The nutritional value of beer

DOSSIERS
Beer and metabolism
The nutritional value of beer
Nutrient content
The nutritional value of beer
For a significant section of the Belgian population, beer constitutes a not unimportant part of their diet.

The consumption of alcohol is not evenly distributed over the entire population. Research shows that around 10 – 15% of men do not drink while another 10% are responsible for half of all alcohol consumption (BIRNH study).

Energy value

Alcohol contains 7 kilocalories per gramme. Forty grammes of alcohol (which corresponds to four 25 cl glasses of lager) contain as many calories as 70 g of sugar. As a comparison, four glasses of a soft drink (eg. coke) contain as much as 132 g of sugar, which is twice as much as four glasses of beer. Beers with a higher alcohol content contain more calories. Wines and spirits contain more calories than beer.
The calorie content of beer is determined by the quantity of fermented sugars and by the alcohol, and generally varies from 30 to 45 kcal per 100 ml. In comparison to other drinks, this is rather low.

What food components does beer contain?

• Thirst quenching beers (lagers and some special beers)

calorific value ca 110 to 120 kcal per (25 cl) glass
water >90%
alcohol ca 5° (ethanol)
vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6
proteins and amino acids very few
fats none
carbohydrates ca 2% monosaccharides and disaccharides
ca 1% polysaccharides
trace elements, minerals lot of potassium, very little sodium
• Connoisseur beers (most special beers)

The nutritional value of beer varies according to its alcohol content and sugar content. It is therefore impossible to give a general overview of this type of beer: the variety of their composition is too great.