Whether you’re stocking up for a football party or just hanging out with friends, beer is often part of the celebration. If you struggle with intestinal gas, you’ve probably learned to pass up that second round. Is it true, does beer cause gas? Here’s how beer affects your GI tract and how to minimize the discomfort of intestinal gas and bloating.
The ingredients and how your body metabolizes them
According to Chemical & Engineering News, scientists have long known that ingredients such as “ethanol, maleic acid, and succinic acid … promote gastric acid secretion.” A team led by Veronika Somoza of the University of Vienna wanted to look at the problem from a new angle: maybe “the bitter acids from hops” was the source of gastric upset?
Somoza and her colleagues rated the bitter compounds in “five styles of German and Austrian brews: dark, wheat, lager, pilsner, and alcohol-free.” The conclusion: “The bitterest-tasting of the bitter acids stimulate gastric acid secretion more than less-bitter-tasting bitter acids,” Somoza says.”
Chronic pain? See your doctor!
That spike in acid secretions can irritate your stomach, causing damage over time. LiveStrong advises that consequences include:
- Acid reflux
- Stomach cancer
- Stomach ulcers
- Alcohol intolerance
- Beer allergies
- Digestive disorders
LiveStrong advises that drinking beer can worsen conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); Crohn’s disease; gastritis; and ulcerative colitis.
What else is on the menu?
Plan ahead and promote healthy digestion
Processed foods and high-carb items are difficult to digest. Avoid indulging for six to eight hours before you plan to have a beer.
How popular beer-food pairings make your digestive system work harder
eHow suggests eating digestion-promoting fruits and vegetables before you have a drink. Up your protein with lean meats like chicken or fish.
Remember to drink a glass of water between servings of any alcoholic beverage. Alcohol is extremely dehydrating.
Which types of beer are less likely to promote intestinal gas?
The MadScience blog has a page devoted to the chemistry of how beer fizzes. Beer can be nitrogenated, carbonated, or a combination of the two. Nitrogenated beers contain smaller gas bubbles and have a much longer-lasting head.
BeerAleLager reports:”Dark beers have less carbonation, which will in turn create fewer gas bubbles in your stomach. These beers can also make you feel fuller so you will drink them more slowly.”
Depending on the room- and beer temperature, most of the carbonation dissipates into the air before it can reach your mouth. (You do, however, swallow some of it.)There’s more gas in a carbonated beer served at room temperature than in even the same beverage served chilled. Why? “More gas will be immediately released at warmer temperatures and more will be retained in solution at cooler temperatures.”
Differences in how it’s poured/served
Choosing a brew is only the first step on the road to beer bliss. According to BeerAleLager, etching at the bottom of beer glasses acts as a release valve for dissolved gas. “Etching may also give the beer a more hefty, frothy head. It is designed to agitate the beer while pouring, causing the dissolved gas to be released rapidly.”
You probably know that you can minimize the agitation by pouring beer down the wall – rather than into the center of – the glass.
Experts advise you to reserve specific glasses for beer. Don’t use dish soap to keep them clean! Instead, substitute a couple of tablespoons of baking soda applied with a clean, damp sponge. Next, rinse with hot water and air dry.
Scientists have issued new warnings about the risks of drinking alcohol. Remember that due to their smaller size and physiology, women metabolize alcohol differently than men.
Assuming you’re of legal drinking age, only you and your doctor can decide whether drinking beer (or other types of alcoholic beverages) is an acceptable lifestyle choice. If you do choose to enjoy a mug of your favorite, two CharcoCaps® capsules will help you enjoy it without worry. CharcoCaps® dietary supplement relieves gas and bloating FAST!*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.