Beer as a Sports Drink? Hell. Yes.


A team of Canadians (bless you, Canadians) is currently developing a beverage that combines two things that many might find disparate: beer and sports drinks.

But Erin, beer is for sitting and Gatorade is for sweating! But Erin, alcohol dehydrates you and after working out you need hydration! But Erin, no! Just no!

Sorry. These imaginary counterpoints are wrong. After a truly hard workout, the best thing in the world is a beer. And I’ve noticed that, at least among distance runners, I’m not that special a snowflake. I’ve run the Chicago marathon twice, and both times, right past the part of the finishing chute where they hand you medals and space blankets and make sure you don’t collapse in a pool of your own vomit, there’s a table of bottled water, a table of bananas, and a table of… 312 beer. I’ve seen beer at the end of 5K’s, 8K’s, 10K’s, and one 15K that took place on a frigid November morning in Chicago. A beer after a hard run is perfect.

There’s a sciency, non-lush reason for this. Beer contains a whallop of carbs, and after exertion, the body wants to replace the fuel it just burned. Like Gatorade and Powerade and other such Ades, beer contains electrolytes and water, which a post-exercise body also wants. And I’d be lying by omission if I didn’t acknowledge that after a long race, I get blissfully buzzed off of, like, half a beer, which really helps take the edge off when all of my muscles are mad at me.

So, anecdata suggests that beer is a great way to end a workout, but Canadian entrepreneurs were more interested in how it could help sustain one, or, better yet, aid in recovery. They found that toggling with the amount of alcohol contained in the beer and adding salt turned traditional ale into as effective a sports drink as Gatorade. Here’s NPR with more on that,

The so-called Lean Machine “recovery ale,” created by a team of food scientists at Vampt, touts itself as a healthy alternative to traditional ales, with only 77 calories and 0.5 percent alcohol by volume. And it’s supposedly enriched with nutrients, antioxidants and electrolytes to help replenish the body after a good workout.

And because beer contains more naturally occurring anti-inflammatory and anti-pathogenic compounds, regular beer consumption among athletes has actually been shown to be more beneficial than teetotaling.

This is literally the greatest news I’ve heard all day (I’ve spent all day in my boyfriend’s apartment listening to a contractor rip out a counter top).

Image via Shutterstock

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