Should Runners Drink Beer?

If you've been around running for any time at all, you know that there's this kind of intertwined culture between running and beer, it's probably going on much longer than I can even figure out. But we know that everybody likes to drink a beer at the end of race. So the question today is should you drink beer after a race?
Should Runners Drink Beer?

If you've been around running for any time at all, you know that there's this kind of intertwined culture between running and beer, it's probably going on much longer than I can even figure out. But we know that everybody likes to drink a beer at the end of race. So the question today is should you drink beer after a race?

Like I said, there's really this kind of intertwined culture of beer and running, and I'm not sure exactly where it comes from. I can probably do another video on the history of beer and running. If you want to see that subscribe, you know, hit that button, stick around and leave me a comment down below and tell me you want to see it, because that video is going to take a lot more work if we really want to get into the nitty gritty of it.

But even without doing that, you can see that there's this, this intertwined culture if you just even pay attention to what's going on in the room here. You know, I've got these glasses back here, which you may not know what these are, but these are giant beer mugs that I won. These were trophies for various races, a race series a while ago. There is a race series in our area called Brew to Brew, where we start at Boulevard Brewing, who makes, you know, things like this rattler, you know, and we're not sponsored by Boulevard Brewing Company, nor affiliated with them, just to be clear.

This is some of the line around the house starts at boulevard and then runs to Lawrence, roughly 40 ish miles away, and then ends in another brewing company out there. It's switched from Free State to I don't know which now that they're doing, but those happen. And then recently, Beer and Bagel, which is another beer themed series. It started in Nebraska and I had the fortune of winning the inaugural event here in Kansas this year. Very small race cross country race. So come out if you're anywhere in the Midwest, come out to one of those races. Great race director and he's at all of the races that he's putting on across various states.

So it happens to be that we have this thing going on with beer and all these different places, and it's just the thing to do, right? But if you're real serious about your running, then you go, "Should I be doing this?" One of the arguments that I get and see and understand and generally agree with is that if you drink beer after a race, you're replenishing the carbs that you worked out during the race. You lost glycogen stores, so you're taking in carbs and then you're going to, you know, restore the glycogen in your muscles.

Now, yes, I think that's true. And beer is probably better than nothing. If there was no food, there was nothing available and you only had beer and you needed to get that glycogen back in immediately and you weren't going to eat anything for the rest of the day, then probably that's the best thing you can do.

So it's better than nothing, but I'm skeptical when you go, it's it's good. It's this is the best thing I could choose is fine to have a beer if you're trying to enjoy yourself, especially if you think about if you go back to season one of the Smart Athlete Podcast. The other show I do on this channel, I asked everybody if they could only choose one food for recovery for the rest of the life. What would they choose? And the vast majority of people that I asked Pros Amateurs alike all chose some kind of comfort food because there is this kind of mental fatigue that takes its place right where we work really hard. We work at these races and then we need to cut ourselves some slack.

So if that's you and that's what that beer does, yes, you get the carbs, but more. It's kind of like a reward, right? A little something that's nice at the end, all that work and gives you a little bit of a relief valve of the pressure that you put yourself through to try to get better. So from those standpoints, I can see, yes, I also see the argument that like beer is largely water, so it's rehydrating. However, if you're trying to rehydrate and you have too many beers, you get the diuretic effect and then you actually could be become dehydrated.

So if you want to be hydrated, I would stick to sports drinks. And if you like us and want something for you in particular, coming January 2022, there we are going to be launching a new sports drink where we're going to be testing your sweat. Yes, we're going to take samples of your sweat and figure out what your actual sweat profile is, because people genetically sweat different amounts of electrolytes and need to match up those electrolytes in their drink.

So we'll talk about that more later as we get closer to the launch of the product. But that is coming. So if you want to do hydration in particular, it's probably better to stick to more sports drinks than it is to say, I'm going to drink beer for this purpose.

Now, it wouldn't be this channel and I wouldn't be the host of the Smart Athlete Podcast. Not this shows this is Runner's High, but the other show is Smart Athlete Podcast. If I. Didn't look into academic studies, so there's actually a study a lot of people point to it for the benefits of beer and running since 2009 study that was done to look specifically at the effect of polyphenols in beer and how it affects the body. So we'll put that polyphenols. Ok. The editor will get that across the screen. Polyphenols are the thing we're talking about here. And so what the study group did was they broke the group into two different groups.

Because you want to study the effect of something, you bring it in two groups. So they had a beer without polyphenols and a beer with polyphenols. And they found that from those two groups broken apart, the group that had the polyphenols in their beer, that they drink post-exercise, that they had a reduced inflammatory response as a result of exercise. And this was supposed to be in a study in regards to our immune system because the inflammatory response can be large enough to affect our immune system and then we get sick easier. So they're trying to figure out, is there any relationship between beer, these polyphenols and then trying to help our inflammatory response be reduced? So then consequently, our immune system isn't overwhelmed.

