In an earlier post, I mentioned that I enjoy a hoppy post ride recovery beverage after races. I also enjoy them after a hard workout. Or after a hard day at work. Or on weekends.
All kidding aside, athletes from all over the world (aged 21 or older, depending on country) enjoy a cold one after races and workouts. After all, doesn’t our good friend Science show that beer helps you rehydrate faster than water after exercise?
According to a study published in the UK’s “The Telegraph,” Researchers in Granada University in Spain said that drinking beer after strenuous activity can be beneficial to the body. Dr. Manuel Garzon, head researcher of the study, says that the carbon dioxide (the bubbles) help quench thirst while the carbohydrates help replenish burned calories.
The study involved a group of students asked to perform strenuous activities at a temperature of about 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Half of the students were given a pint of beer after their exercise and half were given a pint of water. Garzon said the hydration affect on the beer drinkers was “slightly better” than the sober group.
That proves it, right? Beer is better for rehydration!
Actually, there are a few issues with the study. It was published in a newspaper, NOT a peer-reviewed journal. For a scientific study to have any merit, it must stand up to scrutiny from other scientists and researchers to confirm the findings. Considering that the study was released in 2007 and I haven’t been able to find it in ANY academic resources or peer-reviewed journals, we can conclude that the study did NOT hold up to scrutiny from scientists and researchers.
But fear not, my fellow beverage enthusiasts, there may still be hope, as I was able to locate ONE peer-reviewed journal article showing that beverages with up to 3% alcohol content was as good as water at rehydrating after strenuous activity (“Restoration of fluid balance after exercise-induced dehydration: effects of alcohol consumption” can be found in the Journal of Applied Physiology and was written by Drs. Shirreffs and Maughan). But then again, when was the last time you found a beer with less than or equal to 3% alcohol content?
So, can beer help you rehydrate after exercise? Absolutely, if you can find a weak enough beer. But the way I see it, as long as you enjoy your hoppy post ride recovery beverage responsibly, and you hydrate with water or other non-alcoholic beverages, everything should be alright.
On a side note, please don’t drink if you are underage. If you are of age, please rehydrate responsibly, and if you’ve had too much, please have a designated driver.
So what do you think? Will you continue rehydrating with hoppy post ride recovery beverages? Or will you switch things up and have a nice cool glass of water? Or better yet, what is your choice of beverage? Let’s get some suggestions going!
Thanks for reading!