Is beer a legit post-workout beverage?

Turns out that triathletes, yogis, and fitness gurus among us enjoy a post-workout brewski. Does that mean we can too? We crack open the case.

is beer healthy after a workout

Triathlete yogi Jessica Bellofatto and CoreFusion founder Lis Halfpapp have a couple things in common besides their serious fitness prowess: They let us take a peek inside their fridges, and they both enjoy a post-workout brewski.

Shut the fridge door: Could beer have benefits that we’d been dismissing after a boot camp or spin class?

Maybe. Beer contains a good amount of electrolytes, like magnesium, potassium, calcium. (Then again so does coconut water.) And beer tables are de rigueur at the finish line of pretty much every race.

But, if you’re not a marathoner or working out all day like instructors Bellofatto and Halfpapp, there’s a serious downside to putting back the pints. “Alcohol is known to act like sugar in the body,” explains nutritionist-trainer Ariane Hundt. “If you’re looking to lose fat then alcohol should be minimized at all costs since it stops fat burning and can increase cravings for sugar the next day.”

Marathon coach, and all-around fitness expert, Jonathan Cane says, “I suppose beer isn’t terrible in an athlete’s diet, but it’s far from a smart recovery drink. After a hard workout or race, your body needs fluids, carbohydrate, and a little protein.”

One positive effect noted by drinking beer post-exercise? Athletes rehydrated slightly faster with beer than with water. This may be due to the fact that beer contains some bubbles, sugar, and salt, which the stomach can absorb faster than still water, says Hundt.

Considering we’re mere mortals—not full-time athletes—we’ll maybe enjoy a beer once in a while after a workout and leave stocking the fridge with six packs to those who’ve earned a set of their own. —Melisse Gelula

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