Mary Ekah
The general likeness for beer dates back to the ancient days of Babylon and Greece, Mesopotamia and Egypt till all around the world nowadays and it is reported that from time immemorial, women did not only drink beer but use it a as trusted beauty recipes. Many Hollywood actresses and top-models use it to improve their hair and skin. For instance, ‘Beer spa’ exists in Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic. Visitors to such institutions in the truest sense of the word have a beer bath.

Beauticians suggest the following beer recipes for the skin: The oldest recipe involves putting a cool fresh beer foam on the face, and after 10 minutes rinse it with warm water – this makes the skin elastic while it eliminates wrinkles. There is also the beer mask for dry skin. This is a mix of two tablespoons of beer, 1 teaspoon of olive or coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of honey. A woman applies the mask on the face with a cotton swab on the moistened and steamed face in a circular motion. When the mask is completely absorbed, she rinses with warm water. The lotion for aging skin actually involves a handful of fresh or dried rose petals mixed with a glass of beer.

For the body, there is what is called the Hollywood slimming bath. Whisking together half of cup of mild shampoo, one egg, one-teaspoon vanilla, and 10 tablespoons of beer does this. The resulting foam should be slowly poured under running water into a bath. In addition to slimming effect, beer baths, it is said, regulates perspiration and gently softens the skin. In addition, also, beer foam perfectly refreshes the skin and softens the feet. After bathing the feet, it is recommend to rinse feet with water to avoid sticky feeling.

For beer baths for hands, it helps strengthen the nail plate. To make such a bath, experts advise a mix of warm water and beer in equal proportions. Also, the best remedy for hair styling, which was known for a long time it’s beer. After washing your hair, comb it and sprinkle it with beer. When it dries, you will get an “iron” styling, which will make your hair healthier.

Notwithstanding the beautifying effect of beer, there are however, certain misconceptions held generally by people. For example, it is said that about 75 per cent of women over estimate the calorie content of beer. They believe it is beer that gave their husbands the abdominal fat “beer belly”, not knowing that it is their act of over-feeding the man. Nutritionists have maintained that beer does not contain fat and in fact, has fewer calories than wine.

In a society such as ours, there are different perceptions about the widely consumed white foamy liquid – beer. While some of this perception might have dated back decades it doesn’t necessarily make them true, as a matter of fact recent studies from around the world are presenting arguments to counter these perceptions.

For instance, to what extent is beer responsible for the ‘beer belly’ condition in some men? Research has shown that beer alone cannot be responsible for this occurrence. ‘Beer belly’ is caused by too many calories in an individual’s diet (from over-eating, sugary food and beverages etc.) and a sedentary lifestyle.

More calories are ingested than what is burned. The excess is stored in the body as fat. Fat is stored more in the belly by men, hence the prevalence of ‘beer belly’ in men. This explains why women are not associated with the ‘beer belly’; it’s purely a consequence of fat stored.

Women sure do consume the alcoholic beverage almost as much as some men. Research and studies have shown that beer is as suitable for women as much as it is for men. Like so many other alcoholic options, beer if consumed responsibly and in a defined moderation, then all the health benefits can be gained. Women, who consume beer in moderation, will benefit from the antioxidants present in beer, which serves as protection against many forms of cancer.

For new mothers, research studies by Koletzko and Lehner (2000) have revealed that moderate beer consumption may help in the initiation and success of breastfeeding (Pregnant women are advised to stay away from beer as no safe level has been established.) It seems that a component of beer, perhaps a barley polysaccharide, promotes prolactin secretion. The authors further suggest that the relaxing effects of alcohol and hop components might also have a beneficial impact on lacto-genesis-onset of milk secretion. Beer has also be proven to enhance a healthy hydration process, as 92 per cent of beer is made up of water (though you should never substitute beer for water), beer aids in stress relief even for women. Research has also further shown that there is a low risk of kidney stones in beer drinkers.

With all of these benefits, nutritionists caution that it’s imperative to take beer in moderation and do so responsibly. As a rough guide, The World Health Organisation suggests that 60 grams of alcohol per day should be a maximum. For a beer of 5 per cent alcohol by volume, which equates to approximately 4 per cent alcohol by weight, this means 1.5 litres or 2 bottles; 2-3 units for women a day and 3-4 units for men a day. To encapsulate all of these for us, Stephen Beaumont was quoted as saying that, “Anyone can drink beer, but it takes intelligence to enjoy beer.”