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Alcohol Free German Beer - Your Health & Wellbeing Questions Answered -

Alcohol Free German Beer - Your Health & Wellbeing Questions Answered

Are alcohol free alternatives for life, not just for Dry January? In the second of a short series of blogs inspired by Dry January, Sandip ‘Sandy’ Patidar, Founder & MD of, answers the health and wellbeing questions he’s most often asked as Dry January draws to a close…

10 years ago, Emily Robinson (now CEO of London Sport) founded the Dry January campaign. That February, Emily was committed to running her first half marathon and, to help her train harder, she decided to see how giving-up alcohol for the month of January would help. As it turned out, she lost weight, slept better, and had more energy to run.

Since then, Dry January has gained followers year after year, with many benefitting from an annual boost to their health.

A glass of alcohol free beer with a pine tree in the background.

“Should German beer lovers continue drinking alcohol free beer?”

As German beer lovers and followers of Dry January, the question of whether or not to continue cutting out or reducing alcohol consumption from February onwards often comes up.

With the advances in alcohol free German beer quality and taste, it’s certainly a lot easier to enjoy the best alcohol free beer nowadays. There are several reasons to do so, not just when you have a marathon to run!

You can enjoy alcohol free lager in all walks of life. Fancy a beer when taking a drive, going on a hike, or operating heavy machinery? Grab a couple of bottles of Rothaus alcohol free Tannenzäpfle and off you go! As the appreciation and social acceptance of alcohol free beer grows, there’s no reason to miss out on your favourite German beer. The health and wellbeing benefits are the cherry on top.

(Read our blog ‘Alcohol Free German Beer - Your Dry January Questions Answered’ to find out more about how alcohol free beer is brewed for quality and taste.)

“What are the health and wellbeing benefits of alcohol free beer?”

So, what are the health and wellbeing benefits of alcohol free beer? Let’s take a look at the questions I’m often asked (and please bear in mind I’m an importer of German beer, not a Doctor or health professional – I’ve simply learned of these benefits over the years and would like to share them with you as inspiration for your own research on the subject)…

A waterfall in Germany's Black Forest.

“Does alcohol free beer help you hydrate?”

Good old H20 is one of the most-effective ways to hydrate but, if you fancy a beer (and why wouldn’t you?), studies have shown that the lower the alcohol content, the higher the hydration power.

Alcoholic beer is known to be a diuretic, meaning you’ll need to go for a ‘number one’ more often -which may well leave you feeling dehydrated. Drinking beer with 2% alcohol or less has been shown to reduce visits to the toilet.

So, it looks very much like non-alcoholic (or low alcohol) beer helps you stay hydrated, just not as well as water!

A women sleeping peacefully in bed with a clock dispaying 1:30 in the foreground.

“Does alcohol free beer help you sleep?”

Hops are one of the most important ingredients when brewing beer (Rothaus select the finest ‘noble’ aromatic hops for their famous German beer) because they deliver delicious flavours with notable regional characteristics. Hops also deliver a slight sedative effect, due to the compounds they contain called xanthohumol and myrcenol.

Studies conducted with stressed nurses and exam students showed that drinking alcohol free beer in the evening helped them to fall asleep faster and sleep better throughout the night. So, alcohol free beer is certainly worth a try if you’re having trouble sleeping.

Having said that, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beers contain hops, so both probably help you fall asleep. Drinking non-alcoholic lager will most likely cut down on those night-time trips to the loo though, which may explain why it works better for a good night’s sleep overall.

Thinking about how to spell xanthohumol and myrcenol will probably help you fall asleep too.

A piece of paper with 'Balance' and 'Burnout' printed on it, with the 'Balance' tickbox ticked.

“Does alcohol free beer help you reduce anxiety and stress?”

Studies have shown that drinking alcohol free beer reduces anxiety and stress levels, but this too could be a ‘non-alcoholic vs. alcoholic’ scenario.

In one study, volunteers rated their stress levels daily, over two weeks, while drinking alcohol free beer in the evening. The results were then compared with the volunteers’ stress levels when not drinking alcohol free beer. Their stress levels were found to be lower during the two weeks they were drinking alcohol free beer.

The researchers also looked at physical results to help corroborate their findings. The volunteers showed a reduction of 5-HIAA (the main metabolite of serotonin) levels in their urine during the two-week period - which indicated lower anxiety because high levels of 5-HIAA often indicate high levels of anxiety.

In other studies, drinking too much alcoholic beer (or alcohol generally) has been shown to increase levels of anxiety due to its effect on GABA in the brain. GABA normally helps you relax and drinking some alcohol even stimulates GABA to increase its relaxing effect - but regularly drinking alcohol to a great excess can reduce GABA which can increase feelings of anxiety.

So, drinking alcohol free German beer in a bid to reduce your stress and anxiety levels looks to be worth a try.

A middle aged snowboarder jumping in the air and grinning; with only a bright blue sky in the background.

“How about Dry February and beyond?”

Looking at the perceived health and wellbeing benefits of drinking alcohol free beer, I’ve found that (certainly with the three common examples above) when they are gained, they’re often gained over time and if compared with drinking alcoholic beer.

It’s probably best to compare how non-alcoholic and alcoholic beer affects your health and wellbeing and act accordingly.

There are, however, strong cases for the health and wellbeing benefits to be had from drinking alcohol free beer.

So, why not try working alcohol free beer into your lifestyle all year round and see what works best for you?

Now, it’s time to grab a bottle of Rothaus alcohol free Tannenzäpfle.

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