The catch? Non alcoholic beer. I’m sure your fridge is full of it. Drinking of NA beer after marathons is quite prevalent in Europe, but the effects of how and why have been undocumented.
The Technical Institute of Munich set out to find the answer. They gathered 227 healthy runners in their 40’s training for the Munich marathon. They agreed thinking that they would be fed NA beer. Secretly, only 1/2 were drinking non alcoholic. The other half were drinking a beer flavored substitute.
After a few weeks of chugging liters of beer, the recover time of the non alcoholic drinkers was better. Joint inflammation was lower, post run sickness was lower. How exactly the beer works biologically is still undetermined.
The study concludes that the consumption of 1-1.5 L/day non-alcoholic beer for three weeks before and two weeks after marathon competition reduces post-race inflammation and upper respiratory tract infections incidence. [ACSM]