beer

Skip the Light Beer

You’ll just end up drinking more of it.

Every athlete knows that education is a crucial part of performance. Sport and exercise research, insight from top trainers, science, and technology help you to better understand your body so you can craft a healthier lifestyle, workouts, and recovery plan.

In our daily news series, experts address some of the latest fitness research, nutrition, style, and health stories.


THE SCIENCE
Researchers in England labeled bottles of beer as either low-strength or high-strength and found that people drank 20 percent more when they chose the one labeled as weaker, even though they all contained the same amount of alcohol.
EXPERT INSIGHT
When people choose virtuous products, like low-fat ice cream or skinny margaritas, they give themselves permission to consume more than they would of the indulgent versions, says study author Milica Vasiljevic, Ph.D., a senior research associate at the University of Cambridge. It’s a psychological phenomenon known as the self-licensing effect.
 
Beers with lower alcohol contents also have fewer calories, so choosing the weaker one may sound like the smart choice from a diet standpoint. But if you end up drinking more of it, you cancel out any potential benefits of making that decision in the first place, she says. 
THE BOTTOM LINE
Ordering the stronger drink over the lighter option can help you keep your calorie intake under control, as long as you don't overindulge. The FDA recommends one drink per day for women and two for men.