Turns Out A Post-Workout Beer Is Actually A Good Idea For Hydration

Everyone has their favorite post-workout drink to rehydrate with; some prefer Gatorade, others enjoy other sports drinks, and many will take some old ice-cold water. But beer? Well, you may be surprised to learn that a 2021 study in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism officially gave the green light to those of us who want to crack a cold one open after a hard workout, and it actually might have several benefits as well. What makes beer a good post-workout drink is its carbohydrates and sodium, which can help the body recover.

Okay, there is a disclaimer: drinking a six-pack after a workout certainly won't help you get those killer abs you've been working at, and neither will drinking any beer that contains more than 4% alcohol. On top of this, having more than two 12-ounce beers with a low alcohol percentage will also not be beneficial for you. So no, drinking more beer than you do other sports drinks or certainly water may not have the best health results, but that begs the question: What exactly does drinking a beer post-workout do, and how can it improve your health in some instances?

Beer as a post-workout drink

In an interview with Men's Health, Jaison Wynn, a Ph.D. student at Old Dominion University and one of the co-authors who published the research paper, stated that beer is most effective post-workout when coupled with food or another drink that helps regenerate the electrolytes your body lost during the workout. The study also recommends people pair their beer with another fluid to limit diuresis, the process that makes your body release excess fluid.

But if alcohol's not your thing and you enjoy the taste of non-alcoholic beers, you may enjoy other health benefits. Polyphenols in non-alcoholic beers may also help you from getting a respiratory infection when working out. On top of this, the paper also shows that non-alcoholic beer doesn't affect your strength, but only if you drink it in moderation, which is the key piece to remember. As mentioned before, drinking a ton of beer after or before your workout is not going to help you reach your gym goals, and it will probably cause a lot more health issues down the road. So use this information with a grain of salt, and if a beer helps motivate you to work out, then by all means go for it, but don't expect it to be the solution to getting into shape.