DR. BETTIE- To Beer or Not To Beer: That is the Question

DR. BETTIE- To Beer or Not To Beer: That is the Question

Welcome to Dr. Bettie’s Corner, your local expert in nutrition, fitness, and health! This is a bimonthly forum where we attempt to address Woman-focused topics of interest.
We welcome your suggestions & questions! Please contact us with yours.


To Beer or Not To Beer: That is the Question
If you are anything like me, you might think that one of the best things about a good race or a long run is treating yourself to a beer (or three) at the end of it. But is this kind of indulgence helpful or hurtful to our training? Believe it or not there are several health benefits to beer. For starters, it can help re-hydrate you after a long run or race. In a 2013 study, researchers at Granada University in Spain found that beer actually helped hydrate better than water or Gatorade after a workout. Next, beer is good for your bones. It contains silicon which helps increase bone density. Increased bone density can help guard against stress fractures. Beer also contains B Vitamins, and a researcher at Oregon State University found that lager beer in particular contained more antioxidantsthan green tea. And you all just thought I was drinking the beer for the head buzz!

But there is the social aspect of it too. Us runners can be fun-deprived at times (well, at least this one can). We go to bed early on Friday nights to get up early for long runs on Saturdays, and we think the idea of good summer fun is cramming into a van with a bunch of our friends to spend all day running up and down a mountain together. So a beer with a friend at the end of a long run or a few drinks at the end of a race is a great time for us to fraternize, build camaraderie, and get to know each other a little bit more. This in turn can help release mood-boosting endorphins which will have a positive effect on our mental well-being. Being social and having fun, with or without the beer in hand, helps us encourage each other which can help keep us consistent in our training and racing.
As long as you do not indulge to the point that you are getting sick or feeling horrible the next day, it should not affect your fitness or training. And if beer is not your thing, no worries. There’s usually water and protein-packed chocolate milk at the finish line too. And once you’re done drinking those, would you mind giving me a ride home?

One Comment

  1. Love that last line!