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BEER: The New Postexercise Recovery Elixir?

by Sandy Todd Webster on May 17, 2012

Food for Thought

The New Postexercise Recovery Elixir?

The welcome sight of the beer tent at the end of many endurance events just got a scientific credibility boost.

A new study reported in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (44 [1], 18–26) shows that consumption of nonalcoholic wheat beer (NAB) for 3 weeks before and 2 weeks after marathon competition reduces the postrace incidence of both muscle inflammation and upper-respiratory-tract infection (URTI). Beer possesses the same types of antioxidant properties found in red wine, according to prior research.

The Study

Two hundred seventy-seven marathoners were assigned to drink 1–1.5 liters of either NAB or a placebo per day for the 3 weeks preceding the Munich Marathon and for 2 weeks postcompetition.

Postrace, researchers recorded subjects’ muscle inflammation and signs of URTI.

The Results

Those who drank NAB had 20%–32% less muscle inflammation and an incidence of URTI 3.25 times lower than their placebo counterparts.

Again, polyphenols (as in the popcorn study reported this month) were the winning antioxidant ingredient. Perhaps popcorn and NAB should be served as a dynamic duo in postmarathon beer tents!

IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 9, Issue 6

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About the Author

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster IDEA Author/Presenter

Sandy Todd Webster is Editor in Chief of IDEA's publications, including the award-winning IDEA FITNESS JOURNAL, the health and fitness industry's leading resource for fitness and wellness professionals worldwide. Sandy joined IDEA in 2001 as executive editor of IDEA PERSONAL TRAINER and IDEA FITNESS MANAGER magazines and was promoted to lead the editorial team in 2003. More than 20 years in magazine publishing, marketing communications and creative services have shaped her straightforward approach to multi-channel communication. Early experience in Los Angeles as a sports writer/reporter, and then enriching years as a managing editor in allied health care publishing have pulled her across a spectrum of stimulating subject matter. Fitness, health and nutrition reside at the perfect center of this content continuum, she feels. A Chicago native, Sandy grew up fully engaged in various competitive sports. Her drive and dedication as an athlete translate to a disciplined work ethic and unwavering appro