A cold beer can be refreshing after a workout, but too many are likely to leave you dehydrated and in worse shape than before. Now, a team of Australian scientists is working to change that by developing a new type of light beer that hydrates on the same level as a sports drink.
A team of researchers at the Griffith University health institute in Queensland modified two commercially brewed beers to replicate the hydrating effects of a sports drink, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Researchers removed some of the alcohol content and added electrolytes to an amber ale and a light beer without altering the taste. They then compared the hydrating effects of all four varieties.
Ben Desbrow, the associate professor who led the study, said the enhanced light beer replenished nutrients and hydrated test subjects one-third better than a typical beer did. “Of the four different beers the subjects consumed, our augmented light beer was by far the most well retained by the body, meaning it was the most effective at rehydrating the subjects,” he said.
The full results of the test can be found in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.
While it might seem like a better idea to simply dissuade some people from drinking, Desbrow said it’s actually a much better idea to cut the risks associated with drinking in the first place. “If you’re going to live in the real world, you can either spend your time telling people what they shouldn’t do or you can work on ways of reducing the danger of some of these socialized activities,” he said.
The new hydrating beer may be a boon for a gym rat looking to hydrate and get a buzz after a workout, but there’s another, more general use for a hydrating beer as well: eliminating hangovers. There are a variety of factors that go into hangovers, but the primary cause is dehydration. Keeping drinkers more hydrated could likely help them avoid killer hangovers the morning after the night before.