0% beer: what is non-alcoholic beer and is it good for you?

Non-alcoholic beer (i.e. beer containing no or very little alcohol) has experienced a surge in popularity over the last few years, reflecting a growing trend towards healthier lifestyle choices. Find out more about this alcohol alternative and explore the benefits of choosing it over regular beer.

The rise of alcohol-free beer

0% beer has become widely available in recent times with 85% of pubs across the UK serving it and most supermarkets selling a wide selection of non-alcoholic beers and lagers alongside regular alcoholic beverages. Catering primarily to those who enjoy the taste of beer but want to avoid the effects of alcohol, 0% beer has now become so popular, sales are predicted to reach £102.1m in 2024.

What is Non-alcoholic beer?

Non-alcoholic beers are similar in taste to regular beer (a lot more so now than in the past) but the key difference is the amount of alcohol in each. An alcohol-free beer will typically contain no more than 0.05% alcohol by volume (ABV) while alcoholic beer will contain on average 4.4% ABV.

Does 0% alcohol beer have any alcohol in it?

While this may seem like a nonsensical question, most ‘alcohol-free’ beers will usually contain very small amounts of alcohol (up to 0.05% ABV).  Due to the brewing process, it’s impossible to remove all traces of alcohol completely. The amount is so minimal that, according to government guidance, it can still be classed as 0%.

Is 0% alcohol beer healthy?

Non-alcoholic beer is a healthier choice than standard beer, but it has little in the way of nutritional value and contains mostly carbohydrates and calories (albeit fewer than regular strength beer) – not a great combination for anyone on a health kick!

Can you drink non-alcoholic beer while pregnant?

Although the small traces of alcohol found in 0% beer are generally considered too low to pose a health risk, the safest option when pregnant is to avoid any sort of beer altogether and stick to soft drinks and non-alcoholic mocktails.

Does 0% alcohol affect your liver?

A 2020 study found that, unlike alcoholic drinks, non-alcoholic beer did not have a detrimental effect on the liver. When we drink regular beer, the liver has to work hard to metabolise the alcohol, removing it from the bloodstream. Consuming too much alcohol makes it harder for the liver to do this, potentially causing significant liver damage.

Does 0% alcohol beer dehydrate you?

Alcohol is a diuretic which inhibits the production of a hormone called vasopressin, increasing urine production which can lead to dehydration. Non-alcoholic beers have no diuretic effect and are therefore less likely to dehydrate you.

Final thoughts

While very few 0% beers are actually completely alcohol-free, it is a healthier alternative to the real thing, helping to give your liver a break, reducing your calorie intake and allowing you to enjoy a few drinks without worrying about a hangover the next morning.

Trying to give up alcohol?

If you are concerned about your relationship with alcohol and are exploring ways to reduce your alcohol intake, our website features a wide range of useful  resources and calculators designed to help you reach your goals. Try our Activity Finder to find local support groups in your area or have a go at our Habit Hacker tool to unlock some great tips for giving up drinking.

You can also register with us today and receive personalised support from our coaches who will work with you to create a bespoke action plan tailored to you and your needs. Contact us today for more information. 

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How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

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