Is Alcohol-Free Beer An Isotonic Powerhouse For Exercise Recovery?
Many people rely on non-alcoholic beverages as a way to remain sober while feeling welcomed and relaxed in social settings with friends and family when alcohol is involved. Not only that, if you’ve had an alcohol-free beer before, especially Days, then you know that the taste is still great and refreshing without the added negative effects that alcohol itself can bring.
Especially in the UK and Ireland, the celebratory post-match or event beer also forms a key part of the ritual ending of many sporting events, both professional and amateur.One thing you may not know is that alcohol free beer is actually a preferred drink following exercise or a heavy workout, not just because it rehydrates you after intense exertion, but also because it’s considered an isotonic powerhouse for recovery.
Can Beer Really Be Considered Isotonic?An isotonic solution is one that has the same salt concentration which is found in our cells and blood. When we drink isotonic drinks, our bodies can reap its benefits much more quickly, such as hydrating or absorbing nutrients and minerals.
“Regular” alcoholic beers are often full of sugar and calories. Although it can feel hydrating while consuming it in the moment, the alcohol within most beers is a diuretic which means it leads to more urination/more loss of fluids.
Alcoholic beer may be associated with weight gain, particularly around the gut area, but non-alcoholic beer doesn’t have the same extreme effects, especially when consumed in moderation and as part of a healthy, balanced diet and exercise regimen.
The makeup of a non-alcoholic beer is water, carbohydrates, protein, and a ton of micronutrients. This means that the isotonic makeup of alcohol-free beer is surprisingly similar to our bodies (in terms of the amount of sugar and salt).
Like your favourite low sugar sports drink, such as coconut water, drinking a non-alcoholic beer after your workout will replenish the electrolytes in your body much faster than even water alone. It’s not a stretch to suggest that drinking an alcohol free beer such as Days is even better than most sports drinks, which often include unnecessary amounts of sugar and sodium. More and more professional athletes and weightlifters are now turning to one of their favourite tastes (the thirst quencher and post-exercise ritual that they crave) to celebrate, relax, replenish, and recover.
What Does Science Tell Us About Beer As A Post-Exercise Recovery Drink?In 2009, a study was conducted that provided 277 participants with one of two drinks: a non-alcoholic beer or a placebo beer every day for three weeks leading up to a race and for two weeks after.
At the end of the study, those given the non-alcoholic beer (not the placebo) reported less inflammation and fewer respiratory issues than those who drank the placebo drink. This same study’s final reports included the discovery that the compounds in the non-alcoholic beer had a balancing effect on the immune system. It prevents the system from also being overpowered during and after an intense workout.
A host of other studies have been done in recent years that support the science behind non-alcoholic beer as a post-exercise recovery drink.
In 2013, a doctor at Griffith University added electrolytes into a non-alcoholic beverage (electrolytes as a form of sodium). During his analysis of random participants, he concluded that the less alcohol that was consumed resulted in better rehydration after exercise.
After an intense amount of fluids are expelled from the body via sweating during a workout, the sodium and fluids (not including the diuretic that is alcohol) can quickly and proactively replenish your body before it can result in any negative effects, such as headaches, tiredness, muscle fatigue and a whole range of other indescribable “ugh” hangover feelings.
How Alcohol-Free Beer Impacts Recovery Following Heavy CardioHave you ever had such an intense workout that you felt completely drained and sore for days? It’s likely that you’ve had quite a few. Alcohol-free beer can actually lessen the strain and damage on the body if consumed prior to heavy activity, and it can help speed up the recovery process afterward.
How? It’s actually all in the ingredients of an alcohol-free powerhouse beer like Days.
The wheat, barley, and hops - the key ingredients needed in an alcohol-free beer - include polyphenols and antioxidants. The micronutrients that are polyphenols naturally occur in plants. These polyphenols protect the body’s tissues from oxidative stress which causes inflammation and can lead to other serious health problems.
It can be tempting to reach for a regular, ice-cold IPA or even trusty old water after a long period of exercise or an intense workout, but it may not deliver what you need the most.
When we’re really thirsty, we might go for water which is a good choice compared to alcohol, but if there aren’t any calories in what you’re drinking, your body is just going to expel it.
During heavy cardio, consuming a glucose sports drink might be optimal because it restores the glycogen in our muscles so we can continue to have enough energy to finish that mile. After your workout is complete, your body needs to recover and the sugar is no longer needed. Now it’s time for electrolytes and polyphenols, both of which are found in Days, to boost our recovery.
Have you tried Days beer after a workout or heavy cardio session?