Diet & Nutrition 5 MIN READ 159 VIEWS May 17, 2022

Benefits of Beer: Is Drinking Beer After a Workout Good or Bad for You?

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Benefits of Beer
Benefits of Beer After a Workout
Risks of Drinking Beer After a Workout
Overall Beer Benefits for Health
How to keep the Balance?
Conclusion

A good workout is always exhausting. After a sweaty and tiring session, there is nothing better than a chilled beer mug. The good news is that there are some well-known benefits of beer after you train. But there are risks too. What are the factors that you should consider? Let us take a look. 

Benefits of Beer After a Workout 

Many athletes and bodybuilders are known for drinking beer after workout. It is known to have some amazing benefits that may in fact, support your training goals: 

1. Acts as a Sports Drink 

Many non-alcoholic beers can be used as a sports drink to give you energy when you are training. The goal of any sports drink is to provide you with the fuel and hydration that you need to keep going. Special sports nutrition platforms are dedicated to non-alcoholic beers that provide your body with the necessary minerals without any unwanted sugars, making them a great substitute. A mug of beer post-workout also restores a mineral balance that may help you recover faster as well. 

2. Contains Antioxidants 

Many beer benefits come from the high antioxidant content, as is true with most brews. The advantage of antioxidants after a workout is their ability to neutralise free radicals. When you train, your body undergoes a lot of stress that makes you vulnerable to oxidative stress. This can even cause inflammation and reduce the overall recovery process. These free radicals can be combated by using antioxidants right after training. Beer is very rich in polyphenols which are commonly found in vegetables and fruits. 

These compounds are also known to boost heart health, aid weight loss and reduce the risk of several other health issues. 

3. Contains Electrolytes 

When you work out, your body loses several electrolytes as you sweat. These electrolytes are responsible for a host of metabolic processes and maintain the body’s pH balance. This is vital for the transmission of nerve signals. This is why traditional sports drinks are loaded with electrolytes to help you recover after a session of intense training. 

Drinking beer after workout loads your body with several electrolytes like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. This has also led to the production of electrolyte beers that are high in these minerals and low in alcohol. 

4. Reduces Soreness in Muscles and Strengthens Bones 

A report published in The Independent showed that benefits of beer after workout include strengthening of the bones and faster muscle recovery. Beers made from barley and hops, in particular, are rich in silicon in comparison to other varieties that are known to boost the development and growth of the bones. There are studies which show that beer is most beneficial for men and for women who are in their menopausal stage. 

The rich antioxidant content in beer is known to reduce soreness and pain in your muscles. An article in a popular men’s fitness magazine stated that beer is particularly beneficial in reducing any soreness in the hamstring muscles. 

5. Provides a Good Source of Carbs

Long hours of training cause glycogen loss in the body. Glycogen is a type of carbohydrate that is stored in the body. So, carbohydrates are very important to restore their levels and prevent fatigue. Beer is made with grains, yeast, and hops. Therefore, it is a great source of carbohydrates for the body. If you prefer aerobic exercises like cycling or running, the depletion of glycogen is higher in comparison to weight training. In these cases, drinking beer after workout can be quite beneficial. 

Risks of Drinking Beer After a Workout 

Beer benefits are experienced only when you consume it in moderation. Excessive consumption can have several health risks, not to mention the infamous beer belly. The potential risks of too much beer post workout are as follows: 

1. Reduces Protein Synthesis 

The most important process when you are chasing specific fitness goals is protein synthesis. In order to counter the wear and tear induced by exercise, is the synthesis of muscle protein. This is a very complex and important process that strengthens your muscles and helps you recover from microscopic muscle tears caused by training. 

If your muscle protein synthesis is impaired, then you also risk muscle loss which prevents you from reaching your fitness goals. Drinking beer after workout in large amounts may lead to slower muscle protein synthesis. However, studies have shown that it may not have any significant effects on your muscle performance. 

2. Dehydrates You

Like any other alcohol, beer can also dehydrate you when consumed in large quantities. However, the dehydrating effect of beer is not as significant as other types of alcohol. The cause of dehydration with beer is that it makes you urinate more often as you consume more of it.

3. Has the Potential to Make You an Addict 

Alcohol is a known addictive substance. People who have a history of addiction should be wary when consuming any form of alcohol. Additionally, the positive effects of drinking beer after workout may make you dependent on it. 

4. Causes Weight Gain

Beer is very high in calories. So, when you consume beer excessively, the additional calories are stored as fat. This is one of the common causes of the beer belly. For those training towards specific fitness goals, this can hinder the process and set you back in your journey towards achieving them. 

Overall Beer Benefits for Health 

Drinking beer after workout has some benefits, no doubt. There are also several studies to show that consuming 1-2 beers each day may have other health benefits: 

  1. Reduces the risk of heart disease: Consuming 1-2 cans of beer is known to have some positive effects on your heart health. Beer is also known to reduce your risk of developing heart diseases more effectively like red wine. 
  2. Regulates blood sugar: Small amounts of alcohol, in general, help you prevent diabetes. One well-known study shows that 1-2 alcoholic drinks every day can reduce the risk of diabetes by almost 50%. However, more evidence is required to prove this claim. Overall, low-sugar, light beers are most beneficial when it comes to regulating blood sugar levels. 

How to Keep the Balance? 

The most important thing to keep in mind when consuming beer is the amount that you consume each day. The beer post workout benefits are negated when you consume more than the recommended amount. Approximately 350-500ml each day is considered healthy. However, the recommended dosage is 0.5ml of alcohol per kilo of body weight. So, if you weigh about 50 kilos, 25ml is the ideal amount. Beer, however, is milder than most types of alcohol, allowing you to consume a higher amount each day. 

The type of beer that you consume also plays an important role in determining how healthy it is for you. Lighter varieties of beer often have lesser sugar in comparison to the stout varieties. Avoid flavoured beers as they tend to contain a higher amount of sugar. Beers made from hops are considered the healthiest option. For the best beer benefits after a workout, it is best that you consume non-alcoholic beer. 

Conclusion 

In comparison to other types of alcohol, the health benefits of beer are higher. However, it is no replacement for water or specially formulated health drinks when it comes to post-workout recovery. A good brew once in a while may benefit you but there are several factors like your fitness goals and overall health that you should not forget to take into account. 

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