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Beer Promotes A Speedy Recovery After Heavy Exertion, that’s what she said. Nothing better than arriving at a cabin or hotel after a long and tough mountain or bike ride and tapping away a few foamy, golden boys. Besides the fact that beer can taste divine, it also contributes to a faster recovery after heavy exertion. Beer contains all kinds of nutrients and minerals that quickly help the afflicted body recover. But is that actually the case? Or are we dealing here with a piece of genuine romance from a bygone era when we were still walking around in a rock-solid knickerbocker and operating our derailleur from the “tube”?
First the facts. What are the nutrients in beer? For this question, we turned to a spokesperson for WebMD. An average can of beer actually contains little “useful” in addition to alcohol, water, grain, hops, and yeast. What it does contain are carbohydrates (0.349 ounces), fiber (0.035 ounces), protein (0.0458 ounces), and salt (0.0011 ounces). Fat and sugar do not contribute anything to a “regular” beer. But beware: Radler or wheat beer does contain sugar. A Radler 0.0% with lemon seems like the ultimate thirst-quencher, but tops the list with 0.74 ounces of sugar per can of beer.
Beer simply contains few essential nutrients that make the body recover faster. In fact. Alcohol has a dehydrating or diuretic effect, causing you to lose more moisture than you take in. And thus dries out faster. While replenishing fluids and sugars (and in extreme cases salts) is a prerequisite after heavy exercise. According to WebMD, to replenish all the lost fluid, you need one and a half times as much fluid as you lost through sweating. Exactly how much fluid you need depends strongly on, among other things, age, level of exertion, food, and your health.
Party after the effort
Most outdoor athletes know that we have to drink well during a (mountain) walk or bike ride. But for us, it is precisely about the party after the effort. We are ready, the shoes can be taken off and the legs can be raised. Time to tilt! It is fine to have a beer after a day in the mountains, but it does not contribute to a faster recovery. “In any case, stick to one glass of beer”. “Both the WebMD and the Knowledge Institute of Beer follow the advice of the Health Council: do not drink alcohol or at least not more than one glass a day. This advice is the same for men and women.”
Anyone who wants to recover well and sensibly after heavy exertion should preferably supplement a lack of moisture with water, they say at both the Nutrition Center and the Knowledge Institute Beer. Isotonic sports drinks are especially useful during exercise, not afterward. In addition to minerals, proteins, and vitamins, isotonic drinks also contain sugars (in the form of glucose). Because of the sugars present, they also provide extra calories at the same time. Whoever wants to lose weight should therefore be careful with these drinks.
Replenishing salt Beer Promotes A Speedy Recovery After Heavy Exertion
In summary, we can say that once you have your moisture balance back in order after arriving in a cabin, tent, or hotel, you can have one (not too cold!) Beer with a clear conscience. If necessary, add a handful of chips or some salty nuts with which you can also get the salt deficiency back up. With a “normal” exercise, extra salt is not necessary, you already get enough from your daily food, they warn at the Nutrition Center.
In this article, however, we are talking about “excessive exertion” such as a hard hike in the mountains or a long day of stomping on the pedals. Then it can sometimes be useful to replenish the lost salts (sweat, urination). Anyone who has ever slept in a mountain hut also knows that they are not too bland with a handful of salt more or less in the evening meal. So be careful with that salt, because too much is bad for your kidneys, among other things. By the way, do you know why they are so lavish with salt in their food? So that you get thirsty and have an enormous need for… exactly!
Fact or Fable: Beer Promotes A Speedy Recovery After Heavy Exertion?
Fable. Drinking beer does not contribute to the recovery of your body after strenuous exercise. In fact, alcohol has a diuretic effect. So next time you hear someone saying that beer promotes a speedy recovery after heavy exertion, you know it’s a fable. Beer is a wonderful thirst quencher after a hard day of cycling or walking. But: stick to one beer! And in case you need to bring a bottle opener, we recommend the Leatherman FREE T4 we reviewed in our Editor’s Tips.