What if drinking beer could help recovery after training? Not a crazy idea. And above all, news that will delight lovers of sports and beer!
How can it act on recovery?
When we train, the body loses certain key components. Fluid and electrolytes are removed through perspiration. Carbohydrate and protein levels also drop when you put your muscles to work. So, after training, the body must absolutely reintegrate what it has lost in order to recover properly.
This is where energy drinks come in handy. They are rich in carbohydrates, sodium, and all kinds of nutrients dedicated to helping the body rehydrate and regain energy during and after exercise. And great news, beer could also have the same properties, provided it has a suitable formula.
A formula dedicated to the recovery
Doctor Ben Desbrow, the sports nutritionist at Griffith University in Australia, worked on the formulation of a “sports” beer. “Beer contains too few carbohydrates and electrolytes to help the body recover after exercise,” he explains. But several researchers including Desbrow have experimented with new beer formulas. The idea is to give beer the same properties as an energy drink, without the dehydrating effect of alcohol.
The first step towards sports beer
A study published last December says that changing the electrolyte content can decrease the dehydrating effect of alcohol. A first step in the possible advent of beer as a sports drink. Also, by lowering the alcohol level by 2.3% and adding salt, the researchers noticed that their sample hydrated athletes better than a traditional beer.
The known benefits of beer
“Since beer is a herbal drink – apart from water, its key ingredients are barley, hops and yeast – it contains a natural array of nutrients not found in energy drinks, Says Desbrow. “A well-formulated beer will not do you more harm than a commercially available energy drink. In fact, it will do you even more good thanks to natural components like polyphenols. In addition, the plants used to make beer have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Researchers have watered runners three weeks before and two weeks after a marathon with alcohol-free beer, unmodified beyond measure. Runners were less prone to respiratory infections and the common cold. Rather good news, right? But, there is a but. In fact, alcohol can affect protein synthesis, which allows muscles to repair themselves after exercise. For a beer to one day become a widely used recovery drink, it will, therefore, have to go through a little degreasing at the alcohol level…
In a while, it could, therefore, be that some brands of sports beers are coming to the energy drinks department. Will beer lovers love its taste enough to enjoy it even without alcohol? A matter to follow.