10 Pros And Cons Of Non-Alcoholic Beer To Know Before Drinking

March 8, 2024
By: Chrystabelle

About the Author

Chrystabelle is a non-alcoholic drinks expert who has tasted and reviewed hundreds of non-alcoholic beers, non-alcoholic wines, hop water, and non-alcoholic spirits. Her journey to being sober curious and discovering non-alcoholic options began when she realized she had a tendency to binge drink. Reach her at chrystabelle@oneclubsober.com.

We all know the harmful effects of regular alcohol consumption, which is why in recent years many people have swapped their drinks for non-alcoholic beers, or substitute one or two drinks a week with an alcohol free version.

So is non-alcoholic beer a better and healthier option? Here are the pros and cons of non-alcoholic beer.

Pros: The 6 Benefits Of Non-Alcoholic Beer

1) Non-alcoholic beer is better for weight loss.

One of the biggest reasons why I switched to drinking non-alcoholic beer is because it has lower calories than a can of alcoholic beer. I save around 50 to 70 calories each drink just by switching to NA beer!

When you’re trying to lose weight, going out for a few drinks can easily derail your weight loss journey. Not to mention, we tend to crave unhealthy snacks and food after consuming alcohol.

Non-alcoholic beers tend to have around 20 – 80 calories per can, while a normal alcoholic beer has around 150 – 200 calories per can. You would save more than half the calories just by switching to non-alcoholic beers.

If you’re looking for low calorie non-alcoholic beers, check out this article for our list of lowest calorie non-alcoholic beers, ranked by the amount of calories they contain.

Amount of calories in non-alcoholic beer vs regular beer

2) Non-alcoholic beer taste like beer. Mostly.

Gone are the days where you’ll snub your nose at a non-alcoholic beer. These days, non-alcoholic beers have advanced in taste and aroma, so much so that they rival alcoholic beers.

While there are still non-alcoholic beers that taste too watery or too bland, I really like craft non-alcoholic beer breweries like Athletic Brewing Co and Grüvi.

Many others are also brewing some really amazing alcohol free and non-alcoholic beers. Even mass-market brands like Heineken 0.0 (read the review) and Carlsberg 0.0 (read the review) taste very similar to the original version.

We’ve even done a taste test between a Lagunitas IPNA and a Lagunitas IPA to answer the age-old question on whether non-alcoholic beer tastes like alcoholic beer!

3) Non-alcoholic beer is healthier.

Turns out, drinking non-alcoholic beer has health benefits too. Drinking alcohol-free or dealcoholized beers can provide cardiovascular benefit and prevent coronary artery disease.

Another research also shows that non-alcoholic beers can help with muscle inflammation after exercise, and help act as a sedative to sleep better.

Plus, non-alcoholic beer also contains vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, potassium, iron and zinc.

4) You can drink without getting drunk.

Go Brewing Sunshine State Tropical Non-Alcoholic IPA

If you enjoy drinking beer while socializing with your mates, switching to non-alcoholic beer allows you to continue to enjoy the social aspect of drinking beer without getting drunk and hungover.

Since non-alcoholic beers can only contain up to 0.5% alcohol (the same alcohol content as a glass of orange juice) and alcohol free beers have zero alcohol, it is virtually impossible to get drunk on non-alcohol beer.

No more next-day hangovers, making a fool of yourself, and you can even drive home after a night out of drinking.

5) Non-alcoholic beer rehydrates the body.

Sometimes I get people at the gym looking at me weird for drinking non-alcoholic beer after a workout. But they don’t know what I know.

Unlike alcoholic beer which has a diuretic effect on the body, drinking non-alcoholic beer after exercising helps your body retain water instead of increasing urine output.

That’s because research has shown that the lower the alcohol content, the better it is at rehydrating the body.

Drinking a non-alcoholic beer or an alcohol free beer after working out is therefore a great tasting drink option to rehydrate.

