Of course, anytime we talk of consuming alcohol. We have to give the obvious disclaimers of drink responsibly, don’t over consume…
But here is the good news about drinking beer. You may have noticed that most of the low-carb diet books tell you how bad beer is high on the glycemic index and therefore it will make you fat. But here is how the glycemic index is calculated.
A test subject is asked to consume 100 grams of a carbohydrate test food or beverage within 15 minutes. The blood sugar is measured every 30 minutes for the next 2 hours, and the results are compared against the response to ingesting 100 grams of sugar water.
If an average beer has 10-11 grams of carbs (Heineken 9.8g, Bud 10.6g, Coors 11.3 grams), you would have to ingest 9-10 beers within the 15 minutes. You would have to consume closer to 20 beers in 15 minutes to accurately test a light beer.
By the way-Beer substitutes, such as wine coolers and hard ciders don’t work in this equation, as their carb values start significantly higher (26g and up).
Essentially, there are 2 lessons to take from beer and the glycemic index:
- You can’t drink enough beer in 15 minutes to reach the level of a valid glycemic index test, because you would be pissy drunk!
- If you limit yourself to a couple of beers during the Super Bowl, you simply aren’t going to ingest enough carbs to have a meaningful effect on your blood sugar.
What Beer Makers Have Figured Out
Brewers realize that yeast feeds on the carbs in beer, so if you allow the fermentation process to take longer, the yeast essentially eats more carbs (essentially, the secret behind low carb beer). Recently Brewers have found ways to manipulate this process that allows yeast to eat almost all of the carbs without watering down the low-cal beer.
Here is a list of popular beer and the carb values.
Enjoy the Super Bowl
Rock Green Light Low Carb 2.4g
Michelob Ultra Low Carb 2.6g
Aspen Edge Low Carb 2.6g
Miller Lite 3.2g
Amstel Light 5.0g
Coors Light 5.0g
Bud Light 6.6g
Michelob Light 11.7g
Rolling Rock 13.0g
Miller Genuine Draft 13.1g