Sodium is something that a lot of people immediately focus on each time they check out nutritional labels. This is most especially true for those who are at risk for heart disease and obesity — too much salt can mess with their blood pressure and weight. And now you may be wondering if there is salt in that beer you are about to glug down.
A 12-ounce can or bottle of regular beer contains around 14 milligrams of sodium. The salt content of regular beer is so much lower than a carbonated soft drink, which contains around 45 milligrams of sodium per serving. Some beers have a higher sodium content, depending on the type or brand.
Whether you are conscious about your heart health or waistline, don’t stop reading now.
Read on, too, even if you just want to get to know your favorite beverage more. Below, we will have a chit-chat about beer and salt, such as why some brewers and beer drinkers add salt to their beers, which type of salt you can add to your favorite beer, and which beer types or brands have the highest sodium content.
Is the Sodium Content of Beer Bad for the Health?
The American Heart Association (AHA) says that no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day should be consumed. Since a serving of regular beer has only 14 milligrams of sodium, drinking one or two cans or bottles of it per day alone won’t cause a person to consume more sodium than recommended.
Salt is a food product that contains the mineral sodium. This is the reason why salt is sometimes referred to as sodium chloride — a molecule of salt has one sodium atom and one chlorine atom.
As mentioned earlier, the recommended daily limit of sodium per day is less than 2,300 milligrams.
This means that you should not consume more than a teaspoon of salt — one teaspoon of salt contains about 2,300 milligrams of sodium. However, if you have high blood pressure or are at risk for heart disease, it’s a good idea to limit your daily intake of sodium to less than 1,500 milligrams — that’s around half a teaspoon of salt.
Before you exceed the recommended limit for sodium consumption per day, you will have to drink over 160 12-ounce cans or bottles of beer within a 24-hour period. But don’t forget that sodium is present in other food products, too, and processed and canned ones tend to have the highest salt content.
If you are counting the amount of sodium you consume per day, check out this table comparing the sodium content of some of the most well-known brands of beer per serving:
|Bud Ice Light||20 milligrams|
|Bud Light||10 milligrams|
|Coors Light||13 milligrams|
|Coors Original||12 milligrams|
|Coors Dry||10 milligrams|
|Miller Genuine Draft||7 milligrams|
|Miller High Life||7 milligrams|
|Miller Lite||0 milligrams|
|Amstel Light||0 milligrams|
|Michelob Ultra||0 milligrams|
|Red Stripe||0 milligrams|
Why Do Some People Add Salt to Beer?
Different beer drinkers add salt to their beers for different reasons. For instance, some salt their beers to fend off a bad hangover. Others do so in order to reduce gas, thus allowing them to be able to drink more beer and minimize indigestion. The types of salt added to beers tend to differ, too.
Salt is a seasoning that people add to just about everything they eat. According to scientists, salt makes food taste better because it suppresses bitterness while balancing other tastes, such as sweet and sour.
It makes meat and fish more scrumptious as its chemical composition loosens tightly twisted protein strands.
Due to the ability of salt to improve the taste of various foods, it isn’t surprising why many people who drink beer frequently or occasionally sprinkle a small amount of salt into their beers. However, some beer lovers reach for the salt shaker not to make beer taste better but to allow them to be able to drink beer better.
Haven’t tried adding salt to beer and wondering whether or not you should jump on the bandwagon? Here are some of the most common reasons why some love salting beer:
- Reduced bitterness. It was mentioned above that salt has the ability to reduce our perception of bitterness. This is why those who love beer but hate its bitter taste count on a little salt. As a general rule of thumb, if your beer tastes salty after adding salt, you have added more salt than necessary to get rid of its bitterness.
- Eliminate flatness. After opening a can or bottle of beer, its content tends to go flat within a day or two. Instead of throwing it away, some people add a dash of salt to beer, which will cause dissolved gas to form and rise to the surface. But check out the next one before you start sprinkling that salt.
- Decrease gas. While it’s true that salt can increase a beer’s frothiness, it doesn’t last long — beer will lose all the bubbles produced very soon, thus causing it to go flat. This is exactly why some people salt their beer, in particular those who tend to suffer from indigestion due to the intake of gas-containing drinks.
- Prevent a hangover. The main reason why a hangover shows up the morning following a party is that alcohol causes the body to become dehydrated. And that is why by adding salt, some people assume, their bodies will retain water and thus fend off dehydration. But then it seems like the next one disputes this.
- Allow increased consumption. The intake of salty foods is known to increase urination. Perhaps it’s due to this why some people who wish to drink a lot of beer at any given time add salt to it. By making them go to the bathroom to pee frequently, there is always room for more of their favorite drink.
- Improve the flavor. Earlier, we mentioned the fact that salt is a wonderful seasoning because it makes just about any food taste better. Well, it’s for the same reason why some brewers add salt to their beers. For instance, when making gose, a German beer, up to one ounce of salt is added to every five gallons of it.
Besides the reasons for adding salt to beer, different people who like salting their beers also have different types of salt that they use.
Some of the most popular options include:
- Table salt
- Epsom salt
- Kosher salt
- Himalayan pink salt
- Flake salt
- Beer salt
Just Before You Drink Beer
Most beers have salt in them, with the regular kind having around 14 milligrams of sodium per serving (12 ounces). So, in other words, beer doesn’t contain a lot of sodium, which makes it ideal for people who are watching their daily intake of sodium in order to stay in the pink of health or maintain their figure.
But just because beer contains a small amount of sodium only doesn’t mean you can drink it all you want. Like other beverages that are also a delight to consume, make sure that you drink beer in moderation.
Does beer increase bad cholesterol?
Beer does not contain bad cholesterol. However, it has alcohol and carbohydrates, both of which can cause an increase in bad cholesterol. But because beer is made from fermented grains, it has plant sterols. Health experts say that plant sterols help prevent the body from absorbing bad cholesterol.
Does beer make food salty when used for cooking?
Beer does not make food that it is added to taste salty. Instead, it brings out the richness of food, especially meat and vegetables. Beer is often used for marinating and basting. Some chefs even use beer as a substitute for water. Beer is used for baking to add extra lift and tenderness to breads and cakes.