The simple answer to this is no, beer does not contain sugar. This is surprising to many people because beer has a reputation as a beverage that will pack on the pounds and stretch out your waistline, giving you the dreaded beer belly. But if you look further into how the drink is made, you’ll understand why beer sugar content is nonexistent.
Beer is made from water, grain, hops, and yeast. The grain — which is usually malted barley — is the source of the sugar. On its own, it’s quite sweet. This is where the yeast comes in. These microorganisms enable fermentation of the sugars in the malted barley to form the alcohol that you want. The hops add the bitterness that is characteristic of beer.
So, does beer have sugar in it? This process shows us that the sugar is actually turned into alcohol. So beer doesn’t have sugar, though it does have carbohydrates.
If you’re considering another alcoholic beverage to replace beer, wine might be at the top of your list. If so, you might be wondering how the amount of sugar in wine compares to beer sugar.
While we’ve already established that beer doesn’t contain any sugar at all, the same can’t be said for wine. A single serving of standard table wine has just over a gram of sugar in it. However, there are many varieties of wines and, therefore, the sugar levels vary. The sweeter the wine, the greater the sugar content.
If you look at the way wine is made, this disparity in sugar levels comes into context. Wineries make wine by fermenting grapes. If the skins are left on, you get red wine. White wine is the result when they only ferment the grape juice. This fermentation process will use up most of the sugar present in the grapes.
However, some wines are much sweeter than others. This is because the winemaker adds sugar to change the taste of the wine. It’s for this reason that dessert wines, for example, contain 8 grams of sugar in a single serving. Similarly, a white Zinfandel Rosé can clock in at 5 grams of sugar per serving.
If you’re comparing how much sugar is in a can of beer versus a glass of wine, you’ll find that the beer has less sugar.
Track your weight using Flo!
Install our app to track your symptoms, predict patterns and get daily health insights.
While the sugar content in beer is zero, other alcoholic drinks can contain quite a lot of sugar, including mixed drinks and liqueurs. The former includes popular choices like daiquiris, margaritas, and pina coladas. Some mixed drinks even have soda added to them, which can affect your teeth. These kinds of drinks can contain as much as 30 grams of sugar in just one serving. The liqueurs also contain added sugar added by the distiller to enhance the flavor and taste.
Consuming sugar in large quantities can easily lead to weight gain, which can make you more susceptible to certain medical conditions. Most people tend to enjoy several drinks in a sitting, and therefore consume large amounts of sugar without even realizing it.
This high intake of sugar can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. This means that your blood sugar levels are too high for your own insulin production mechanism to control. Development or worsening of this kind of diabetes is one of the most serious dangers of consuming too much sugar.
Sure you can, but should you? Most often, the purpose of a diet is to cut down on the calories you’re consuming. Earlier we discussed the sugar in beer and found out that the alcoholic beverage contains none. But that doesn’t mean it’s low in calories.
The reality is that beer contains quite a few calories, owing to the large amount of carbohydrates that it contains. Beer contains a relatively small percentage of alcohol because not all the carbohydrates are fermented. In contrast, liquors like vodka and gin contain no sugar and fewer carbohydrates because almost all of them are fermented.
If you’re on a diet and watching your calorie intake, it’s important to factor in liquid calories. It’s entirely counterproductive to focus on eating healthy meals and limiting your calories only to drink a few beers later on, adding hundreds of unnecessary calories.
Other diets are not for losing weight, but rather supporting a second life. It’s important to follow a healthy, balanced diet when you’re pregnant. However, pregnancy usually brings with it cravings for certain foods. Alcohol isn’t good for the developing baby, so it’s best not to drink beer during pregnancy — or any other alcoholic drink.
While on the topic of reproduction, it’s also important to note that alcohol can interfere with the regularity of your period. This is another reason why you should consume it in moderation (or cut it out completely). Not only will you be able to maintain your diet, but you’ll also be supporting good reproductive health.