Guinness is a name that is known all around the world. This stout has been around for centuries, and as a result, has had some strong marketing campaigns over the years.
Many people swear that Guinness is the healthiest beer for you, and has lots of nutrients and benefits to drinking it. But, is any of it true? Is Guinness actually good for you, and how much alcohol does it contain? To answer these questions for you, let’s take a look at what Guinness actually is and how it is made.
- 1 What Is Guinness?
- 2 Is Guinness good for you?
- 3 The surprising health benefits of Guinness
- 4 Is Guinness good for you?
- 5 How Much Iron Is in Beer?
- 6 The health benefits of Guinness
What Is Guinness?
Guinness is an iconic and well known Irish dry stout that originated in the Arthur Guinness brewery near St. James’s Gate in Dublin, Ireland. This stout has been around since 1759 and is well known around the globe for its distinctive and unique flavor.
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Guinness is made from water, hops, barley, and its own strain of yeast. This same yeast strain has been in use by Guinness for the last 125 years!
The hugely recognizable deep black color and caramelized flavor of Guinness actually comes from the fact that the barley used is not roasted, but is malted instead. This dark stout is well known for its almost black appearance, with a dense, creamy head on top.
Guinness has been brewed in Ireland for centuries, and as a result it is synonymous with Irish culture, and is served in bars all around the world.
On Saint Patrick’s Day, Guinness is the drink of choice, and is highly popular in Irish bars all across the United States. Due to its immense popularity and iconic nature, you will want to try this drink for yourself.
However, you may be wondering exactly how much alcohol is in Guinness, how many calories are in the stout, and whether it is healthy for you. Luckily, our guide has all of the answers you may need.
How Much Alcohol Is In Guinness?
How much alcohol is in Guinness depends on where the Guinness is purchased, as it can vary from country to country, and how the drink is served. This is because there are so many different varieties of Guinness available. That being said, on average there is about 4.2% of alcohol in a pint of Guinness Draft.
In Guinness Extra Stout, you can expect about 5.6 %, and about 7.5% in Foreign Extra Stout Guinness. In the UK and in Ireland, the average amount of alcohol in the Original Guinness is about 4.2% to 4.3%.
How Many Calories Are In Guinness?
You may also be wondering how many calories are in Guinness. The calorie content in Guinness can vary depending on how it is served, and in which country it is served. On average, there are about 210 calories in a single pint of Guinness, and about 125 calories in a bottle of Guinness. In addition, there are about 155 calories in a can of Guinness.
Is Guinness Good For You?
You may have heard that Guinness can be good for you due to its iron content. So, is this actually true? Well, there are some health benefits to drinking Guinness, and your friends are not lying to you!
Guinness actually contains some antioxidant compounds found in fruits and vegetables…but that doesn’t mean you should have 5 a day! However, these antioxidants can promote a healthy heart and reduce the chance of blood clots.
The high levels of iron in Guinness are about 0.3 milligrams of iron per pint, which is roughly 3% of your recommended daily intake.
Is Guinness good for you?
When it comes to St Patrick's Day, there's a universally accepted way of celebrating. That's right – Guinness!
We've looked at what a pint of the black stuff does to your body and asked the question “Is Guinness good for you?”
Now, you already know what happens if you drink too much alcohol. Don't worry, we're not going to lecture you about that. Not today.
- Instead, we thought we'd take a trip back to the 1920s, when Guinness adverts proudly claimed to be good for you.
- The line was famously born after a survey that involved little more than asking people with a pint of Guinness whether they were having a nice time.
- It won't surprise you to know that this slogan hasn't been used for many years!
- Nevertheless, we've looked at what goes into a pint of the black stuff to see what it does to your body.
How does Guinness affect your heart?
The idea that a small amount of alcohol might be good for heart health is nothing new, having previously been associated with red wine. But is it too good to be true?
