Beer: The New Gatorade?

Photo via Lean Machine

Photo via Lean Machine

Fitness-loving beer enthusiasts: Rejoice! A post-workout recovery beer could be hitting grocery store shelves later this year. Seriously!

According to NPR, a team of food scientists at Vampt have created Lean Machine, a gluten-free “recovery ale” chock-full of nutrients, antioxidants and electrolytes to replenish the body after a grueling workout.

Now, you might be thinking, “Isn’t a post-workout beer a bit counter-intuitive?” Maybe it is. Or, as Vampt founder Ian Toews told NPR, maybe it’s just practical: “We just thought that we could do something that would support a drinker, make it still socially fun and help them accomplish what needs to be accomplished after an aggressive workout.”

NPR did some digging and, apparently, the post-workout beer concept isn’t as crazy as it sounds. During a good, sweaty workout session, the body loses fluid and electrolytes through sweat, while using up carbohydrates and protein. Post-workout, all of those areas need to be replenished. Beer, a source of both carbs and electrolytes, is a good candidate for the job.

But unless you enjoy that dry-mouth, parched feeling, don’t go reaching for a can of Miller Lite after your next workout: In order for beer to be a true recovery drink, it has to lose most of its alcohol content. In a study published last December in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, researchers found that the dehydrating factor of beer can be significantly reduced by dropping the alcohol content, thus making it a contender in the sports drink arena.

As one of the study’s researchers, Ben Desbrow, told NPR, “A properly formulated beer beverage is likely to do you no more harm than you are likely to get from a sports drink. In fact, it probably is likely to do you more good, because it’s got a lot of these sort of natural compounds, like polyphenols, that are actually good for your health.”

And this brings us back to Lean Machine, the low-alcohol sports beer. What do you think, friends: Will you be counting down the days until you can grab a can of this at the store? Or will you be sticking with good ol’ fashioned Gatorade?

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