Cheers to Health and Happiness
By: Yelena Keselman
I recently came across an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal’s Health and Wellness Section, “Colorado Brewer Mixes Exercise With Beer” by Jen Murphy. Murphy’s article spotlights Dale Katechis, the owner of a Colorado based craft brewing company named Oskar Blues. The article focuses on the unconventional way Mr. Katechis encourages his employees to maintain an active lifestyle. He provides personal training and gym equipment at his brewing facilities and also strongly encourages a beer after every workout as part of a healthy diet. Conventionally, alcohol is often described as poison to the body. Not only slowing down our mental psyche but causing damaging affects on vital organs such as the liver and kidneys. These side affects are often times a substantial reason why athletes avoid beer all together. As an avid runner and beer drinker myself I began to wonder if Mr. Katechis could be on to something. With the growing popularity of craft brewers using a variety of natural ingredients, could having a cold one after a hard workout really be such a bad idea?
The Washington Times agrees with Katechis and explains that the carbonation found in beer can actually replace healthy calories that are lost throughout the work out and helps the body return to a stable state. Similar to Gatorade, beer provides electrolytes that aid in the rehydration process. Salts and sugars encourage the body to absorb the liquid quickly, resulting in a shorter recovery time than water. This would explain the recent trend in incorporating beer as a celebratory finish at many race events.
In the long run beer can have some substantially favorable benefits if consumed in moderation (an average of 1 beer per day for women and two for men). It has been proven that beer drinkers are actually at a lower risk of cardiovascular related diseases and hypertension (high blood pressure). Beer also exercises the kidneys, which prevents the build up of kidney stones particularly in men. Surprisingly beer has even been connected to brain wellness through decreasing mental decline by as much as 20%, linking beer to the prevention of illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
With these developments the guilty pleasure of indulging after a workout may feel a bit less criminal. As with most studies these statistics cannot be deemed 100% conclusive but it is something to keep in mind the next time you debate cracking open a cold beer.