Well, it turns out that dark beers such as Guinness may be able to make a similar claim. A 2003 study at the University of Wisconsin claimed that just over a pint of Guinness could cut the risk of blood clots forming in the arteries and therefore your chances of a heart attack. The researchers found that alternatives such as lager did not have the same effect.
It's thought that flavonoids, a plant-based antioxidant found in darker drinks such as stout beers and red wine, are responsible for this.
Where else will you find flavonoids?
If you're keen to get some flavonoids in your diet, there are healthier ways to do it. You'll also find them in dark fruits and berries, green and red vegetables and spices.
How will Guinness affect your cholesterol levels?
- Ever wondered what gives Guinness its distinctive colour?
- It's actually roasted barley, which contains vitamin B3, also known as niacin, that reduces your cholesterol.
- However, it's worth remembering that drinking lots of alcohol can actually cause your cholesterol to rise.
- It would take more than a couple of pints to get your recommended daily allowance of niacin (17mg for men, 13mg for women), so you'd quickly offset any of the benefits you might have gained.
How can you reduce your cholesterol?
Firstly, you need to know that not all cholesterol is bad. There's low density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol), which is the bad stuff that clogs up your arteries. Then there's high density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol), which carries LDL cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, lowering your risk of heart disease.
It's LDL cholesterol you need to be careful of. It won't surprise you to know that this is what's found in your fried breakfast, chips, pies and all that other stuff you know is bad for you. On the other hand, helpful HDL cholesterol is found in sources such as oily fish, so try to eat this at least once a week.
Is Guinness good for your blood?
One of the more unusual facts about Guinness is that it used to be given to people after they'd given blood, due to the belief it would help replenish their iron stores. Incredibly, this was happening as recently as 2010!
The truth is that Guinness contains around 0.3mg of iron per pint, which isn't significant enough to be of any health benefit, whether you've just donated blood or not. Men need 8.7mg per day, while women need 14.8mg.
The yeast in Guinness (and indeed any beer) contains vitamin B12, which performs many vital functions including creating red blood cells, which carry oxygen around your body and remove carbon dioxide. One tablespoon of yeast will provide an adult with their full day's supply of vitamin B12.
Where else will you find these nutrients?
The surprising health benefits of Guinness
For some, St Patrick's Day is the only day of the year you'll find yourself supping on a beautiful, creamy pint of Guinness.
For others, the celebration of the patron saint of Ireland is merely an excuse to indluge themselves in more of their favourite drink.
Either way drinkers of the dark beverage will likely be battling a colossal hangover on March 18.
Thankfully – and surprisingly – there are handful of health benefits to be had from drinking the black stuff, including; improved heart health and stronger bones.
The famous stout contains antioxidants, known as flavonids, commonly found in fruit and vegetables.
These can reduce levels of cholesterol and help reduce blood clots and heart attacks as a result.
Guinness contains antioxidants, known as flavonids, commonly found in fruit and vegetables (Photo: Shutterstock)
While there are some benefits to be had from drinking the black stuff, it is important to consume in moderation and avoid drinking more than 14 units of alcohol on a regular basis. Guinness. Guinness ambassador Domhnall Marnell stated to CNN: “We would never recommend that anyone drink to excess, and (we want to make people) aware of how alcohol effects the body.”
One percent of a pint of Guinness is made up of calcium – this is due to the presence of the plant hormone phytoestrogen.
According to a study by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, beer drinkers typically had greater bone density than fellow drinkers. The NHS, however, have been quick to highlight the negative impact on bone density from drinking too much alcohol, so try not to get too carried away this St Patrick's Day.
A pint of Guinness contains roughly 0.3 milligrams of iron – around three percent of the recommended intake for men and two percent for women.
Iron is high in haemoglobin which helps to transport oxygen via red blood cells. In years gone by Guinness was provided to patients recovering from surgery for this very reason.
Due to the use of unmalted barley, rather than malted, Guinness is higher in fibre than most beers.
A high fibre diet can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and can reduce blood pressure and inflammation.
