Drinking COLD beer has an actual health advantage (over drinking warm beer)
You can shave 8 to 10 calories off your beer by drinking it cold!
2. What is a calorie?
A calorie (metric) is the amount of energy required to raise a gram of water, 1 degree Celsius.
3. What is a “food calorie”?
When we talk about a “food calorie”, we are actually talking about a “kilocalorie”, or 1000 (metric) calories. My beer has 145 “food calories” (or kilocalories), which is 145,000 actual calories.
The energy stored in food, “food calories”, is either converted to energy or stored as fat. If you eat more calories than you burn, you gain weight, and vice-versa.
4. How cold does beer get?
Since the calorie is based on the metric system, I’m going to base everything on Celsius, with Fahrenheit references.
Water freezes at 0C (32F). Alcohol freezes at -117C (-178.6F), which is pretty darn cold.
My trusty “generic American lager” is 5% ABV (Alcohol By Volume), so that works out to a freezing point of almost -6C ( just over 21F).
We don’t want to actually FREEZE the beer, so let’s go with a baseline temperature of -5C (23F).
Note: You can CHILL your beer to 23F, for example with an ice and saltwater bath, but you can’t STORE your beer at 23F. If you STORE your beer below freezing, the water will eventually freeze, forcing the alcohol out. This process is known as “ice distillation”, and doesn’t produce anything tasty from most “normal beer”.
5. How many grams in a beer?
1 gram of water = 1 cc, and 1 ounce of water = 28 cc, which is 28 grams.
Beer in the 5% ABV range is roughly 8% denser than water, so let’s go with 30 grams per oz.
My trusty “generic American lager” is 12 ounces, or about 362 grams.
6. So…. How does this help me??
If you drink your beer at room temperature, which is about 74F (23C), your body has to raise all 362 grams to body temperature of 98.6F (37C), a difference of 14C. 14 times 362 = 5,070 actual calories, or roughly 5 “food calories”.
My trusty “generic American lager” is 145 calories, so drinking a warm beer has a net calorie intake of 140 calories.
HOWEVER, if you drink your beer at -5C, the difference is 42C. 42 times 362 = 15,209 actual calories, or just over 15 “food calories”.
Your body will burn 10 EXTRA calories if you chill your beer to 23F (versus room temperature)!
You say your fridge doesn’t get that cold?
Drinking your beer at freezing, or 32F (0C) is a difference of 37C, or 13 “food calories”, meaning, I can drink my trusty “generic American lager” at the freezing point of water (which is still quite frosty for beer), and shave off 13 calories in the process (about 8 more than “warm”)!