The NA Beer Experiment

During most of November, I decided I wanted to nix drinking my nightly beer on a regular basis, mostly to see if I would notice any changes with my digestive system. Admittedly, there were a few evenings where I opted to experiment and have a "regular" beer, more or less to see how I would react the next day.

Things that I noticed:
After having a span of several evenings without beer, I found myself experiencing night sweats. Now I'm not 100% sure if this was because I wasn't drinking alcohol, closeness to my period, or my anti-anxiety medicine. 

I had really messed up dreams!

I went back to having issues falling asleep for a few nights in a row and eventually got back to falling asleep at night in a timely fashion.

I ultimately seemed to sleep better, as in, I would wake up and not feel so fatigued.

My morning bathroom visit, even after drinking coffee, was WAY better.

The evenings I indulged in "regular" beer, I found that sometimes I did fall asleep quicker, but I woke up fatigued. Other evenings I'd lie in bed wide awake for several hours before I could fall asleep, and again, I'd wake up fatigued. My morning bathroom visit was not as nice as it was on days where I had NA beer. 

Ultimately, what I found was drinking beer was not actually benefitting me in any way, shape, or form. Do I keep drinking something because I enjoy it, or do I listen to my body and do what makes me (as a whole) feel better? I think it's the latter because that decision can improve the quality of life on multiple levels rather than instant gratification.

One thing that has made this transition easier and enjoyable for me, was discovering Surreal Brewing Company. This NA beer option has (most times) several different IPA options available all the time, plus some other flavor choices as well. 

Some things to know about Surreal Brewing Company:

*2-7X fewer calories than other NA beer options

*Their beer starts at 17 calories/can, and my favorites are 44 and 65 calories/can!

*0G sugar options

*2 gluten-reduced styles 

*Low carbs

*All-natural, non-GMO ingredients

When I bought beer/drank beer, I opted for ones with high alcohol content. My absolute favorite options were DIPAs and IPAs with the occasional Triple IPA. High flavor, big punch, and if I had more than one...digestive sadness the next day. I knew making the switch to NA beer would be different, but I was up for the experience. I figured if I found an option I enjoyed, that would definitely make the whole sober experience a lot more enjoyable! 

My favorites from Surreal are the Creatives IPA and the Milkshake IPA- I had never had a "milkshake" style IPA before and I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor profile of this NA beer. To me, it definitely has something that resembles a "real beer" flavor, but without the alcohol. The Creatives IPA is a nice, crisp option that I can see becoming a nightly staple real quick. It is so refreshing, and I am enjoying the IPA flavor without it being so "heavy."

One that I was surprised at, and I have to thank Surreal Brewing for the opportunity, is their Natural Bridges Kolsch Style NA beer. I would have never purchased this as I consider myself a straight-up IPA diehard, but this Kolsch Style NA beer had a lovely flavor that I wasn't expecting, and I found it very pleasant to drink! Okay. I can step outside of my proverbial box and enjoy something different now and again. Imagine that!

How I feel after I drink a NA beer from Surreal Brewing Company-
I feel good. I don't feel "heavy"...frankly I feel legitimately good like I drank something that is good for me. How do I describe it? I suppose if one drinks something that has stuff in it that affects their gut health, you don't feel good. If you drink something that doesn't have those irritants in it, you feel good. I'm sure someone out there knows what I'm trying to say!

Not drinking "real beer" has me feeling happier and my sleep seems to be more fulfilling. 

Ultimately, I'm not missing drinking beer with alcohol in it, and that is awesome.

My experience with being sober for a few months in early 2020 was a bit on the boring side, and I think that's part of why it was easy to fall back into having a beer here and there. I'm so glad that I opted to search for other options to try to make the experience more enjoyable.

If you're curious about NA brews, I highly recommend checking out Surreal Brewing Company as an option to try. There are several styles to choose from if you're not an IPA-lover, but if you are an IPA-lover, they have multiple styles to choose from on a regular basis which is great for variety!