Running and beer: tips for combining your favorite activities
Are you a runner with a beer habit or a beer drinker with a running habit? Whichever the case, running and drinking beer seem to be synonymous with each other these days. From pub runs and beer miles to cold frosty hops flowing at the finish line, many people are combining their love of both of these activities.
Let’s jump into some helpful tips and information about how to maximize your performance and the fun factor of throwing back a few cold ones around your running escapades.
DO: Use your favorite beer as a reward and a recovery drink after a training run or race.
Beer always taste better after a run. You earned it, right? There is a reason that ice cold IPA goes down so easy after a tough workout. It turns out beer can be very effective at replenishing calories and other nutrients that your body depletes when sweating during a run.
Our favorite post race brew was at the Dubrovnik Half Marathon. The local brewery created a “runners ale” that was on tap through race weekend… and free during the expo! The picture on the right shows the awesome cups given to every runner. Cheers to you, race organizers! We salute you!
DON’T: Just drink beer post run.
This may sound obvious, but at a festive finish line it can be easy to get caught up in the energy of everyone celebrating and having a good time. While beer is mostly water, you still need to make sure to get some plain H2O into the mix as well. A good rule of thumb is to drink a glass of water in between each beer you have. It will keep you from overindulging and makes sure you properly rehydrate. Also include some solid food in the mix. Bananas are always readily available at events and replace essential minerals lost during exercise. Don’t forget about some protein to jump-start muscle recovery as well.
DO: Consider non-alcoholic beer as fuel to improve performance.
Most people cringe when they think about drinking a non-alcoholic beer. A few decades ago there were only a few available and they really did not taste very good at all. The rise of craft beer in general these past few years has also resulted in many great tasting non-alcoholic beers enticing to every palette.
It also turns out that non-alcoholic beer can provide performance improvement when used BEFORE training runs or events. Scientific studies indicate that drinking a non-alcoholic beer prior to exercise can help maintain and stabilize blood electrolyte levels better than drinking plain water! Here is a link to the study for the smart, science nerds.
DON’T: Drink regular beer before a run or race.
Sorry folks, the same benefits above do not apply to regular, alcoholic beer Sadly, the answer is no. The alcohol can negatively affect your blood plasma and electrolytes and cause a decrease in overall efficiency. Earn that real beer. It will taste that much better when the work for the day is done.
DO: Happily drink beer offered on the course near the finish line.
Drinking beer while running is fun! Drinking beer all along the course from start to finish can be not so fun. Just find a YouTube video of some beer mile events and see how bad it can get when drinking too much beer while running hard.
The key is to follow your gut. Literally. When you see that cold beer in the cup being extended towards you as you run by, does the idea of drinking it and how it will make you feel seem like a good idea? If so, then bottoms up! You’ll see here we couldn’t resist the local brewery near the end of the race we mentioned in Croatia. In the last mile or two of a race that beer may be just the boost you need to finish strong and get to the finish line, and another beer!
Do you have any beer running tips you want to share? What is your favorite post run beer? What was your most memorable beer/running adventure? Share your story in the comments below.
The Live Run Travel Community puts high value on active indulgence. If that sounds like you, connect with us! We’d love to see you on our next adventure.