The Best Beer for Runners

It’s no secret that runners love beer. After a hard workout or a race, I can’t wait to get my hands on a cold refreshing beer. After all, the runner’s high doesn’t last forever. Choosing the right beer is more important than you might think. Some beers may help you refuel, while others simply fall flat.

The Good News

A 2011 study conducted in Germany, found that wheat beer can reduce inflammation, prevent infection, and help marathoners avoid the common cold. Prost! An unpublished study in 2007 from the University of Granada in Spain compared post-exercise rehydration with water only, or with two 12-ounce beers followed by plenty of water. Professor Manuel Grazon concluded that beer followed by water was more effective than water-only for rehydration and recovery. Salud!

The Bad News

Beer is not a recommended recovery drink, but we still love to drink it. Experts suggest avoiding beer immediately after finishing a race or workout, and instead reaching for a sports drink designed to aid in recovery or a glass of water. After that, you might grab a celebratory beer or two. One basic strategy the seems to work is the water/beer/water/beer… method.

“There’s nothing about it that helps with recovery. Beer doesn’t have enough carbs to meet recovery needs and the fluid in the beer doesn’t help with hydration because alcohol is a diuretic. Athletes also need electrolytes and protein for recovery. Beer may have a small amount of electrolytes but it doesn’t have protein. In general, beer is a bad idea.” – Katie Murtha, registered dietitian, board certified specialist in sports dietetics and marathon runner

Top 5

So, beer isn’t necessarily good for running or recovery, but it doesn’t seem to hurt in moderate amounts. That being said, let’s look at 5 beers that will help you celebrate your running achievements in style. Bottoms up!

Rogue Dead Guy Ale, Oregon
Rogue Dead Guy Ale, Oregon

Dead Guy Ale is made in the German Maibock style. This is light, hoppy-flavored bock. It’s brewed with local ingredients from Oregon, the home of the legendary Steve Prefontaine. If you haven’t tried Dead Guy Ale, you owe it to yourself to try one. 6.5% ABV

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Delaware
Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Delaware

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA is loaded with hops. Hops are noted in the bitter taste of a beer. Hops are used in Chinese medicine, and have been proven to reduce inflammation, aid in sleep and relaxation, and prevent bodily infection. 6.0% ABV

Throwback Hog Happy Hefeweizen, New Hampshire
Throwback Hog Happy Hefeweizen, New Hampshire

Throwback Brewery is a nanobrewery from seacoast New Hampshire. Their Hog Happy Hefeweizen has garnered the attention of beer drinkers across the country. Wheat beers help keep runners healthy after endurance events like the marathon according to a 2011 study conducted in Munich, Germany. 4.9% ABV

Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale, California
Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale, California

Arrogant Bastard Ale is the perfect refreshment after setting a new PR or nailing your race goal. This American strong ale has powerful flavors and aroma. 7.20% ABV

Anchor Steam Beer, California
Anchor Steam Beer, California

A classic San Francisco beer with a unique steam brewing process. It is crisp and not overly carbonated. A great choice for the front porch or back deck after a tough summer run. 4.90% ABV

Do you have a favorite post-run beer? Leave your suggestions in the Comments section.

8 thoughts on “The 5 Best Beers for Runners

  1. Any traditional German style lager is great to drink after a workout because of the refreshing smoothness and crispness that immediately quenches thirst. I recommend a dunkel lager or a bock. Anchor Bock is one of my favorites!

  2. Troegs Sunshine Pils: The sun’s role dominates the Hop Cycle as vines grow before the human eye and budding hop cones reach maturity beneath the sun’s rays. Sunshine Pils combines the refreshing snap of a Euro-style Pilsner with an assertive hop character. Crisp. Hoppy. Pilsner. 4.5% ABV

  3. I drank a Parkway Brewing Majestic Mullet (Kolsch) after a recent marathon (once I drank water). Great recovery.

  4. I’m glad I found your blog!!
    The wheat beer was actually non-alcoholic and study participants consumed a huge quantity. Also, exercise, even intense, doesn’t really appear to predispose to infection.
    All that being said, my investigation of this subject indicates no negative effect for people up to 70 kg who consume up to 2.5 beers.
    So enjoy!
    Brian Smart, MD