from your body, it also can age you, as it takes away moisture that could keep your skin moist, and instead causes it to dry out,” she says.
Besides impacting your skin, it can also affect your overall health and cognitive health.
“Alcohol also weakens your immune system and other internal organs become affected such as your heart, and regular alcohol drinkers may see a rise in blood pressure and triglyceride values,” says Ehsani. “Moderate alcohol consumption can harm brain health and memory and cause cognitive decline.”
Finally, alcohol also has a negative impact on sleep.
“It may quickly make you fall asleep, but it reduces your REM high quality sleep,” says Ehsani. “And lack of high-quality sleep also does not help you feel or look your best.”
And the one type of beer that may be aging you faster is one that is mixed with additional sources of sugar, such as a beer mixed with lemonade as it is in a shandy, making it an alcoholic beverage full of sugar.
“It’s high in calories, high in sugar, and contains alcohol,” says Ehsani. “Drinks high in sugar also aren’t nutritionally dense and should be limited. But when you mix beer along with that, it results in a very unhealthy drink. I would suggest you just have it on very special occasions or limit as much as possible.”
She also adds that drinks high in sugar also can make your dehydration worse.
“Too much sugar in the blood can cause you to increase urination, and leave you dehydrated,” says Ehsani.
Instead, she suggests you order a light beer.
“Although some people may not be a fan of light beer, light beer will have the lowest amount of calories, lowest amount of carbohydrates and sugars, as well,” says Ehsani.
Finally, Ehsani adds that you should be drinking beer in moderation.
“Just because you choose a light beer doesn’t mean you should be drinking multiple beers,” says Ehsni. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend one drink a day for females, and two drinks a day for males to stay within the recommended serving per day.
“If you do decide to have more than one beer, be sure to drink a tall glass of water in between drinks to stay as hydrated as possible,” says Ehsani.