Can You Hydrate Yourself With Beer?

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There is nothing more satisfying than a nice, cold beer to quench your thirst after mowing the lawn or riding your bike. In ancient times, it was safer to drink beer than water, but the beer back then was much lower in alcohol. Most beers today are above 5% ABV, making them questionable in regard to hydration.

BeerBeer is made up of water, barley, hops, and yeast. All of these natural ingredients are healthy sources of carbohydrates, fat, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and they also contain electrolytes and phyto-nutrients. The fermentation process also has a positive effect on these ingredients by promoting increased bioavailability and enzymatic activity. This essentially means that the brewing ingredients are changed to a form that makes them readily absorbed and usable by the body.

A study published in The Journal of Applied Physiology explored the hydrating quality of alcohol after exercise-induced dehydration. In the study, 2.2 liters of an alcohol-free beer, along with a 1, 2, and 4% ABV beer, were consumed across the study. The study suggests that beverages with low alcohol concentrations have “a negligible diuretic effect” when consumed in a state of exercise-induced dehydration, meaning that hydrating with water or a low-alcohol beer (~2% ABV) is effectively the same. They also found that a 4% ABV beer had the same hydrating qualities but just took longer to achieve the same results. That’s good news considering you won’t find too many 2% beers.

So the next time you’ve worked your way into a sweat, go ahead and grab yourself a cold session beer and hydrate yourself.

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