An ingredient in beer could help you burn fat, study finds
Beer contains an extract that could help you burn fat and reduce the risk of disease, a study has found
Most beers have a few things in common. As well as turning the shyest of guys into ultra-confident chat supremos, they also sport a similar list of ingredients.
An ingredient that features prominently in lager, ale and beer is matured hop extract - and research shows this compound could blast away a beer belly.
In a study conducted by Japanese scientists, matured hop extract was shown to help people lose weight.
After 8 weeks of taking the extract, participants saw their levels of visceral fat slashed significantly. This is the kind of fat that is stored around your internal organs - so the lower your levels, the better protected you are against serious illness and disease.
At the 12 week stage, participants also had reduced belly fat and lower overall body fat levels.
Is this reason to start boozing like crazy? Not quite. Note that those involved in the study guzzled a drink containing matured hop extract alone. They weren't getting sloshed at the pub every night.
Excessive alcohol abuse can inflict substantial damage on the body, potentially causing chronic disease and also making it difficult to burn body fat. But you probably knew that anyway.
With alcohol and drinking, it's all about damage limitation. Getting in shape doesn't mean you can't go out with your mates.
In fact, being social and maintaining strong friendships is crucial for your overall health.
Here are some tips for having a healthier night on the town:
- In warm weather you may opt for a fruity cider or beer, but these should be avoid. Flavoured drinks typically contain a much higher sugar and calorie count. A glass of dry white wine or vodka, lime and soda are your best bets for fighting off belly fat.
- Go premium. Expensive drinks are that way because the quality of the ingredients is greater. In an alcohol context, this is particularly important. Also, the more you pay for one individual drink, the less you tend to drink overall.
- Damage limitation all the way. If you are boozing, choose a beer with additional benefits. A pint of Guinness contains a similar calorie count to lagers, but has more fibre and added B vitamins.
- Food intolerance? Don't be afraid to go gluten-free. True, if you don't suffer from Coeliac's disease you may not need gluten-free food, but a gluten-free beer tends to have a much higher nutrient profile in general.