Olympic athletes use non-alcoholic beer as a recovery drink. This is science
In Greek mythology, the olympians were said to have drunk food and given them immortality. Occasionally, athletic heroes like hercules are gifted. But the myth did not reveal that the amber liquid made them all drunk.
Today’s olympians have emerged from a new trend, mainly from Bavaria: non-alcoholic suvs. Over the past few years, some breweries, such as ettinger and klonbach, have expanded their supply of sober sports beer. This year, the two brands of beer are common sights in the Olympic village.
But how much science supports the use of beer as a sports recovery drink?
The most commonly cited health benefits of beer revolve around plant derived compounds called phenols. These organic compounds usually have a limited flavor. Spices? That’s phenol capsaicin. The pungent taste of oregano or the smoke of scotch whisky? Cress in parsley leaves and guaiacol in charred pail.
David Nieman of Appalachian state university studied the effects of phenolic substances on health. In general, diets rich in phenol tend to reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of disease, he said. “[polyphenols] have a very unique molecular structure that actually regulates the genes that control inflammation,” Nieman says, except for general antiviral properties.
In 2011, nieman and Johannes Scherr of the university of Munich examined the effects of beer on athletes with about 50 types of phenols – the intense physical activity that affected their immune activity. When marathon runners were instructed to drink 1.5 litres of non-alcoholic beer a day, the risk of upper respiratory infection decreased. The activity of white blood cells, a good indicator of inflammation, decreased by 20%.
But phenols are not the only health benefits that beer can offer – not just any beer, but a sports beer. For example, says Mauricio Sepulveda, a biologist at the Catholic university of Chile, the average alcoholic beer is a diuretic and has to be diuretic. It could also disrupt key protein synthesis, says Ben Desbrow, of Griffith university in southeast Queensland, Australia.
More importantly, the beer is a unique social drinks, Desbrow pointed out – the dietitian the health effects of long-term research brewing process, and even design a is unlikely to bring the drunkard version of a hangover. “In Australia, I believe that in many parts of the world it is the same, and we have a lot of people who like to drink beer after a hard day’s work or after a hard day’s work,” he said.
This is accompanied by a water dilemma. If the athletes drink beer, they won’t get the right amount of water. This is because when a large amount of drinking water is available, there is no electrolyte and the water is discharged quickly. According to Desbrow, when we were drinking heat, our bodies can easily keep moisture and hydrated – but the athletes in every new before the game can’t eat, not around, round or run before I eat. One of the benefits of sugary recycled drinks is that they restore the athletes’ glycogen reserves – glycogen compounds that our bodies use to store energy. If an athlete needs to drink between bouts of boxing or baseball, they will want to use sugar in most sports drinks.
But by the end of the day, athletes don’t have to worry about rushing to replace sugar stores. As a result, a non-alcoholic beer and some water can help them recover – and offer opportunities to interact with other athletes.
In 2013, Desbrow discovered that the beer that allowed athletes to drink and add electrolytes to reduce alcohol could retain more fluid. His original study had only seven participants. But since then, he and other researchers, including sepulveda, have done several follow-up studies, generally confirming that mild or nonalcoholic beer is good enough for hydration.
Desbrow special beer rich in electrolytes is better than normal light beer. However, several breweries are promoting electrolytes added to their sports beer. The increased marketing appeal might make it worthwhile, but changing the amount of salt in beer – without much damage to flavor – could involve complex and expensive experiments.
Removing alcohol from beer is complicated. One of the most popular methods is the fact that the boiling temperature of alcohol is nearly 4 degrees Celsius lower than water. By applying heat and creating a vacuum (further lowering the boiling temperature), brewers cook the alcohol – but not without changing the flavor characteristics of other compounds.
Other brewers use reverse osmosis to remove alcohol: they filter everything except water and alcohol, leaving a syrup concentrate. After distilling the alcohol, mix the concentrate with the remaining water. Either way, beer must be recarbonated by adding yeast to the bottle or injecting carbon dioxide (which technically makes it soda).
Other new ways of brewing non-alcoholic beer are springing up. Bravus has a sober IPA– long thought impossible, because the boiling heat of the hops quickly interrupts the flavor of the hops – by using what it can only be called “biological magic”. There is also a growing array of wild yeasts and genetically modified yeast brewers that can produce low-alcohol beer.
In the end, sports drinks are great for supplemental electrolytes and sugar products. But at the end of the day (literally), low alcohol beer can provide a recovery drink, it has two kinds of incomparable advantages compared with other choice: first of all, is a series of additional health plant-derived compounds. Second, as Desbrow points out, people around the world drink beer together (and with most of the human civilization history), so, in the Olympic village of multi-ethnic sharing wine can reflect this spirit is better than what?