There’s nothing like cracking a brewski at the finish line or hitting the pub after a tough spin class. Downing a cold one after a workout is a thirst quenching acknowledgment of a job well done. However, it can seem counterintuitive to succumb to such a dietary vice when working towards fitness goals.
We can agree that beer won’t be listed amongst popular super foods but visiting your favorite brewery post workout won’t unravel all the hard work you just put in at the gym, either. In fact, Matt Fitzgerald, an award-winning endurance sports journalist, encourages a pint or two after difficult training.
In case you need an excuse to enjoy a post-workout ale, here are three reasons athletes should drink beer.
1. Get Your B Vitamins in Your Pint Glass
B vitamins convert the food we eat into usable energy, the synthesis of red blood cells facilitating the transportation of oxygen, and the repair of damaged muscles. Therefore, B vitamins are essential for optimum energy production and recovery in athletes.
Lucky for beer lovers, malt used to brew beers is chock full of B-Complex vitamins. Namely, Riboflavin which plays a critical role in oxygen transportation, Niacin, promoting healthy cholesterol levels, and Vitamin B6, regulating sleep hormones such as melatonin.
2. Drinking Beer Helps Bones
An unfortunate drawback to intense exercise, especially for female athletes, is an increased risk of osteoporosis, or low bone density. Although most recreational athletes will never suffer from osteoporosis, it’s better to be safe than sorry and to protect your bones with a brew or two.
According to a study conducted by Jonathan Powell, the ethanol contained in beer is a weapon in combating bone loss, and the silicon promotes new bone growth. The combination of the two can help manage the decreasing bone density levels accompanied with increased age, or intense exercise.
3. Because You Can’t Get Too Many Antioxidants
Red wine has the reputation of an alcoholic superfood. A glass a day promises to rid your body of free-radicals threatening to toxify your body. What is lesser known, is that beer is loaded antioxidants equivalent to those found in wine. According to Charlie Bamforth, a professor of brewing sciences at the University of California, Davis, the antioxidants in wine are actually not as easily absorbed as the ones in beer, making a brew the clear choice.
Beer is Still Booze, so be Careful
Beer is great, and if consumed responsibly it can be an aid in recovery and help supplement key vitamins after a workout. However, no matter your drink of choice, alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it dehydrates you. So indulge in a drink after a workout without feeling guilty, but be sure to drink an additional glass of water for every pint you put down to ensure full recovery from demanding workouts.