When you think of the word six-pack two things most likely spring to mind: beer and washboard abs. Too much of the former will definitely negate the latter, but there’s no need to cut out your favourite beverage altogether. Learn which brew is best for your health (not to mention your waistline).
LOW-CARB ISN’T BETTER
We get it; carbs is a dirty word when it comes to getting lean. If you’ve been avoiding starches and sugars, choosing a beer marketed as ‘diet’ seems like a logical choice. However, this label isn’t a licence to drink twice as much! Substituting two low carb beers for one full strength beer only saves you about 200 kilojoules (47 cals) – equivalent to half a slice of bread.
ALCOHOL CONTENT IS KING
The strength of beer you buy ultimately determines its kilojoule content. At approximately 4 – 5% alcohol, a typical 375ml serve of full strength beer has 536 kilojoules (127 cals), with a light beer or mid-strength coming in at 386 kilojoules (91 cals) to 450 (107 cals). Per 100ml it has much less kilojoules than wine or mixed drinks, making it a wise choice when consumed in moderation.
THE TRUE CAUSE OF THE ‘BEER BELLY’
If a single beer on its own isn’t high in kilojoules, what causes the beer belly? Typically it’s the sheer volume of drinks consumed, combined with the poor food choices that accompany. Alcohol in large amounts can cause blood sugar levels to drop, making you more likely to choose bacon over berries and yoghurt to nurse a hangover.
THE WISE CHOICE
To maintain your physique and safeguard your health, national guidelines recommend no more than two standard drinks a day for both men and women, with a couple of alcohol-free days each week. During special occasions, aim for no more than four standard drinks over a 24-hour period and be careful what you choose to eat before and after.
Bottom line? In a culture where drinking is common and accepted, it can be hard to turn down the next round. But it’s your mates who’ll be jealous when you’re hitting the beach in summer, and kicking goals well into your senior years. So, which six-pack will you choose?