Benefits of Beer in Running For Runners

Is it safe to drink alcohol after running? I have been asked that question so many times. Although I celebrate by marathon finishes by drinking atleast one bottle of beer, I have never advised anyone to drink.

But I found this article on alcohol for athletes by nutritionist Kim Pearson (www.equilibria-health.co.uk). “Beer contains predominantly water and carbohydrate, both of which are essential in post-race recovery,” she says. “A recent study at Granada University in Spain found that the sugars, salts and bubbles in a pint can help athletes absorb fluids more quickly than rehydrating with water.

“The carbon dioxide in beer helps quench thirst more quickly, while the carbohydrates replace some of the calories lost through exercise.”

If you must drink, my thoughts are “Drinking beer after a run is a great way to unwind, but match it with plenty of water and healthy post-run snacks.

Cheers

One thought on “Benefits of Beer in Running For Runners

  1. Chris

    It is okay to have a beer, but if you drink “a lot”, you could actually die.

    I will be technical, but will explain it in simple terms in the end. The reason is this, after you get done running, or any exercise, you have a significant amount of lactic acid in your body (the byproduct of glucose being broken down to pyruvate and then it turns into lactic acid). Your body uses something called NAD to take electrons off lactic acid to turn it back into lactate so it can then be turned into pyruvate in the liver. Pyruvate then undergoes transformation back to glucose through a step called gluconeogenesis so the muscles have more energy to burn.

    When you drink alcohol. The breakdown product is acetaldehyde.which then turns to acetate. This ALSO uses NAD to break alcohol to acetaldehyde and then to acetate. This process gets priority to the use of NAD which causes lactic acid to accumulate causing lactic acidosis.

    So, both processes (the breakdown of alcohol and lactic acid) use NAD to break down their constituents. The NAD is used by the body for alcohol metabolism before it uses it for lactic acid. Lactic acid builds up and you can die. After an hour, much of the lactic acid is out of the blood. But one beer 20 min after won’t kill you :)

    A side note, it is the acetaldehyde in the metabolism of alcohol that causes hangover. The best remedy is to eat poultry, steak or egss. These have the highest amount of cysteine which turns acetaladehyde into the benign acetic acid.

    Reply

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