Why An Occasional Pint Could Be Good For You…Get In There My Son!

The History of Beer

For millennia (yup, thousands of years) humans have been getting merry on a good ol’ Ale (or beer). The origins of ale dates back to the 5th millennia BC and has been documented in records from ancient Egypt! So beer has been synonymous to masculinity and good times in social culture for some time (understatement of the year I know), ironic then that a 3900 year old Sumerian poem honours Ninkasi, the patron GODDESS of brewing… yep, the ‘lads’ and ‘laddettes’ tipple of choice hails from a laaaddyyyy (a Godly lady all the same)! Beer is a social staple for many, and although it’s abused by a frustratingly large proportion of the general public, an occasional beer can actually do you some good.

What is it about beer then

Well it’s not the nutritional value of beer itself that supports mental health, but rather the social gratification the act of drinking beer among friends can bring. A study published in the journal of Health Psychology led by the Medical Research Council established that men aged between 30-35 opened up about their mental health when questioned about their reasoning for going to the pub for a beer. A common response was that the act of drinking relaxed the men, uplifted them and helped them to open up and talk about their troubles.

But is it beer that is actually the reason for this, or is it the alcohol content, or simply the act of having a drink among friends?

A drink can bring us out of our shells

You’ve probably all witnessed people at a party seemingly tied to their seats, making awkward small talk and just waiting for the party to get going. Alcohol helps people to lose their inhibitions, small amounts can increase your confidence, whilst large amounts can leave many people paranoid, whilst increasing their ability to grow beer muscles (an urban legend condition that never fails to make you a fighting machine)! Like anything though, there is a point where one needs to stop, and 5 millenia later man still struggles to know when that point is. A social drink can quickly turn into a drinking session, and the negativity that can come with this does not usually out weigh the positives! This article is by no means encouraging people to turn to drink for a social pick me up, but rather proof that drinking to excess isn’t necessary, that actually the act of drinking with other people is actually the therapeutic element.

This article is coming from a guy that is somewhat of a recluse when it comes to getting p$%&£d, I recall doing this once, or maybe twice, and I will be the first to admit that this is kind of boring. However, whilst this study suggests men find a social drink therapeutic and relaxing, I on the other hand find that down right boring when compared to the solace I draw from hitting my local resistance gym or Crossfit box. Yes I rarely chat whilst in the gym, but being amongst my like minded peers is comfort enough for me…and I even have a little sup on my BCAAs and water during the session too, so that’s a win win if you ask me!

References

Emslie, C., Hunt, K., Lyons, A. (2013). The role of alcohol in forging and maintaining friendships amongst Scottish men in midlife. Health Psychology. Retrieved 29th January, 2014, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23316851

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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