Beer Math


There are two things every sailor can’t do without, rum and beer. There’s not a whole lot more I enjoy than having a frosty adult beverage after a long day of, well, whatever I do that day. There’s this special day that comes along every week where I get to do what comes naturally, eat and drink, cheat day. Let’s not go overboard here. I don’t think I should eat and drink all day or anything, but when Saturday evening comes around it’s time to take the belt off and feed the need of my tastebuds, and that may include having some beers.

Of course, beer is loaded with calories, the most of which are those from alcohol. What I’ve come to know is alcohol is it’s own type of energy source. Your body actually burns alcohol separately from the other big three: fat, carbohydrates and protein. On a carb light diet, the liver metabolizes fat for fuel. However, when we consume alcohol the liver would rather metabolize alcohol than fat, so fat burning stops. To determine how much calories from alcohol are in certain drinks we can do a little beermatics.

There are 7 calories in a gram of alcohol. There are 28.3 grams in one ounce of mass. If there is a 12-ounce beer with 10 percent alcohol content (some very good beers have this) there are 1.2 ounces of alcohol with 28 grams per ounce:

12 (ounces beer)/10 (percentage) = 1.2 (Alcohol Ounces)

1.2 (Alcohol Ounces) x 28.3 (Grams In An Ounce) = 34 (Grams of Alcohol)

34 (Grams of Alcohol) x 7 (Calories In An Alcohol Gram) = 238 Calories In a 12 oz. Beer of 10% Alcohol

Different beers also have a different amount of sugar that isn’t digested by the yeast during fermentation which adds some calories. Most of the rest of the brew sans alcohol is water. That sure doesn’t mean it’ll hydrate you though.

Just remember that the higher the alcohol content of beer, the more calories there are. A 10% alcohol beer is just like drinking two Bud Heavies.

What’s important to remember is the liver wants to burn those alcohol calories instead of fat, so if there are two beers waiting in the cue, that’s 500 calories. If it’s a 2000 calorie day, that’s at least four hours of no fat burning.

So we see here that beer is not to be taken lightly. It is to be enjoyed, held high and sipped as pure enjoyment during what is otherwise a taxing week. I’m going to be 100% honest here; I enjoy the way alcohol makes me feel probably more than taste, so I go for the higher alcohol content beers. Look, we’re athletes but it’s not a crime to enjoy a beer. We just have to remember the caloric price tag that comes with it. We’ll see how it goes!

From time to time I’ll to share a beer with you I find highly enjoyable due to it’s taste and fine alcohol content…

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