Yes, you read the title right. According to a new study coming out of Australia, apparently beer can help with hydration after exercise. Ben Densbrow, professor and researcher, has spearheaded a project to prove the above fact; still, there is a bit of a catch. While the study reveals that hydration is possible after physical activity when it comes to low alcohol concentration, mixed in with the high salt content that beer has; this is only possible when it is compared to other beers (high sodium beer assists with hydration, versus low sodium beer that does not).
The MSN team revealed that in his research, Densbrow and his team had twelve male athletes participate in four trials, where their nutrition and fitness levels were rated average before each visit. Each experimental trial included a round of physical activity aimed to assist the volunteers lose weight; and each exercise session was followed by drinking a test beer. The beers provided had either: low levels of alcohol with 25 mmol/L added sodium, low levels of alcohol with 50 mmol/L added sodium, mid-strength alcoholic beer, or a mid-strength beer with 25 mmol/L of sodium. The team observed the athletes for four hours after consuming the beer, as well as other stuff, and then measured their fluid balance.
The study revealed that fluid retention was at its highest when athletes consumed the beer which had the greatest sodium content, yet lowest concentration of alcohol. While this is tremendous, it is important to note, that none of the male athletes returned to the hydrated standards they had before their workout.
“The most important aspect of any rehydration solution is the amount of volume you can consume … and people not only like drinking beer, but they like drinking large volumes of beer,” Densbrow adds.
While beer would generally worsen an individual’s rehydration, when compared to non-alcoholic beverages (due to beer’s diuretic properties), Densbrow adds that the human body is set to retain any type of fluid after exercise; and the research by his team simply outlines how to maximize this position.
… We’ll drink to that!