Is beer the new Gatorade?

Is beer the new Gatorade?

In the recently concluded 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, Germany came second in the medals tally with an equal number of gold medals as that of Norway, the country that topped the chart. This corroborates the fact that the German athletes are undoubtedly among the best athletes in the world. However, talent and sheer hard work are not the only factors that led to their success. It seems non-alcoholic athletic recovery beers were another reason for their stellar performance in the games, which might lead to many raising eyebrows.

Apparently, nonalcoholic recovery beers are quite a rage among the German athletes, with many breweries like Erdinger and Krombacher offering various sober sports beers. The Germans drink such beers not just for enjoyment but also for hydrating themselves during any demanding outdoor activity. It was interesting to note the presence of these companies even in the Olympic Village. The brewery Krombacher supplied 3,500 liters (about 1,000 gallons) of nonalcoholic beer to the athletes’ village apart from the 11,000 litres of regular beer to ensure the German athletes remain hydrated during the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.

How is it possible?

Initially known and marketed as the “Car driver’s beer,” nonalcoholic wheat beer was invented in 1973 in East Germany. Over the decades, German breweries started pitching it to health conscious individuals as well. Johannes Scherr, the doctor of the German Olympic ski team and sports medicine teacher at the Technical University of Munich, started noticing this marketing pitch of the beer manufacturers. Eventually, Scherr was also able to come to the conclusion that non-alcoholic beer does indeed let athletes train harder and rigorously by helping them recover quickly.

To lend more credibility to this notion, a brewing company financed a study led by Scherr. The double-blind study gave beer to the runners at the 2009 Munich Marathon. These runners were given non-alcoholic beer (or placebo) every day for three weeks before the race and two weeks after the race as well.

It was found that the runners given the alcohol-free beer experienced considerably less inflammation and significantly reduced upper respiratory infections after the race than those given a placebo. These results highlight that the benefits of non-alcoholic beers included more than just hydrating the athletes. In the light of the above benefits of non-alcoholic beers, German athletes are using them extensively even after a workout.

The health benefits of the non-alcoholic beers are due to the presence of a compound known as polyphenol. Polyphenols are also found in red grapes, which when used as champagne has the ability to diminish memory loss.

Furthermore, a Chilean study conducted in 2016 found that soccer players remained more hydrated by consuming alcohol-free beers before training than drinking plain water. Moreover, there are evidences to suggest that non-alcoholic beers improves sleep, anxiety and cardiovascular health, as well as enhances the production of breast milk by stimulating the secretion of hormone prolactin.

Overcoming alcohol addiction

Since Germans love beer, nonalcoholic beers as a healthier substitute is the best thing to happen to them. The consumption of nonalcoholic beer has steadily increased in Germany, which has led to the diversification and manufacture of over 400 types of nonalcoholic beers. Furthermore, new brewing techniques have been adopted over the years to improve the flavour and health benefits of these alcohol-free beers in Germany. In America, the concept of nonalcoholic beers has not really caught on among consumers, specifically in athletes. It is perceived as a beverage that only a patient in rehab or an ex-beer drinker would opt.

While there are healthier forms of beer available, it is important for individuals to understand that drinking even a small amount of alcohol may lead to dependence and consequently addiction. If you or your loved one is addicted to alcohol, contact the Alcohol Addiction Helpline of California to find the best alcohol rehab centers in California. Call at our 24/7 alcohol helpline number 855-980-1715 or chat online with one of our representatives to connect with the best inpatient alcohol rehab centers running evidence-based treatment programs to treat alcoholism and help a person walk the path of sobriety.

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