keg toss photo by Jason Means of

keg toss photo by Jason Means of

Beer Fitness

Surely you have seen them before. The commercials are out there everywhere, marketing low calorie beers with exceptional taste and only a handful of carbs. Sure, they look appealing right? You see a smoking hot girl in a bikini and a young virile stud with a washboard  stomach and they are both enjoying the newest trend in ultra light beers, having a great time on the beach with friends, also members of the select few “beautiful people.” If you have ever tasted one of these, you would probably agree with me as to why they look so fit – for starters, to look that nice they have to be at the gym nearly 24/7. That or they have genes that descended from the Spartans of Ancient Greece. Next, consider this – what they are drinking is practically water. It is so light that you have to drink yourself bloated to even begin to feel the effect of them. I’m not saying that is the goal and I’m not advocating binge drinking in any way, but I’m making a greater point here. When I want to eat or drink something. I want to enjoy its flavor. I’m not overly concerned with the calorie count so much as I am with the lack of taste I would be getting if I submitted myself to the “healthy” alternative. Fast food restaurants having calorie counts for food items on the menu boards seems extraneous and a little too “big brother” if you ask me. If I’m going out to enjoy a big juicy steak, potatoes and other comfort foods I couldn’t care less that I could eat a tofu burger and have a good conscience about it, and feel better because I went the healthy route. No sir, I want to enjoy what I put in my body. But I digress.

So here we are, the crux of my point – discussing our desire to say healthy and look beautiful and comparing that with our want for better tasting brew. I could go with the macro “super-ultra-mega” light beer that only has 5 grams of carbs and under 50 calories, but it would be little different than pouring a glass of water and throwing in some fruit drink mix powder and saying that I’m enjoying a delicious fruit punch. See what I’m getting at? I understand that by drinking a fuller-bodied beer with tons more flavor than its light counterpart it is likely to add to my waistline, but that is a conscious decision I make for myself. I know that I’m going to have to juggle my want for greater fulfillment in the flavor department with my need to hit the gym more regularly. This is not an issue for me, I live life to the fullest and refuse to sacrifice my taste buds for the greater good of healthy living. Besides, many of these fuller bodied beers have their fair share of vitamins and minerals in them that your super light water-beer doesn’t. So now you have to supplement your daily intake with multivitamins and other items that would have already been in the brew you could have just had. It has been said that those full-bodied beers, like Guinness, are a meal. Wonder why? It’s because you’re getting so much more than flavored water.

When I brew my own beer, my goal is to go for something with flavor, something that will make me proud to say “I built that.” Something I want to share with friends and strangers alike. Why would beer that I purchase be any different? I am a grown man and I understand the consequences of not living a healthy lifestyle. But who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? Because of my sedentary lifestyle (I ride a desk all day long) I have to get out and exercise anyway. Might as well have plenty of carbs to burn, right? After all, you see people who work out regularly and they eat constantly. It makes people wonder about how they keep their figure. Simple answer – eating smaller portions more often throughout the day helps to launch your metabolism into the stratosphere. This burns more calories, which in turn incinerates fat. Do you run the risk of cancelling that out when you drink heavier beer? Sure, if you sit around and do nothing, letting those carbs and calories collect in your belly. The same concepts apply to food and beer alike.

So what to do if you want to stay healthy and still enjoy better beer? Stay active, keep up with your trips to the gym or afternoons on the treadmill. Whatever it is you do to stay in decent shape, beer fitness. Drink in moderation of course. Besides, with a heavier beer, you’re not going to be able to put them away like you could when you were doing keg stands at your frat party back in college. They are two totally different animals and this one is to be respected. Not to mention, with a ton of flavor, these beers are not meant for chugging. Savor them – sip it, swirl it around your mouth, let it coat your palate and enjoy the beer. It has been said that by eating slower, you get a sense of being fulfilled and having a full stomach without bloating yourself. Why can’t the same be true for enjoying a nice beer? Cheers!

Beer Belly

Photo by Debbi Long of