At last, I no longer have to act ashamed whenever people discover my hydration bladder is full of Miller High Life—I'm simply ahead of my time. Our pal Science now says that beer, yes beer, is more effective for rehydrating the body than plain ol' water. I think I'm not alone when I say that this qualifies as news on par with peace in the Middle East.
Researchers at Granada University in Spain found this Nobel Prize-worthy discovery after months of testing 25 student subjects, who were asked to run on a treadmill in grueling temps (104 degrees F) until they were as close to exhaustion as possible. Half were given water to drink, and the other half drank two pints of Spanish lager. Then the godly researchers measured their hydration levels, motor skills, and concentration ability.
They determined that the beer drinkers had "slightly better" rehydration effects, which researchers attribute to sugars, salts, and bubbles in beer enhancing the body's ability to absorb water. The carbohydrates in beer also help refill calorie deficits.
Based on the results of the study, researchers recommend moderate consumption of beer as a part of athletes' diets. "Moderate consumption" for men is 500ml per day, and for women is 250ml per day.
Goodbye Gatorade, hello Pabst Blue Ribbon: This opens the door to a whole raft of new athlete beer sponsorships. Hopefully we'll see Lance replace the water bottle on his bike with a 40 of St. Ides in the next few months. (In fact, maybe that's why he didn't win the Giro d'Italia.)
This of course doesn't mean anything for hydration outside of strenuous exercise, but I'm not taking any chances—best to start hydrating now. [cracks open can of Lone Star]
Image Credit: Archibald Jude