Beer Beats Water After Exercise: Doctors
Researchers at Granada University in Spain have come across a discovery that will undoubtedly please athletes and sports enthusiasts – a pint of beer post-workout or match is better at rehydrating the human body than water.
Professor Manuel Garzon, a member of Granada’s medical faculty, made the finding after tests on 25 students over several months. Researchers believe that it is the sugars, salts, and bubbles in a beer that may help people absorb fluids more quickly.
The subjects in the study were asked to run on a treadmill at temperatures of 104F (40C) until they were close to exhaustion. Once they had reached the point of giving up, researchers measured their hydration levels, motor skills, and concentration ability. Half of the subjects were given two half pints of Spanish lager to drink, and the other half were given just water.
Garzon said that the rehydration effection in those who were given beer was “slightly better” than those who were given only water. He also believes that the carbon dioxide in beer helps quench thirst more quickly, and that beer’s carbohydrates replace calories lost during physical exertion.
In additional to the methodological weaknesses Steven notes, I’m also a bit curious as to the approval process for this experiment. I can scarcely imagine an American university countenancing an experiment where beer was given to dehydrated college students.
Naysayers might also note that, if one’s motivation for exercising in the first place is weight loss, then replacing calories lost during physical exertion may not be what’s most desired. And if being non-thirsty is one’s primary objective, one could make a strong argument for skipping straight to the beer, bypassing the exercise altogether.
Photo by Flickr user Chaval Brasil under Creative Commons license.