Friday, June 19, 2015

Is Drinking Beer Manly?

Actually not. While beer is generally promoted as a "manly man" drink, it's anything but. In fact, drinking too much beer has a potential to turn a guy into a girl. According to this article, beer contains phytoestrogen which lowers testosterone levels in a human body,  but makes estrogen levels higher. Hence the growth of "beer gut" and "man boobs".

It's not all, unfortunately. Beer also contains barley, which is a prolactin, the hormone that promotes breast growth in females and lactation. While alcohol in general has a tendency to decrease testosterone level in males (WARNING: language), beer seems to be especially damaging.

How comes then that beer got its "macho drink reputation"? Here the story gets somewhat tricky. Originally beer was brewed using such plants as yarrow, bog myrtle and marsh rosemary which were both mentally and sexually stimulating and Germanic men used to drink it before going into battle. Strange enough, it was Catholic Church which had monopoly on its production. German protestants being both anti-Catholic and apparently of a more puritanical bent, took a law forbidding to use sexually stimulating herbs while producing beer and substituted them with hops instead.
(According to Wikipedia, the process of substituting  the traditional herbs with hops started earlier than the Reformation, though).

Interesting enough, according to this blog, Ancient Romans didn't care for beer and preferred to drink wines and mead instead of it. So guys, considering the information above, think twice before you open that beer bottle/can:)


  1. Also un-manly is the "beer belly." These men like to complain about women who are out of shape but it's not like we find out of shape men attractive!! I bet most of those men who complain about "fat women" are probably out of shape themselves. How many of them look like they're about 7 months along?

  2. What I find interesting is this: most beer sorts from the beginning were made out of barley, which according to the first article I linked to, is problematic in itself. May be, that's why Romans who cultivated traditional manly virtues didn't care for it? The use of natural stimulants probably balanced the bad effects of barley, however, since they started using hops it all seems to have gone downhill.

    It may be anecdotal evidence, but those men I know who drink too much beer, aren't particularly manly.

  3. I think women drink far more beer than they used to. I must admit, I enjoy a cold glass after a hot day.

  4. Beer industry is huge! I'm not a great beer fan, as it always makes me sleepy. I drink alcohol free sorts and malt sometimes, but after this research I'm not sure I care for it. May be, this Belgian sort made with cherries, I think it contains no hop. But for women, it's not so bad as for men, though I wonder about all this phytoestrogen and breast cancer connection. I mean if soy can be dangerous because of it, why not beer?

  5. Well, everything in moderation; if one works hard enough physically, one can afford to ingest beer's maltose and other carbohydrates, in moderation.

    However, far better to drink whisky - which is not only more manly, but is better for you, health-wise (again, in moderation), given that one only need ingest 1.5 oz of your average whisky at 40% alcohol to get the same alcohol as 12 oz. of average 5% alcohol beer, so one's caloric intake is much smaller, and more of the sugars are turned into alcohol. Win-win! :)

    It's like tobacco: are you going to smoke the less-manly, worse-for-you cigarettes, or the stronger but healthier because not inhaled, smoke of a cigar or a pipe? Be more manly and choose stronger and healthier booze and smokes. ;)

  6. (The other thing about cigarettes, is you're burning not just tobacco, but chemically-treated paper, and other additives and fillers; with pipe tobacco or cigars, nothing but pure tobacco.)

  7. Yes, it's true, wine and distilled drinks seem to be better for health.