Q: Are post-race beers OK?
A: There are definitely drinks and snacks better suited to promoting recovery. However, when you consider the primary goals of recovery are to replace fluids, restore glycogen and assist in repair, beer doesn’t stack up too badly. While alcohol can be dehydrating due to its diuretic effects, the truth is that a drink will not dehydrate you if it provides more fluids than the rate of diuresis. So for beer, particularly light beer, you are actually drinking more fluids than you will expel. The carbohydrate content of beer also helps to replace depleted glycogen. Beer’s main drawback is the lack of protein to promote tissue repair. Where one or two finish-line beers are just fine, over-indulgence will hinder recovery—by making you less likely to follow good recovery practices (stretching, eating well, getting a massage).