Non alcoholic beer is a hot topic in addiction recovery circles. Some people believe that it can be beneficial for those who are recovering from alcoholism, while others argue that the lack of alcohol content could still produce negative side effects.
Because of these differing opinions, it can be confusing whether or not to drink non-alcoholic beer in recovery. Is it still possible for a person recovering from alcoholism to experience negative side effects when drinking non alcoholic beer?
Is drinking non-alcoholic beer bad for you if you’re recovering from an addiction? The answer is yes. Drinking non-alcoholic beer can produce negative side effects. In addiction recovery, it is best to avoid drinking non-alcoholic beer altogether. It may be difficult at first because most people associate social events with drinking. However, in time, these habits will change as you heal from your addiction and develop coping mechanisms.
In this blog post, we will discuss why drinking non alcoholic beer in addiction recovery is not recommended and could produce negative side effects.
Non-alcoholic beer still contain small amounts of alcohol
One common misconception about non-alcoholic beer is that it is completely alcohol-free. However, this is not entirely true. Just because it is called “non-alcoholic” does not mean it has zero alcohol.
Most non-alcoholic beers in the market today contain a very small amount of alcohol. In the US, if the beverage has lower than up to 0.5% ABV (alcohol by volume), then it can be called non-alcoholic. Many argue that this trace amount of alcohol is not enough to get you drunk, however, this could still trigger relapse for some people in recovery.
The smell and taste of non-alcoholic beer can trigger alcohol cravings and relapse
Non-alcoholic beers often smell, taste, and even packaged like standard beers. The only difference is the alcohol content. For people who love beer and are trying to drink less of the beverage, this might seem like a positive thing. You can get the same experience of drinking without the alcohol and the hangover. That’s good, isn’t it?
Not entirely. While drinking non-alcoholic beer might be a positive step for some people who are trying to minimize their alcohol intake, the effect can be totally different for a person who is recovering from alcoholism.
Drinking non-alcoholic beer may be able to provide a temporary relief to satisfy cravings, but this could backfire and actually lead to cravings for the real thing. This could then lead to relapse.
Non-alcoholic beer makes it difficult to kick the habit of drinking
Think about why you started drinking alcohol in the first place. Is it to cope with stress? Boredom? Social pressure? We all have different reasons why we choose to drink alcohol but for many people with alcohol use disorder, they start using alcohol as a crutch to get them through their personal issues. Drinking then becomes a detrimental habit.
When you’re in alcohol recovery, it’s not just about quitting alcohol. It’s also about changing your lifestyle and habits. You are also advised to remove yourself from things that could trigger your alcohol addiction relapse or put you back into your old habits.
If you keep drinking non-alcoholic beer, this is not really changing your behavior. You are just substituting non-alcoholic beer to cope with your problems. The problem with this is that because these beverages do not produce the same sedative effects as alcoholic beer, this could cause you to crave alcohol.
Instead of using non-alcoholic beer as a drink substitute, it is recommended that you develop healthy coping mechanisms like engaging in sports, exercise, arts, and exploring hobbies that are creative and productive.
Non-alcoholic beer is not entirely a healthy alternative
Just because non-alcoholic beer does not contain high levels of alcohol does not mean that these drinks are healthier. Most non-alcoholic beers contain a lot of sugar and carbohydrates. If you drink non-alcoholic beer in addition to your regular diet of sugar that includes soft drinks or other sweetened beverages, the chances are high that these sugars will provide extra calories without any nutritional value. If you drink too much of this, it could lead to weight gain and health problems.
When you’re in addiction recovery, having an unhealthy diet can affect your sobriety. For example, consuming too much sugar can lead to sugar crashes which can be a trigger for relapse.
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol abuse, help is available.
Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center today.