Which Beer is Healthy for South Africans?

South Africa is known for its heavy drinking culture, but that doesn't mean that all beers are created equal. While all beers tend to contain some health benefits, some styles of beer provide more benefits than others. Runners should be aware of the potential dangers of alcohol abuse, but with the right knowledge and moderation, a cold beer after a run may be just what you need. Any nutritional information refers to a 12-ounce serving.

Keep in mind that drinking 10 of these in a row is only going to add more calories and carbs to the party (and will probably make you lose your life). Castle Light has 125 calories, Hansa Pilsener has 135 calories, Guinness Original has 155 calories, Carling Black Label has 165 calories, Castle Lager has 165 calories, Peroni has 165 calories, Amstel Lager has 167 calories, Heineken has 174 calories and Castle Milk Stout has 210 calories. Malted barley (or sometimes other grains and sugars), hops (for flavoring) and nutrient-rich brewer's yeast in beer have led some to call it liquid bread. The highest phenol concentrations are available in beers such as Yuengling Light Lager, Abita Purple Haze and Left Hand Good Juju.

Yuengling provides all the flavor while remaining light in calories - a typical glass of Yuengling light beer contains approximately 99 calories and still contains those healthy benefits of phenol. Beer also has a nutritional value, more than most alcoholic beverages, as a source of carbohydrates and nutrients. With the recent announcement that Australian scientists have created a beer with electrolytes, it got us thinking. In the study, researchers at Griffith University added electrolytes to two popular, but unnamed beers.

They found that light beer with added electrolytes was the “most effective at rehydrating participants.” South Africans are also heavy drinkers of wine, while the total kilojoule count for wines will vary by brand and type, generally, wines are around 500 kJ per 150 ml glass. While not the only factor, South Africa's penchant for getting drunk is, at the very least, helping the country maintain its crown as the fattest nation in Africa. By being smart (and practicing moderation), runners can enjoy a cold beer after a run without compromising their health. These beers provide all the flavor while remaining light in calories.