For many runners, there's nothing quite like cracking open a cold beer after a long run or race. And with craft beer becoming increasingly popular, there are more options than ever before when it comes to finding the perfect post-workout brew.
While we do not endorse drinking and acknowledge that it is not for everyone, we know that some runners enjoy a beer after a race or a run. Beer may have potential benefits that aid in the recovery of runners. Here is why endurance runners may want to consider beer as part of their recovery process.
Beer contains carbohydrates, which can help replenish glycogen stores in muscles after a run. However, the carbohydrate content in beer may not be sufficient to fully support recovery, and consuming additional carbohydrate-rich foods might be necessary for optimal glycogen restoration.¹
Malts and minerals
Beer contains malted barley, which contributes to its mineral content. Barley is a good source of various minerals, such as potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. These minerals can play a role in muscle function, bone health, and electrolyte balance, all of which are important for post-run recovery.²
Beer is predominantly composed of water, and hydration is essential for recovery after exercise. While moderate beer consumption may contribute to hydration, it's crucial to remember that alcoholic beverages, including beer, can have a diuretic effect, leading to increased fluid loss. Therefore, it's advisable to balance beer intake with water consumption to stay adequately hydrated.³
Decompress training stress
The social element of sharing a beer with friends after exercise can contribute to relaxation and stress reduction, which may indirectly support recovery. Socializing can have positive psychological effects that aid in overall well-being.⁴
Here are some of our favorite beer recommendations from Canada and across America:
Athletic Brewing Co's Run Wild IPA
(Calories: 70, ABV: less than 0.5%)
Our pick for the best pre-race beer is Athletic Brewing Co's Run Wild IPA. This malty NA beer is perfect for runners who want a bit of beer before their race but not the alcohol. The Run Wild IPA doesn't lack in flavor or that hoppy bitterness that you love in an IPA.
La Joggeuse - La Souche
(Calories: 148, ABV: 2.5 %)
La Joggeuse is a low-calorie beer ideal for health-conscious individuals who seek to reward themselves after a rigorous workout. Its unique recipe provides a refreshing and crisp taste that is both invigorating and rewarding. Cheers to your health and fitness!
Placebo Fraise Peche - La Barbarie
This malt beverage has the sweetness of peaches and strawberries, a hint of acidity, fine effervescence, and a delicate white foam collar - everything you want in a beer except the alcohol.
Rally Dry Run Non-Alcoholic Pale Ale
(Electrolyte, Calories: 55, ABV: O.3%)
Rally is your post-workout beer, brewed with artisanal salts, unfiltered, and specially formulated with highly electrolytic superfoods. It's a Canadian company that offers a non-alcoholic pale ale with added electrolytes!
Sufferfest Beer Co. Sufferfest FKT
(Calories: 130, ABV: 5.1%)
This beer is a tribute to the runner that kills it on the run and wants to celebrate with a beer when they're done. For those deep in the Ultra Running community, you'll know the acronym FKT as "Fastest Known Time."
Le Naufrageur - Étape du Phare
This blonde ale is brewed in homage to long-distance runners and is the official beer of the Marathon Baie-des-Chaleurs. Despite being very low in alcohol, this session IPA will please the biggest fans of hoppy beers, developing tastes of tropical fruits, citrus, and spices. It's an excellent beer to enjoy after a big run.
Whether you're a runner who enjoys a beer after a race or run or simply someone who needs inspiration for the happy hour, we hope you found this information helpful! Remember to drink responsibly and never drink and drive.
¹ Williams MB, Raven PB, Fogt DL, Ivy JL. Effects of recovery beverages on glycogen restoration and endurance exercise performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2003 May;17(2):12-9. doi: 10.1519/1533-4287(2003)017<0012:eorbog>2.0.co;2.
² Tucker KL. Nutrient intake, nutritional status, and cognitive function with aging. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2016 Mar;1367(1):38-49. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12950.
³ Shirreffs SM, Maughan RJ. Restoration of fluid balance after exercise-induced dehydration: effects of alcohol consumption. J Appl Physiol. 1997 Jan;82(1):320-6. doi: 10.1152/jappl.19184.108.40.2060.
⁴ Pressman SD, Cohen S. Does positive affect influence health? Psychol Bull. 2005 Nov;131(6):925-71. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.131.6.925.