Beer is good for you. They’re the words you’ve been longing to hear and, according to Dr. Anna Lepeley, there’s scientific proof behind them. Lepeley is touring Texas this month to spread the good news to dedicated beer drinkers and health enthusiasts alike. She makes a stop at Galveston’s Devil and the Deep Brewery on May 16.
For Lepeley, who has a doctorate in exercise biochemistry and nutrition research, this isn’t just wishful thinking for brewhounds. She’s done the research and is an expert on the subject. You could say she’s written the book on the matter because she has. It’s titled Beer Is Good For You.
“Beer is Good For You discusses the health benefits of beer for men and women. It intertwines science with humor so you don't feel like you're sitting through a boring health lecture,” she said, noting the book is available on Amazon and at her events. “I like to make my seminars fun and entertaining with lots of humor so you're not bored with science.”
But there is science behind her wondrous declaration. A Floridian by way of New England, Lepeley earned her Ph.D. in 2012. Her dissertational research did not involve keg stands, she jokes, but was “the first study to analyze the acute pre-exercise effects of whey protein versus carbs and fasting on weightlifting performance in trained female subjects.” Lepeley said the research meant becoming an expert in hydration. As she presented the health benefits or shortcomings of all sorts of beverages, she noticed a peculiar trend.
“I realized quickly that people cared more about learning about beer over hydration. I enjoyed researching beer just as much,” she admits. “Soon after, I started speaking at academic conferences on how alcohol affects muscle protein synthesis, testosterone, and hydration among athletic populations. I wanted to take this lecture to general populations to have more fun with it.”
Lepeley said she doesn’t start the 40-minute lecture until everyone has a beer in front of them. Afterward, she’ll conduct a Q&A and share a beer or two with the audience if she’s not driving because “drinking and driving is for losers,” she says. You don’t need a Ph.D. to know that.
So what’s the least healthy beer?
“Before you go bashing various name brands, it's non-alcoholic beer, of course!” she said, further endearing herself to beer chuggers. “Throughout all of the research I analyzed, it ranks lowest in health benefits and fun. I make fun of non-alcoholic beer in my seminar.”
Lepeley’s never been to the Houston area. She’s visiting one of Galveston’s newest businesses, Devil and the Deep Brewery, which opened at 2425 Postoffice St. in February. When she’s not touting beer and its benefits, she does a stand-up act in comedy clubs. She says laughter may be the only medicine better than a good ale.
“At almost every seminar, I have an attendee tell me about their 100-year-old relative who drinks beer every day. During my seminar, I also enjoy that people can eliminate their personal guilt of drinking beer. People laugh a lot too. Laughing is really good for your health,” she notes. “In addition to really enjoying analyzing research on beer, I couldn't stand these idiot, so-called ‘fitness enthusiasts’ telling people that booze, including beer, is bad for them. One of my purposes on this earth is to teach people to enjoy the finer things in life, including beer.”
Dr. Anna Lepeley's Beer is Good For You lecture takes place Wednesday, May 16 at Devil and the Deep Brewery, 2425 Postoffice St. in Galveston at 7:30 p.m. Find out more by visiting the Facebook event page.