Craft beer aficionados rejoice – new science says that sipping a cold ale could help ease what… ails you. Research coming out of London’s University of Greenwich has found that beer is a better pain reliever than Tylenol and other over-the-counter pain medications.
And you don’t have to have just one. According to reports from Dr. Trevor Thompson, the head of the study, drinking three or four beers can have an impact on the body that is more powerful than taking Tylenol.
Here’s the science: Imbibing in a few beers produces an effect that is comparable to opioid pain relievers, like codeine, and that effect is more powerful than paracetamol. This term, paracetamol, is the science-y name for acetaminophen, also known as the active ingredient in Tylenol.
The study conducted by Thompson and his colleagues analyzed 18 studies, with 404 total participants. Each of the studies investigated the link between alcohol intake and pain response. Thompson’s and his team’s findings? Alcohol is an effective analgesic and delivers clinically significant reductions in ratings of pain intensity. According to the study’s results, drinking to the legal limit of .08% results in a rise of a person’s pain threshold. Findings from the inquiry were recently published in The Journal of Pain (how’s that for the name of a scholarly publication?).
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should start stocking your medicine cabinet with six packs. But the findings from Thompson’s analysis across multiple studies indicate that, yes, drinking beer can be good for you. Other benefits of brewskies were shown in the areas of improved results from working out, weight loss (really, beer belly?), and aging well.
Too much of a good thing can become a bad thing, so moderation is key. Overdo your attempts of knocking today’s headache out by knocking back too many beers, and you may find yourself suffering tomorrow’s handover. But go ahead, enjoy that beer (or three), and see if you notice any health benefits. At least you’ll enjoy yourself while trying.