Should You Drink Beer after Exercise?

a healthy glass of beerIn 2007 Spanish Researchers from Granada University have found that drinking beer after playing sports or exercising is more effective at re-hydrating the body than drinking water. Their findings were announced in a press conference and to date have not appeared in any scientific journal, which may suggest that the research was not verified scientifically.

“Beer, Sport, Health” – Granada University

For some time sports coaches have encouraged people to drink barley based drinks to help to replenish both liquids and calories (carbohydrates) after games and training sessions.

Great Source of Carbs

Beer has turned out to be the source of these carbs as well as a hydrating tonic. There is now scientific evidence explaining why a pint after a tiring session tastes so good – our body’s know that it is good for us!

The research involved a group of students to performing strenuous exercise in temperatures of around 40ºC (104ºF), and then being given either a pint of beer or the same volume of water. The group receiving beer showed improved levels of hydration after activity.

Just One of Two Glasses Needed

Previous studies have shown most alcoholic drinks have a diuretic effect, meaning they increase the amount of liquid lost by the body through urination. However, the first pint or two of beer does not have this negative effect, in fact, the opposite is true. We actually gain more liquid than we lose.

Research actually concluded that the re-hydrating effect of beer was only “slightly” better than that of water, but another benefit of drinking beer is that it contains carbohydrates, which are depleted during exercise. Drinking beer can go some way to helping replenish lost glycogen reserves after exercising.

Of course, it is essential to ensure that consumption is in moderation. If a post workout drink turns into a binge drinking session with the rest of the team, or gym partners, then this will lead to negative effects, and hinder athletic and sporting performance.

Health professionals and sports trainers have been quick to point out that there are many superior products on the market that have been specifically designed to replenish both liquids and nutrients after exercising, and serious athletes should really consume these instead. But for the rest of us, a post workout beer is a great way to cool down and congratulate ourselves for a job well done! Although of course, only take this report with a pinch of salt – the Spanish researchers never did publish a paper on these findings.

Ref: “Beer after sport ‘is good for the body'” – The Telegraph. 01 Nov 2007

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