Jump to content
Salty Dog

Can a Beer Help You Recover After Exercise?

Recommended Posts

Salty Dog
Quote

Can a Beer Help You Recover After Exercise?

Relaxing as a massage, refreshing as a sports drink, these craft brews promise post-workout replenishment—though the science doesn’t always support the spiel

B3-DT454_BEERS_M_20190418120334.jpg
From left: Sixpoint Brewery Jammer; Sufferfest Beer Company FKT Pale; Dogfish Head Brewery Slightly Mighty; Boston Beer Company 26.2 Brew;
Southern Tier Brewing Company Swipe Light PHOTO: F. MARTIN RAMIN/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

By William Bostwick April 18, 2019 12:14 p.m. ET

THE CLOP of cycling cleats, the swish of nylon running gear and the Lycra—oh, the Lycra. Look twice: It’s not the gym, it’s your local beer bar.

As our quest for “wellness” extends from yoga classes and morning jogs to food and fashion, increasingly we demand virtues from our vices, too. A new spread of low-cal, low-carb, even electrolyte-infused options are turning craft beer from reward into recovery drink.

Once, recovery meant rest. Now, it can seem as active as exercise itself. (Who can relax while foam rolling?) The market for nutrient-dosed waters and other nonalcoholic beverages associated with wellness such as kombucha, tea and energy drinks has grown by billions over the past few years. Soda companies are taking note, combating Big Gulp bans by doubling down on their low-calorie, health-focused offerings, even courting the trendy CBD category. Now craft beer is jumping into the game, too, chasing a market once cornered by macro brands like Michelob Ultra.

Sierra Nevada recently acquired the active-lifestyle beer company Sufferfest, and breweries including Dogfish Head, Ballast Point and Southern Tier are all releasing new light lagers.

“There’s definitely a trend to market craft beer to active people, and even some data that suggests active people are drinking more,” said Christie Aschwanden, the science writer whose book “Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery” (W.W. Norton & Company) distills the latest research on post-exercise recuperation and also maps the growing market for related products. Brooklyn’s Sixpoint Brewery, for instance, known for hefty IPAs such as Resin, now partners with REI on a series of co-sponsored hikes that end, naturally, with a beer-focused recovery session. And they’re not pouring a burly brew like the 9.1% ABV Resin, but, rather, Sixpoint’s light, tart, 4.0% Jammer.

It’s new territory, but craft brewers are known to be an adventurous—and competitive—bunch. “We always start with ambitious goals,” said Sam Calagione, president of Dogfish Head Brewery. For him, that normally means going big: a beer with an ingredient from every continent, say, or a beer-wine hybrid. But when it came to creating a beer aimed at athletic drinkers, the goal posts were decidedly narrower, according to Mr. Calagione: “Can we make a beer with all the flavor of an IPA but the calories of a McUltra?”

‘Low-cal, low-carb, even electrolyte-infused options are turning craft beer from reward into recovery drink.’

Making light beer is, technically, simple: Just add water. Many industrially made light beers start with a super-concentrated brew watered down, literally, until it hits its target alcoholic and caloric weight. Problem is, they all too often taste that way.

Dogfish Head wanted a lighter beer with character. The research and development required more than a year. It took many failed attempts to add taste without calories. One brew using grains cured over cedar smoke “was like licking hockey sticks,” Mr. Calagione recalled. Finally inspiration struck at the grocery store. Shopping one day, Mr. Calagione passed the sweetener section, and saw options including stevia, agave and monk fruit.

The last one intrigued him. Naturally calorie-free but hundreds of times sweeter than cane sugar, monk fruit doesn’t really taste fruity at all. It doesn’t even ferment, which means it can sweeten a beer without upping the alcohol content—giving the feeling of body without added weight or potency. “It’s like a skeleton to which we can add the hops,” Mr. Calagione explained. And add they did, fleshing out the svelte brew, dubbed Slightly Mighty, with loads of aromatic, tropical hops for a beer as delicious as it is delicate.

The Boston Beer Company faced a similar challenge in 2018 when, newly named beer sponsor of the 122nd Boston Marathon, the brewery wanted to offer a beer suited specifically to runners. “What would I want to drink the moment I crossed the finish line?” asked CEO Jim Koch. “After you run a marathon, you don’t want an imperial stout or a double IPA.” Instead, Mr. Koch turned to a slightly sour, slightly salty, slightly spiced German style called gose (pronounced “GOES-uh”). “The soft sourness and little bit of coriander at the end give a flavor that’s lighter on the palate than hops,” Mr. Koch said. And the salt, he went on, replenishes what’s lost in sweat. “It’s like a sports drink for grown-ups,” he said.

Boston Beer’s 26.2 Brew is, indeed, refreshing after a run. But will it really aid post-workout recovery? That’s another story. Ms. Aschwanden explained that, when it comes to recovery drinks, the science doesn’t always match the hype. Take those claims of precious electrolytes with a grain of salt. “It’s drilled into us by sports drinks that they’re these magic pellets, but electrolytes are simply salt, and we’re really not deficient in them at all,” she said. “But beer is mostly water, so it is hydrating, and the carbs in beer are actually helpful in recovery.”

Isn’t that reason enough for a post-workout pour? Here’s another: The biggest benefit might be booze itself. “One thing that’s often neglected after a hard workout is the need to relax,” said Ms. Aschwanden. “It’s important to send a signal to the body that it’s time to recover.” Via a frosty mugful, say. She hastened to add, “The trick is to stop at just one.”

BOUNCE-BACK BREWS / Beers Designed for Active Lifestyles

1. Sixpoint Brewery Jammer, 4.0% ABV
A tangier, zippier gose than 26.2 (see below), Jammer is a dried and sugared lemon wedge, a burst of brightness akin to an electrifying sprint.

2. Sufferfest Beer Company FKT Pale, 5.5% ABV
With (allegedly) replenishing salts balanced by juicy black currants and minty hops, this beer is herbal and fresh like a sprint through dune grass.

3. Dogfish Head Brewery Slightly Mighty, 4.0% ABV
At under a hundred calories, it practically floats away, like perfume, in passing—but not without a long-lingering bloom of coconut and pineapple, a luau on the breeze.

4. Boston Beer Company 26.2 Brew, 4.0% ABV
Airy and satisfying like saltine crackers with a dab of orange-blossom honey, this brew’s 120-calorie body is the max-cushioned, long-haul sneaker of this pack.

5. Southern Tier Brewing Company Swipe Light, 4.0% ABV
At 110 calories and 6.5 carbs, it’s not the lightest of beers, but it is the lightest tasting of this lot, with a kiss of citrus sweetness like a mandarin spritz.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/can-a-beer-help-you-recover-after-exercise-11555604097?shareToken=st9047943d51a8451192c92c48a805372d&mod=djmc_pkt06

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SkyMan

Not even sure why someone would question this. 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oztony
38 minutes ago, Salty Dog said:

Can a Beer Help You Recover After Exercise?

Yep , after a solid exercise work out all day at work I will attest to the fact that it does ... in my case anyway ...:lol:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Headshot

Hash Hound Harriers should love this report.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dafey

I don't even care if it's fake news!

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Commercial Banner Advertisers

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Guidelines. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..