Sluggish sales force beer companies to enter booming health market

Nothing says fitness like a pint of beer, at least in the eyes of Big Alcohol’s corporate bigwigs who are trying to retain health-conscious customers. In a hilarious effort to draw back folks who no longer want to slug all that fattening booze, the Anheuser-Busch corporation is launching a new program called “ULTRA 95” that delivers so-called customized fitness workouts to people who want to drink beer and still stay fit.

A product of the Michelob Ultra brand, ULTRA 95 contains 12 unique audio workouts that are designed to burn off 95 calories each – which just so happens to be the same amount of calories found in a single serving of Michelob Ultra beer. According to the company, it supposedly only takes 10 minutes of exercise to reverse the caloric damage caused by consuming one of its beers, so drink up to your health!

In partnership with Rodale Inc., a leading global health and fitness content company, Anheuser-Busch developed the program to sync with popular “listening” services like those programmed into Amazon’s Echo, Dot, and Tap devices. All users have to do is speak into the machine and, voila, it will tell them exactly what to do to counter the effects of knocking back a cold one.

According to reports, users can simply ask for a beer-shredding workout from “Alexa,” Amazon’s patented AI interface, and she will instantly deliver one. None of the workouts require cardio or other equipment, but some include yoga routines – because, again, aligning the chakras is apparently as simple as tipping back chilled lager.

Healthy people don’t want to be chugging beer before and after their workouts

While Anheuser-Busch is touting its ULTRA 95 service as a convenient way to help beer-drinkers stay healthy, it’s apparent that the effort is more focused on slowing the ever-declining growth of the beer industry. Particularly in the large brewing sector, folks simply aren’t drinking the same amount of beer that they once were – and if they are, they’re choosing craft beers rather than a Bud.

“For large beer companies in the U.S., they are struggling to combat slowing sales and the growing popularity of craft breweries,” writes Keith Loria for Food DIVE. “According to studies, 81% of millennials exercise regularly, but tend to be more social than previous generations. Alcohol companies are creating new brews, many of them low-calorie beverages, that can be enjoyed by a group after the exercise is done.”

While some younger folks might take the bait with ULTRA 95, chances are that most won’t. Or if they do, they’ll likely choose a beer option than what Anheuser-Busch is trying to sell them. In either case, trying to rebrand one of the most destructive substances one can put inside his or her body – alcohol – as coinciding with a healthy lifestyle is likely to end up a marketing disaster.

For men specifically, who are the biggest consumers of beer, acclaimed herbalist and author Stephen Harrod Buhner warns that regular consumption can lead to what he calls “brewer’s droop,” or impotence brought on by heavy drinking. The hops in heavy IPA beers can promote estrogen formation, which is believed by some to be the cause of “beer belly” in many men who drink beer regularly.

“Men who drink a lot of hoppy beer, like a strong India Pale Ale, may see some unwanted effects, like man boobs, premature aging, sluggishness, tooth decay, hair loss and a beer belly,” explains one report. “Severe drinking can also damage the liver, which undermines the organ’s ability to metabolize hormones. An inefficient liver will convert male androgens into the estrogens, resulting in the dreaded man-boobs, or ‘moobs.'”


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