Beer is the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drink over the world, and the third most popular drink overall after tea and water.
Most beer is brewed from cereal grains, such as barley, wheat, maize, and rice.
Many types of modern beer are brewed with hops, which add bitterness and other flavors and act as a natural preservative and stabilizing agent.
It is known that beer can have some influences on our health. Drinking beer can have some short-term effects, including improved mood, possible euphoria, increased confidence and sociability.
The drinker may be also not able to make judgment and control their muscles accurately. This depends on how much alcohol in the beer and how much beer the person drinks.
Drinking too much alcohol can cause vomit, respiratory depression, and even alcohol poisoning.
In the long-term, drinking too much beer (i.e. alcohol) can lead to higher risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver and stroke.
Beer is popular people can immediately feel their spirits are lifted after drinking it. This is confirmed by a recent German study.
They found that beer could have this function because its malted barley ingredient can stimulate the reward center in the brain. In this reward center, the dopamine D2 receptor is located.
One special feature of the study is that the results are not from lab experiments, but from a computer simulation.
This is because using computer simulations means that all types of known substance can be investigated.
In the lab, it is only possible to test a small selection of foodstuff extracts using standard screening techniques.
In the beginning, the scientists set up a database of 13,000 molecules which are present in foodstuffs. Using this database, the goal was to find those molecules that fit the dopamine D2 receptor.
After that, researchers tried to find which molecules could interact with the dopamine D2 receptor.
The search found 17 molecules of the original 13,000 options.
The most promising and surprising finding was that hordenine, a substance existing in malted barley and beer.
Hordenine could stimulate the dopamine D2 receptor, and it uses a different signaling pathway different from that of dopamine. It can elicit more prolonged effect on the reward center of the brain.
Although it is not sure what hordenine levels are high enough to strongly change the reward system, the researchers suggest that hordenine is well contribute to the spirit-lifting effect of beer.
Tips for enjoying your beer:
Take more than one sip when you are trying a new beer. Temperature is important when drinking beer, so try to get the correct temperature.
You can write down your likes and dislikes about the beer you are drinking and focus on subtle taste differences.
You should not store your beer in the light or in too warm temperature. Drinking beer with some snacks or favorite food, and don’t drink too much.