It’s no secret that most runners take pride in enjoying a beer every now and then. We at BeerFit events sure as hell do. And why shouldn’t we?
Not only can beer help runners rehydrate after a long run, but it’s also nutritious (not to mention tasty). Beer is a source of multiple B vitamins, and it contains ethanol — the same compound found in red wine that lowers LDL, or bad cholesterol, and increases HDL, or good cholesterol. In other words, your running coach will approve.
To keep runners healthy and hydrated going into the new year, we compiled the most important studies of the year involving our two favorite past times.
Here’s what science discovered about beer and running in 2015:
- Exercise affects when you drink. We already knew that running makes people thirsty — but water won’t satisfy everyone’s craving after a 6-mile run. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University found that regardless of age or gender, people drank more booze than usual on the days they engaged in greater physical activity. This isn’t that surprising, though: what’s a workout without a reward?
- How hard you work out can affect how much booze you’ll consume. The same study found that the harder the sweat session, the more alcohol you’ll drink post workout. So you may kick back with two lagers after a timed mile, as opposed to nursing a single beer after a leisurely run.
- When it comes to treating yourself, both beer and exercise trigger similar parts of the brain related to reward processing. At least, they do in mice. But humans work the same way: A study at the University of Houston found that while animals can get a buzz on from either booze or exercise, they prefer combining them for a little extra gratification. Meaning that runner’s high you get feels good, but one followed by a beer feels better — and lasts longer than either activity alone.
- Neither study found a correlation between exercise and alcoholism. So don’t sweat it if you like to recover with a tallboy, lager, or a little extra hops. It’s totally normal (and scientifically sound!).
Finally, a race series with beer stations instead of water stations. Every BeerFit event offers a 5K Classic & Brew Mile. Choose your race and sign up for the experience of a lifetime.