The welcome sight of the beer tent at the end of many endurance events just got a scientific credibility boost.
A new study reported in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (44 , 18–26) shows that consumption of nonalcoholic wheat beer (NAB) for 3 weeks before and 2 weeks after marathon competition reduces the postrace incidence of both muscle inflammation and upper-respiratory-tract infection (URTI). Beer possesses the same types of antioxidant properties found in red wine, according to prior research.
Two hundred seventy-seven marathoners were assigned to drink 1–1.5 liters of either NAB or a placebo per day for the 3 weeks preceding the Munich Marathon and for 2 weeks postcompetition.
Postrace, researchers recorded subjects’ muscle inflammation and signs of URTI.
Those who drank NAB had 20%–32% less muscle inflammation and an incidence of URTI 3.25 times lower than their placebo counterparts.
Again, polyphenols were the winning antioxidant ingredient. Perhaps popcorn and NAB should be served as a dynamic duo in postmarathon beer tents!