So there is some efficacy there that these polyphenols in these beers have some help for us, for our immune system. And that's a big thing because we work out a lot, we stress our bodies a lot and we are more susceptible to become ill because of that stress. Now, once you're recovered, it's a different story. Working out often actually leads to lower overall illness. If I remember correctly, but there's this period of increased susceptibility during periods of stress, so those polyphenols in the beer could you could make an argument be one reason to say, "Hey, let's go ahead and have a beer after the race. I'm helping myself." And maybe it's just justification is a rationalization to say, "Oh, I've held myself."

But again, we go back to that first point where it's like, we need a little bit of mental relief valve and that's OK. It's OK to indulge yourself a little bit because you put in all that hard work and a little bit of extra carbs and sugars and stuff in the beer. It's not going to destroy all of the hard work you've put in. If you're not just going to town every day or even just going to town after the race, you're probably going to be fine.

Now to play devil's advocate a little bit here. When I read about this in this reduced inflammatory response, I actually wondered a little bit about somebody I had on the Smart Athlete Podcast again. Subscribe to the channel. Check that out here in a minute. This is going back to season one. When I had Christie wanted on her book, Good to go. I'm zoomed in way too much for this. There we go. Good to go. She looked into all the kind of myths and taboos and rituals surrounding recovery. And one of the things that she found was that we actually probably want some inflammation.

We're also like anti-inflammatory and in we focus on this so much. But what she found and the people that she spoke with and the researchers she spoke with is that having an inflammatory response and having our bodies actually deal with the inflammation made us stronger in the long term. If we needed to perform in the short term, and I think our conversation was in relation to ice baths reducing inflammation.

But if you need to perform at a high level in the short term, reducing inflammation immediately was helpful. But if you wanted long term adaptation, then having the inflammation in your body deal with it was the better way to go. So I don't know this is thought for later or something to look into further. But I wonder whether the polyphenol is reducing the inflammation is actually helpful because, you know, we possibly want to deal with that inflammation or if the polyphenols potentially are just aiding in that recovery and it are still positively benefiting us.

I don't know the answer to that, but that's something I thought about when I saw that study that everybody points to was my conversation with Christie and how she mentioned that and that inflammation isn't necessarily as bad as we make it out to be. But there's also another aspect of polyphenols. We come back to these that is interesting and may help us as well, and it leads me to two more conversations I had back in season 1 of the Smart Athlete Podcast. Go way back. I'm proud of my memory for remembering all this. This so several years ago now and that is that polyphenols are also a prebiotic. You'll see this popping up more and more. I definitely see it as it's popping up more in skincare as we talk about skin flora and trying to feed the good bacteria on your skin.

That's something we kind of deal with here at Solpri with our antifungal products that are natural and deal with your skin flora. Sometimes it becomes overgrown. In any case, polyphenols are prebiotic, which is something that feeds the good bacteria in this case in your gut. And it takes you back to two conversations I had with two gentlemen who were both studying gut bacteria and Runner's High, often ultra runners. Dr. Greg Gorski and Dr. Matt Laye.

So I don't think we can link to everybody Christi and Matt and Greg, but we're going to link to some of those at the end of this video. So if you want to see those conversations, they're broken into three parts because we were silly back in season one to do that. But I thought about them and how they talked about the effect of certain gut bacteria on like running performance. And it often had to do more so with ultra runners because they have to take in food digested and continue to perform.

For people like me who like short stuff or run like 10k and shorter, not going to be as much of an issue now when I was doing all this triathlons and stuff like where these beer mugs came from. Then it was more important because I had to take in food, but there's some kind of efficacy there in that if you're helping good gut bacteria grow, you're probably going to have a better digestive system, which means you can break down food easier and probably utilize it more effectively.

All of this is a really, really long winded way to say beer is probably fine after a race. You, you should you. You can. I don't know that you should in terms of it's the best thing for you to do, but I don't think it's really detrimental. And I'll give you my personal bend in that. Although I'm not a teetotaler. I really don't drink much. It's not really my thing. I'm not into that part of the culture. But if you are, go for it, whatever you want to do, you're probably fine. Beer is not. As far as I can tell, it's going to negatively affect your performance. It can possibly have some of these upsides of the polyphenols in the beer.

So if you want it again, if nothing else, it can be that mental relief valve that you enjoy yourself after all the training and hard work you've put in. So do you have any questions for me? Anything else you'd like to see leaving them in the comments below? As we mentioned, we're going to try to link to as many of those conversations with my guests from the early episodes of the Smart Athlete Podcast as I can hear on the screen, and I'll see you next time on the next episode of Runner's High.

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