Experts and fitness enthusiasts alike are on the fence about whether having a beer after exercise is a good idea or not. During a vigorous workout, the body tends to lose a lot of fluids and electrolytes. We also burn our carbohydrate stores and tear down our muscle proteins.
A beer after exercise, why not?
The problem that experts have with beer is that alcohol dehydrates the body, which then impairs or slows down protein synthesis. Now, this is probably a big deal if you’re an elite athlete who’s competing on the world stage. Everything that you do, including the things that you eat and drink, will be strictly monitored to give way to your best performance.
Meanwhile, if you’re simply a fitness enthusiast who isn’t training for a personally important event, an occasional drink or two wouldn’t be so bad. In this case, there’s no need to put beer in a bad light for not being a performance or recovery-enhancing drink, since it’s just there for inspiration and enjoyment.
How Long Do You Have to Wait Before Drinking?
Research shows that chugging beer right after your workout session can be counterproductive to all the effort that you just did. Thus, it’s best to save it after an hour or two.
This period after your workout is critical in your body’s recovery, so you’re better off replenishing with water, electrolytes, and some healthy post-workout snacks, like yogurt or bananas with peanut butter.
How to Enjoy and be Inspired by Your Post-Workout Beer
Beer doesn’t have to mess up with your fitness routine in any way. Just remember that it’s there for fun and not for anything else!
Here are some ways to get the most out of your post-workout beer-drinking sessions:
1. Drink with Friends
If you’re part of a sports or fitness group, or you have a few workout buddies whom you exercise with, scheduling occasional night outs at the bar can definitely be a good way to socialize. You may choose to talk more about your shared passion for fitness, or you can also talk about other aspects of your lives. It can also be a means of celebrating fitness milestones for all of you.
2. Use Beer Mugs that Match Your Hobbies and Interests
Drinking beer can be more enjoyable and inspiring when you’re using mugs that make your personality shine through. For example, if you’re into anything that is Viking-related, drinking from a beer horn can certainly make it a lot more fun, especially when you’ve just finished doing a hard workout. It could also be a topic of interest among your visitors.
3. Try Out New Beers
Maybe there are craft beers around town that you’ve been wanting to try. Or maybe you’ve discovered some beer recipes that you want to try making. Tasting new types of beer every now and then can help you unwind, especially when you’re having a tough day. It’s also a great way of bonding with your friends.
Additionally, fit beers are also on the rise these days. These are beers with modified ingredients that aim to provide better kinds of calories to the athlete. The alcohol content is usually lowered to minimize its dehydrating properties.
4. Chug it While Listening to Podcasts
There may be moments when you just want to drink beer at home, all by yourself. For these moments, instead of watching your favorite movies or shows while drinking beer, you can try listening to podcasts instead. Or if there’s a book that you’ve been wanting to read, you can also go for its audiobook version. You never know what kinds of ideas might come up during these times.
5. See it as a Well-Deserved Reward
You may not be an elite athlete, but you’ve been training for your own big event for a few months. You’ve felt how physically demanding the past few months had been. Most events will feature a post-race or post-event drink for everyone who joined. That’s definitely a great way to wrap everything up with all the other athletes who worked hard just like you.
Conclusion: Drink Moderately!
This study recommends that you drink no more than 0.5g of beer per kg of body weight after you exercise. To illustrate, the quota is two 12oz. beers for a person who weighs approximately 150 lbs. Always make sure that you drink water and eat food while drinking your celebratory mug of booze. As with all things, moderation is key to keeping things balanced.