A lot of us get to the end of a race (or training session) and crave one. And some would argue that a carb-packed beer is just what the doctor ordered. A doctor, however, might not, as Linzay Logan explains.
Written by: Linzay Logan
One could only wish. Beer may sound like everything you’ve ever dreamed of after a race, but drinking a few cold ones after a long run or a marathon may do more harm then good.
Chances are in a race you have given it all you’ve got. You trained, you carbo-loaded, you stretched, and did everything else by the book. Don’t let all of that go by the wayside the moment the race is over. You still need to keep yourself in check if you want to recover properly.
Once you cross the finish line your first line of defense is to rehydrate yourself. Even if you have hydrated well before and during the race, you still need to take that water a volunteer hands you at the finish line and drink it. In addition to hydration, replenishing the nutrients in your body is key. Key nutrients are carbohydrates, protein and electrolytes. Drinks marketed for recovery will include these as well as get you hydrated. Sports drinks or chocolate milk are other good choices that refuel lost nutrients from a hard run. Try and get your drink on within 30 minutes after crossing the finish line.
Eating post-race is just as important as drinking your nutrients post-race.
Within two hours of finishing make sure you load up on carbs, protein and sodium. Carbs refuel your energy, protein helps repair and protect sore muscles and sodium helps to replace salt and retain water lost from sweating.
*Did you know electrolytes are just a fancy scientific term for salt? Drink a sports drink with electrolytes to help return sodium levels back to normal after sweating it out or sprinkle a little extra salt over your food.
Unfortunately, beer doesn’t fall into the category of what we need after a race besides the carb factor. Indulge in the beer garden with one, but more than that and you’re likely to dehydrate yourself more.