A pint of Guinness contains 0.3 milligrams of iron(Photo: Shutterstock)
Though a pint of Guinness still contains a fairly hefty 210 calories per pint, this is less than fellow beers.
A pint of Heineken for instance contains 255 calories, while a pint of ale or stout, typically contains in excess of 250 calories.
Is Guinness good for you?
Thursday, March 14, 2019. Author Dr. Haran Sivapalan
St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner and, for many, it’s a time to celebrate with a pint or two of the black stuff – Guinness.
Back in the 1920s this Irish dry stout was advertised with the infamous slogan “Guinness is good for you.” Inevitably, as advertising regulations tightened, such touted health claims were eventually put to bed. But, is/was there any truth to such health claims?
A pint of Guinness certainly does contain some nutrients with well-established health benefits. On the other hand, these may be negated by the presence of other not-so-good stuff in Guinness. Let’s take a quick look.
Guinness’ distinctive black tincture comes from roasted barley. Barley is particularly rich in vitamin B3, which is also called niacin.
Niacin is essential for making a key molecule called NAD.
In turn, NAD is involved in lots of important chemical reactions in the body, including those involved in breaking down fats and carbohydrates to produce energy, and those used to build proteins and hormones.
Nevertheless, the Recommended Daily Allowance of niacin for men and women is 16 mg and 14 mg, respectively. By contrast, a pint of Guinness only contains about 4.54 mg of niacin. This means you would have to drink between 3 and 4 pints of Guinness to reach your RDA, which obviously comes with adverse health risks from Guinness’ alcohol content.
As with other beers, Guinness also contains yeast. Yeast is a rich source of several other B vitamins, including thiamine (Vitamin B1), riboflavin and folate. Again, however, if getting your fill of B vitamins is your main goal this St. Patrick’s Day, there are several healthier options out there!
Flavonoids are a class of plant-based chemicals or ‘phytonutrients’ that have been extolled in recent years for their anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and anti-cancer properties. They’re found in (and responsible for the apparent health benefits of) wine, tea, chocolate and, yes, Guinness.
On this note, a 2003 study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin suggested that flavonoids in Guinness can prevent blood clots. In the study, researchers first experimentally clogged the arteries of dogs.
They did this by stimulating one type of cell in the blood, platelets, to adhere to one another and form clots (called thrombi) on the walls of arteries.
The formation of blood clots is of particular interest, as this process is central to certain cardiovascular diseases, namely heart attacks and strokes.
After inducing clots in the dogs, the researchers then fed them either Heineken, a light brew, or Guinness Extra Stout, a dark brew which contains the same amount of alcohol but a 2.
5 times higher amount of flavonoids. After taking blood samples from dogs, the researchers found that Guinness, but not Heineken, significantly inhibited the activity of platelets.
In theory, this should lower the risk of forming further clots.
How Much Iron Is in Beer?
By Matthew Lee Updated December 17, 2018
Despite its high caloric content, beer is healthier is some respects than other alcoholic beverages.
This is particularly true of unfiltered beers, which contain much higher concentrations of vitamins and minerals than common lager beers. In addition, beer contains small amounts of protein and heart-healthy soluble fiber.
Although different types of beer vary in their iron content, no variety of beer contributes a significant amount of iron to your diet.
Different varieties of beer contain different amounts of iron. Stouts, porters, and other darker beers contain the highest concentrations of iron. Lagers, pale ales and other light-colored beers contain about three-quarters of the iron of darker beers, whereas non-alcoholic beers have about half the iron content of dark beers.
Although these differences seem sizable, all beers provide very little iron. For example, one can of lager beer contains less than 0.1 milligrams of iron.
Your recommended iron intake ranges from 8 to 18 milligrams per day depending on your age and gender, meaning that in the best case scenario, a can of beer contains a bit more than 1 percent of your daily iron intake.
Your body is better at absorbing animal sources of iron, or “heme” iron. As beer's iron comes from plant sources, your body cannot easily use the minimal amounts that it provides. However, eating a source of vitamin C and fruit acids can help to increase the absorption of non-heme sources of iron.