Non Alcoholic Beer As An Isotonic

6) Non-alcoholic beer reduces inflammation

According to this research, non-alcoholic beer reduces inflammation and incidence of respiratory tract illness after a marathon.

Non-alcoholic beers contain naturally occurring polyphenolic compounds which have strong antioxidant, antipathogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties.

The findings showed that drinking non-alcoholic beer for 3 weeks before a marathon and 2 weeks after a marathon help reduce post-race inflammation and upper respiratory tract illness incidence.

Cons Of Non-Alcoholic Beer: The Downsides

1) Smell of beer can be triggering for recovering alcoholics.

I’ve posted a TikTok video sharing my opinions on this topic, but I believe that recovering alcoholics might want to avoid non-alcoholic beers.

Even though non-alcoholic beers contain less than 0.5% alcohol or have zero alcohol, they are brewed to resemble alcoholic beers closely – from the ingredients used, to the aroma, to the taste and flavor.

Research has shown that the smell of alcohol can be enough to raise the brain’s level of dopamine, give recovering alcoholics a high and trigger cravings.

In fact, our brains can’t tell the difference between alcoholic beers and non-alcoholic beers if they taste the same. This is why some people might “feel a buzz” after drinking non-alcoholic beer, which is due to the increased level of dopamine production.

I think it is important to be aware of this since it is possible that non-alcoholic beers might cause a relapse for certain recovering alcoholics.

2) Many non-alcoholic beers contain sugar.

In general, many non-alcoholic beers have sugar added to enhance the taste of the beer after the alcohol is removed.

Most non-alcoholic beers have less than 1g of sugar to 2g of sugar on average, yet some non-alcoholic beers have more than 3g of sugar.

We written an article on eight non-alcoholic beers that have no or low sugar and carbs, and are suitable for diabetics.

If you’re concerned about your sugar intake, then be sure to check the labels before drinking. Some non-alcoholic beers like Heineken 0.0 and Budweiser Zero have zero sugar.

3) Non-alcoholic beers can sometimes be more expensive than alcoholic beers.

Untitled Art range of non-alcoholic beers
Untitled Art range of non-alcoholic craft beers

If you think non-alcoholic beers will be cheaper than regular beers because they contain no alcohol, you might be surprised by the prices.

Depending on whether you’re buying a mass-market non-alcoholic beer like Heineken 0.0 or a craft non-alcoholic beer like Untitled Art, the cost of non-alcoholic beer might be higher.

This is because brewing non-alcoholic beer is more expensive for brewers, as it involves additional expenses and effort to remove the alcohol after fermentation.

Additionally, some alcohol-free beers use more expensive ingredients to mimic the taste and aroma of beer or employ special yeasts that produce less alcohol.

4) Non-alcoholic beer should be avoided by those with liver problems

If you have liver-related medical conditions including cirrhosis of the liver, or you’re suffering from pancreatitis, you should avoid drinking non-alcoholic beers.

Even though non-alcoholic beers have alcohol content that is 0.5% or less, even trace amount of alcohol in non-alcoholic beers can cause further damage to people with liver issues.

This is because most alcohol is processed through the liver, and therefore you should avoid any drinks with alcohol content.


Alcohol-free beers and non-alcoholic beers are better for you if you are thinking of taking a break from alcohol or going completely sober.

You can continue to enjoy the taste of beer without worrying about the health effects, the weight gain, or the morning-after hangover.

Looking for our recommended non-alcoholic beers? Check out all of our first-hand non-alcoholic beer reviews and find your new favorite NA beer!

About the Author

Chrystabelle is a non-alcoholic drinks expert who has tasted and reviewed hundreds of non-alcoholic beers, non-alcoholic wines, hop water, and non-alcoholic spirits. Her journey to being sober curious and discovering non-alcoholic options began when she realized she had a tendency to binge drink. Reach her at chrystabelle@oneclubsober.com.


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