If you ever come home after a long day of work to crack open a cold one, you're familiar with the effects of one beer. And while an evening drink or two is something many people look forward to and enjoy as part of their evening routine, drinking one beer a day is not necessarily a harmless habit.
Drinking one beer a day is unlikely to get you drunk, but you should factor the calories into your daily caloric intake plan. The effects of one beer vary depending on your alcohol tolerance. You should also ensure that things don’t escalate over time, for example to the point where you are drinking six beers a night rather than one or two.
Read more: Bad Effects of Beer
The Effects of One Beer
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one 12-ounce serving of beer contains roughly the same amount of alcohol as a 5-ounce glass of wine or a 1.5-ounce shot of hard liquor. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that men consume up to two drinks a day and women consume up to one drink a day.
The USDA says that one 12-ounce can or bottle of regular beer provides 155 calories, almost 2 grams of protein, almost 13 grams of carbohydrates and 0 grams of fat. It also provides a number of trace vitamins and minerals, including 14 milligrams of calcium, 22 milligrams of magnesium, 50 milligrams of phosphorus, 97 milligrams of potassium and 14 milligrams of sodium.
Read more: List of Vitamins in Beer
One 12-ounce can or bottle of light beer provides 104 calories, almost 1 gram of protein, 6 grams of carbohydrates and 0 grams of fat. Vitamin and mineral content includes 14 milligrams of calcium, 18 milligrams of magnesium, 43 milligrams of phosphorus, 76 milligrams of potassium and 14 milligrams of sodium.
Drinking one beer a day can easily be worked into your planned calorie intake. The effects of one beer vary from person to person. Some people may feel tipsy or even drunk after one single drink, while others with a higher tolerance will feel entirely normal.
If you feel tipsy or drunk after drinking a beer, you should not drive, even if your blood alcohol content is below the legal limit. Plus, alcohol can interfere with certain medications to cause potential side effects, so always research any interactions before you drink when taking medicine.
Read more: 5 Hidden Health Benefits of Alcohol
Drinking 6 Beers a Night
Harvard Health Publishing explains that moderate drinking may benefit your heart and circulatory system. However, excessive drinking is linked to a number of long-term health effects like liver disease, heart disease, cancer and depression. It can also contribute to weight gain.
So, while having one beer a day may not be harmful in the long-term, drinking six beers a night every night can affect your health and may be a sign of alcohol dependence issues. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, around 16 million people in the U.S. suffer from alcohol use disorder.