Ale Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 03/03/22 •  11 min read
ale benefits and side effects

HEALTH

Energy: ale is good for / helps improve blood sugar control *when consumed lightly to moderately | ale is bad for / increases the risk of addiction, alcohol dependency, dehydration, depression, disrupted sleep patterns, impaired brain function

Longevity: ale is good for / helps aid bone density, lower risk of heart disease, lower the risk of dementia *when consumed lightly to moderately | ale is bad for / increases the risk of cancers, deadly accidents, dementia, early death, high blood pressure, liver damage and liver disease

Appearance: ale is bad for / increases the risk of dry skin, weight gain

Ale is…

ENVIRONMENT

Water footprint: low, it takes 298 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of malt beer / 36 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of malt beer

Carbon footprint: high, 3.5-3.3 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of alcoholic beverages, a car driving equivalent of 8.75 miles or 14 kilometers

Destruction: moderate, beer production is moderately sustainable, alcohol production negatively impacts the planet with the process of growing the ingredients necessary to produce alcohol, grains, potatoes, rice, botanicals, sugar cane, and agave are all significant ingredients in the alcohol industry, which require a significant amount of fertilizer, land and use of machinery to produce beverages that aren’t necessary for human survival, resources could be diverted to providing food and beverage aid for those in need

Ale is…

ANIMALS

Kills: typically none, beer production typically does not require any animals to be killed but animals parts are used if ‘isinglass’ and ‘gelatin’ are ingredients or have been part of the production process

Harms: typically none, beer production typically does not require any animals to be used but animals parts are used if ‘isinglass’ and ‘gelatin’ are ingredients or have been part of the production process

Indirectly kills or harms: depends, beer production does not kill any animals unless ‘isinglass’ and ‘gelatin’ are ingredients or have been part of the production process and as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Ale is…

LABORERS

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Ale is…

acidic foods and alkaline diet to improve ph levels

ale is acidic.

Is ale alkaline or acidic? Ale is acidic. What is the pH level of ale? Beer has a 4.5 pH level, once digested. Alcohol is an acidic group.

When you eat food, it is broken down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are found in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

ale is not gluten free.

gluten free foods and what to eat on a gluten free diet

Is ale gluten free? No, ale is not gluten free. Ale contains gluten. Most beers use glutinous ingredients like wheat and barley as part of production.

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

ale likely contains a common food allergen: wheat.

the most common food allergens include milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is ale a common food allergen? Ale likely contains a common food allergen: wheat. Many people experience allergic reactions to ale.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

ale has a low water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does ale have a high or low water footprint? Ale has a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods and beverages.

What is the water footprint of ale? It takes 298 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of malt beer / 36 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of malt beer.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

We must do what we can to conserve fresh water and a major way to reduce needless water consumption is to change the way we eat. That’s not to say we need to reduce our water intake….quite the opposite. It’s important for our health to drink lots of water and eat foods that hydrate. The kind of water conservation we’re talking about here is behind the scenes.

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of something referred to as a “water footprint”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

ale has a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does ale have a high or low carbon footprint? Ale has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods and beverages.

What is the carbon footprint of ale? It takes around 0.38 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of beer, a car driving equivalent of 1 kilometer or 1.5 miles.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating product emissions, some factors that may be included are… farm equipment, animal feed production, hothouses (greenhouses), food processing, packaging, transport, refrigeration, freezing, package waste, and more.

There are a number of steps that can be taken to reduce energy output. According to Oxford Martin School researchers, if the world went vegan, eliminating animal-derived products, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds and avoid climate damages of $1.5 trillion.

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping…

Shopping locally reduces transportation emissions.

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Growing plant-based foods at home is the most environmentally sustainable method with zero carbon footprint.

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

ale is unsustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is ale eco friendly? Is ale sustainable?

Ale production is relatively unsustainable since alcohol is considered to be an unnecessary food or beverage. Ale uses water, energy and other resources that can better be used to create an essential food or beverage with nutritional value.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.

ale may or may not be vegan.

seafood and fish is not vegan

Is ale vegan? Ale may or may not be vegan. While ale is not an animal product or byproduct, beer production may use isinglass, which is derived from fish bladders. Check individual brands for vegan specification. If ale products are not labeled “vegan” they are likely to have used isinglass.

According to Sentient Media, “more than 200 million land animals are killed for food around the world every day. Including wild-caught and farmed fishes, we get a total closer to 3 billion animals killed daily.”

Animals of factory farms and the livestock industry are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. They’re also injected with growth hormones to become fatter faster and live short lives, being slaughtered as soon as they finish growing and are killed prematurely, well before their natural lifespan.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non Vegan Foods List

ale may have labor issues and human rights concerns.

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is ale a product that has labor issues? At this time, there are no specific reports of worker mistreatment regarding ale production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Ale may or may not have labor issues.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade.

Sources:

Piedmont Healthcare: The health benefits of beer

CDC: Alcohol use and your health

nidirect government services: How alcohol effects your health

The pharmaceutical journal: is beer good or bad for your health?

Adriane Marie

Grocery Guru, Material Maven, Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful! Use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.