This also helps to boost your body's ability to absorb the small amounts of zinc in beer.Although most beers do not contain any vitamin C, it is common to add a slice of lemon or orange to some varieties — for example, Belgian white beers.
In addition to enhancing the beer's flavor, this helps to improve its iron bioavailability and add to its nutritional content.
Although beer contains large amounts of some B vitamins, its alcohol content inhibits your body's ability to absorb these nutrients. Most beers are not a source of any other vitamins.
However, they do contain significant amounts of minerals other than iron. For example, one can of lager beer contains 7.1 percent of your daily phosphorus and 5 percent of a man's and 6.
6 percent of a woman's daily magnesium.
Most of the calories in beer come from its alcohol content, with carbohydrates providing nearly all of the remaining calories. As such, light, low-carb and non-alcoholic beers are better options for losing or maintaining weight.
In addition, the reduced alcoholic content of some of these alternatives makes it easier for your body to absorb beer's high B-vitamin content.
However, because beer is typically high in calories and low in nutrients, you should not rely on beer to meet any of your daily nutritional needs.
Matthew Lee has been writing professionally since 2007.
Past and current research projects have explored the effect of a diagnosis of breast cancer on lifestyle and mental health and adherence to lifestyle-based (i.e.
nutrition and exercise) and drug therapy treatment programs. He holds a Master of Arts in psychology from Carleton University and is working toward his doctorate in health psychology.
The health benefits of Guinness
Ever wondered if there might be any health benefits to Guinness? With St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, many of us will be looking forward to supping on a pint of Ireland’s most popular brew.
Guinness is a dry stout made from water, barley, roasted malt extract, hops and brewer’s yeast. Its well-loved flavour and distinctive dark colour comes from roasting a portion of the barley during the brewing process.
We all know that drinking excessive levels of alcohol isn’t good for us but, as the old advertising slogan (“Guinness is good for you”) suggests, the Irish stout has a more impressive nutritional profile that many other boozy beverages. Discover the surprising health benefits of Guinness below.
Guinness has a relatively low alcohol content
Guinness contains less alcohol by volume than a typical draught. On average, beer contains 5% ABV, while Guinness clocks in at just 4.2%.
Guinness is not as high in calories as we might suspect
Known for its creamy texture, rich caramel-tinged flavour, and deep colour, many assume that Guinness is high in calories. But, at just 210 calories a pint, it’s actually lighter than many other dark beers.
Its creamy texture isn’t associated with increased calories because it comes from using nitrogen instead of carbon dioxide in the carbonation process. Nitrogen bubbles are much smaller than their carbon alternatives, creating a smooth, creamy and less fizzy finish.
Guinness may help to boost iron levels
Though certainly not recommended today, Guinness was once given to post-operative patients and pregnant or nursing women in an attempt to fortify iron levels.
One Guinness contains 0.3mg of this essential mineral, making up approximately 3% of our recommended daily intake. But, with a single egg yolk containing as much iron as three pints of Guinness, there may be healthier ways to boost our iron levels.
Guinness may improve bone health
As well as being the hormone responsible for keeping our menstrual cycle ticking, estrogen is essential for maintaining strong, healthy bones. As our estrogen levels decline during perimenopause and beyond, our bones become more vulnerable to breaks and fractures.
Guinness and many other beers may help to combat this as they contain hops, which are phytoestrogens. A phytoestrogen is a plant chemical that can bind to the estrogen receptors in the body.
It mimics the effects of our natural hormones.
The mildly estrogenic effects of hops were first noticed when the girls who were employed to harvest hops started menstruating earlier than similarly aged girls not working in the fields.
This may help to explain why a 2009 study has shown that moderate beer consumption can help to promote bone mineral density. Another study of 1,700 women showed that those who were considered moderate beer drinkers had the highest bone density.
Guinness may improve heart health
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin found that drinking Guinness can help reduce blood clots and the risk of heart attacks.