1 EAGLETON NOTES: My Beer is Isotonic

.

.

Monday, 31 October 2016

My Beer is Isotonic

I rarely drink beer these days. However, when I was down on The Wirral, my brother and I called into the Irby Mill pub  on the way home (I'd been drinking too much coffee and needed the pub's facilities and CJ wanted to photograph the pub's sign). We decided to enjoy the pub's ambience 


and I decided to have a non-alcoholic beer. I rarely drink beer these days and non-alcoholic beers that I've sample have not been to my liking apart, I should add, from a John Smiths bitter that ceased production aeons ago. I was given a 


which turned out to be rather enjoyable.

However the fact that it was a 'refreshing isotonic drink' had CJ and I wondering what the relevance of isotonic was. The usual meaning of the word relates to a solution having the same osmotic pressure as some other solution, especially one in a cell or a body fluid. We all know from our biology lessons that osmosis is a process by which something passes through a semipermeable membrane from a less concentrated solution into a more concentrated one. So if the pressure was the same surely the liquid was about to drink would just pass straight through me without permeating any of my digestive etc organs and therefore couldn't have any effect on me. 

Thinking about this I discovered that sports drinks (I've never had one) are isotonic as well but they are all supposed to be good and energy-giving and that presumably requires the transfer of goodness through my bodily membranes.

I'm confused. Can anyone enlighten me.

28 comments:

  1. Graham, it almost certainly means that the beer drinks itself. You are merely the catalyst.

    ReplyDelete
  2. For my own part I vaguely associate 'isotonic' to something to do with muscle tension and exercises; but as that doesn't quite seem to fit here (unless perhaps lifting a beer bottle can be counted as exercise), I clicked my way to another suggestions: It has to do with the drink containing similar concentrations of salt and sugar as in the human body. (Look up "Sports drink" in Wikipedia.) Frances's explanation may be better, though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Monica I just wanted a nice alcohol free drink and this beer was suggested (and welcomed). I remember beer when it was just a drink and all we knew was that it was made of hops and 'other things'.

      Delete
  3. An isotonic drink is one that contains similar sugar levels to the human body – that’s 4g to 8g per 100ml. This similar ‘osmotic pressure’ to the bodily fluids means the hydration is more quickly taken into the body and turned into fuel – Erdinger beer contains just the right balance and is ‘Alkoholfrei’ – containing 0.5% alcohol by volume. That’s too much to make it ‘alcohol free’ by UK laws.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's interesting, I didn't know our "Alkoholfrei" level is different from the "alcohol free". Thank you!

      Delete
    2. Thanks Heron. I hadn't actually noticed the alcohol content. I took 'Alkoholfrei' to mean what it says. Silly me. Thanks for the explanation as well. It'll be comforting to understand what I may (or may not) drink again.

      Delete
    3. Like you. Meike, I assumed the word meant what it said when translated.

      Delete
  4. That's odd - the label in two languages! Of course I am familiar with Erdinger, a well-established German brewery, but I don't drink beer and therefore can't say anything about its taste. When I throw parties, I usually have some beer on offer, also of the non-alcoholic variety, and RJ recommends this brand. So, yes, the label. It says "Erdinger alkoholfrei" in German but then has the claim about the refreshing isotonic drink in English.

    Maybe the German understanding of the term "isotonic drink" will help:
    It means a drink has the same ratio of liquid to nutrients as the human blood. The idea is that it is absorbed quickly by the body, releasing the energy in the nutrients fast, which is why sports drinks are "isotonic". The good old apple juice with sparkling water ("Apfelschorle" in German) does the same, by the way, and costs half as much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meike I have just looked at the Becks (also German of course) that I keep in my fridge for a friend who often comes for dinner but, as he's driving when he does, never drinks alcohol. It has its label entirely in English and says it is alcohol-free. I notice that ita also says not more than 0.05% ABV' (Alcohol by volume). When I'm driving I usually drink tonic water (with a splash of angostura bitters) or sparkling water.

      Delete
  5. Well, I don't think you're confused. I think you've caught on the the marketing mumbo jumbo.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nope! I don't drink a lot of beer. I've had two stubbies so far this year. I might have another couple today...it's Melbourne Cup Day here...but they will be full strength.... Crown Lager. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lee I'm okay so long as it's only beer I have had that I have to count.

      Delete
  7. Who would have thought the same word could mean different things in different languages. Enough to confuse any beer drinker. I'd say most beer drinkers would be more easily confused than you. As long as it tasted good, I don't think I'd take too much notice of the fancy words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pauline, as always, you've cut to the chase: it tasted good (and I got a blog post out of it!).

      Delete
  8. I see it is a 'Weissbrau' beer, which I presume means it it brewed from Wheat instead of Barley. I drink some cold beer in Summer, but simply because it's wet and refreshing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's right, Weissbier ("white beer") is brewed (mostly) from wheat. Erdinger's most popular type of beer is the "Erdinger Weissbier". Now I've got the song from their TV advert in my head for the rest of the day...

      Delete
    2. Cro I rarely drink alcohol in the heat (of the day) so the Erdinger would have suited me well.

      Delete
  9. I can't enlighten you right now but if you come and sit on top of our bonfire I can enlighten you on Saturday night.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks YP but I'll pass on the immolation if you don't mind.

      Delete
  10. I like the comment that apple juice and sparkling water does the same thing. It also sounds better tasting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane apple juice and sparkling water is certainly a very refreshing drink on a hot day.

      Delete
  11. 1. You're right, alcohol is best in the heat (of the night).
    2. Alcohol free beer... what's the point?
    3. As long as you're pondering inscrutabilities... did you ever stop to think that our digestive tract is actually OUTSIDE the body? We are like a donut... flesh with a hole running through the middle. Our mouth is open (well, at least not sealed shut) - same with our arse. From mouth to arse, it's just a tunnel. A hole. Therefore food we eat and beverages we imbibe are actually not "in" us, they are just passing through the hole. Only the nutrition and stuff that gets sucked into our cells is "in" us... the rest? Outside.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course you are technically correct about us being a doughnut Mrs S (I can't decide whether to call you Mrs S or Marcheline) and, although I hadn't actually thought about it in relation to this post I did know that. As for alcohol free beer the point is simply that I was driving.

      Delete
  12. Now I know why when CJ visited us last week to meet Toby he was interested in the word isotonic when we mentioned isotonic lucozade - incidentally the at tastes like a bad orange squash but apparently is great for keeping energy levels up. As for the eridinger it's not bad and I do like a good weissbeir but if you are looking for a non alcoholic beer in the UK try brewdog's Nanny State. Only discovered this recently but it's actually really good, although not as good as their actual beers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark I rarely drink beer these days but the Erdinger was enjoyable so if I'm anywhere where Brewdog's Nanny State might be available or on offer I'll give it a go.

      Delete