Published by the editors of MensHealth.com
Why you might want to chase your race with an ice-cold brew
If you crack open a cold one after a half marathon or adventure race, choose carefully: Australian research suggests that low-alcohol beer with a pinch of salt added can help you rehydrate better than a boozier brew would. This works only if the beer is 3.5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) or less; otherwise the benefit vanishes, says study author Ben Desbrow, Ph.D.
You can try Miller 64 or Budweiser’s Select 55, or mix your favorite with a nonalcoholic beer. A combo of Sam Adams Boston Lager and O’Doul’s, for instance, yields 2.7 percent ABV total. And don’t forget the salty pretzels!
While you may be scoffing at the idea of beer as a post-run recovery drink, our friends at Runner’s World have been digging deep the past few days with their Beer Week coverage to see how good or bad a brew really can be for you as an athlete. One person who weighed in was Pamela Nisevich Bede, M.S., R.D., and RW Fuel School columnist, saying that some booze may be fine in moderation but it certainly will have an effect on your performance.
“If you’re vying for a spot on the podium, you might want to abstain while in training. Various studies suggest that alcohol intake leads to dehydration (anyone who has ever suffered from a hangover knows this), decreases uptake of glucose and amino acids by the skeletal muscles, adversely affects the body’s energy supply, and impairs metabolic processes during exercise.”