July 11th, 2016

The Best Recovery Beers, According To Nutritionists

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The idea of a shower beer isn’t just a commonality among the running community. For some runners, it’s a given. Beer and running have gone hand-in-hand (or perhaps koozie in hand?) for as long as we can remember. In fact, BeerFit’s record of the history of beer and running dates all the way back to 1950, and today, certain beers are brewed specifically for runners in mind as their target demographic. Because, let’s be honest here: runners love beer.

To celebrate that — and celebrate our love for the BeerFit lifestyle — we asked nutritionists to share their favorite recovery beers to drink after a run or workout. Read their recommendations, below.

1. Amanda Foti, Senior RD at Selvera Wellness

“Although beer may not receive as much attention as red wine, there certainly are healthy benefits to throwing back a couple beers. Some studies show that drinking a little over a pint a day can decrease ones risk for coronary heart disease by about 31 percent, similar to the effects seen with moderate wine consumption. Beer is also one of the few plant sources of vitamin B12, coming from the bacteria growth in barley grain. Beer is also a source of health boosting phytonutrients thanks to the barley and hops.”

Her top recommendations:

Guinness Draught

Although darker in color than many “light” or low-calorie beers, Guinness actually has less calories than the average brew, and even has 3.5 grams of fiber! At 128 calories and 11g carbs, it’s a safe — and tasty — bet.

Sierra Pale Ale

This beer is heavy on the hops — but that means more phytonutrients (or natural chemicals found in plants believed to be beneficial to human health). With 175 calories and 14 grams of carbs, a few sips of Sierra Pale Ale will help you start replenishing nutrients lost.

Abita Purple Haze

Extra fruit-powered nutrients and antioxidants are found in this raspberry brewed beer — and while making it a healthier choice. As for Abita Purple Haze‘s nutrition facts? 145 calories and 11 grams of carbs

2. Dana White, sports dietitian, foodie, beer enthusiast and mom of three

“Using beer for exercise recovery has gained major popularity recently, and while most of it is hype with no science whatsoever, I support it! You can definitely reap some benefits. Beer does contain carbs and electrolytes — both are needed after exercise. Beer also contains important compounds known as polyphenols, which may also help muscles recover from exercise. My best advice would be finish a workout with a proper recovery meal or snack, then go for the celebratory cold one.”

Her picks:

Lil Heaven Session IPA

I’ve also learned to pay more attention to the alcohol content of beers, since there’s so much variation. The more alcohol [in a beer], the more calories! I am huge fan of Session IPAs, especially Two Roads Lil Heaven. Sessions typically have a alcohol content less than 5 percent by volume.

Southern Tier 2xPresso

As it turns out, craft beers typically contain more barley than mainstream mass-produced beer varieties. While Guinness remains a popular choice, a good Imperial Stout like Southern Tier 2xPresso is super tasty, made with plenty of barley and it’s on the lower end of alcohol scale for these types of beers.

3. Rima Kleiner, MS, RD, LDN, CLT, nationally-recognized food and nutrition expert

“While even fruit- or green tea-infused beers will never be mistaken as health foods, beer does provide healthful nutrients, like phytonutrients and vitamin B12. So if beer is your favorite post-workout drink, enjoy one (not five). Just reach for one with a lower alcohol content (alcohol can impact the body’s protein synthesis) and guzzle lots of water to help re-hydrate you.”

Her recommendations:

Radler Or Shandy

For a really low-alcohol beer and a lot of flavor, order up a Radler or Shandy. A bottle or pint averages about 2-4 percent ABV and just 125-150 calories. These half-beer, half-grapefruit or -lemonade brews are a refreshing post-workout brew, especially on hot days. Just stick with the bottle or pint… a large can pack close to 180 calories!

Pacifico

Another good post-workout beer choice is a lighter-style lager, like Pacifico. At 4.4 percent ABV and 145 calories, this go-to lager is still lighter in calories and alcohol than some other lagers, but still strong in taste.

Got another “healthy” beer to recommend? Let us know in the comments!