With Oktoberfest right around the corner, beer is definitely on the brain. But while many of us are eager to stock up on all the seasonal beers we can find, runners and other athletes might feel guilty indulging in all those delicious brews featuring pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg flavors. However, according to recent studies, one or two beers after a run can be more beneficial than detrimental.
Here are a few of the many benefits of beer.
It’s Rich in B Vitamins
That’s right. Beer is rich in B vitamins from the yeast used to brew it. Why does this matter? One bottle of beer contains 12.5 percent of your recommended daily B6, which plays a role in helping your body metabolize fats and proteins and even helps with PMS. B3, also known as niacin, helps with the digestive system, where B12 can increase energy and riboflavin (B2) can help prevent migraines, heart diseases and cancer. The list goes on and on.
It Contains Antioxidants
We all know that wine has an impressive amount of antioxidants, but many people don’t know that those same antioxidants are also found in beer. The hops and barley used to brew beer contain flavonoids. These powerful antioxidants play a huge role in after-run recovery as well as overall health. In darker beers, the antioxidant levels are equivalent to those found in wine.
It Helps Reduce Cholesterol Levels
While wine might get all of the credit for lowering cholesterol levels with its ethanol content, beer contains that same compound. That means beer’s ethanol content also reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and increases HDL cholesterol (the good stuff).
It Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease
As stated above, beer has many of the same attributes as red wine, from compounds that lower cholesterol levels to higher antioxidant levels. Beer contains both Vitamin B6 and antioxidants. B6 prevents the buildup of homocysteine, which helps protect against heart diseases.
It Lowers Stress Levels
Drinking a beer is a great way to relax, especially after a long, hard run. Due to the high antioxidant levels and (let’s be honest) the fact that it’s alcohol, beer can help lower your stress levels. Plus, lower stress levels mean lower risk of heart disease. It’s a win-win.
It Aids in Recovery
According to a study by researchers at Granada University in Spain, moderate beer consumption can help you recover faster. At the end of the study, those who had a beer after their workout were slightly more hydrated than those who just drank water or even Gatorade. It makes sense considering most American beers are about 90 percent water.
Feel better about your after-run brew? We thought so. So get out there, run your heart out and relax with a nice cold one afterward. You’ve earned it. Just remember to drink in moderation (12 ounces per day for women and 24 for men).
At Wahoo Fitness, we run for many reasons. One of them is beer. We know the importance of maximizing the benefit of every beer we plan to enjoy. Enjoy responsibly and with fellow runners as much as possible.