Running and beer goes hand in hand. For example, I’m part of a running club — like many in cities and towns across the country — where we meet up at a starting point, run to a bar and then drink. What better motivation is there to get your ass moving than hanging out with friends and drinking your face off? One of Philly’s local half-marathons is even sponsored by a local brewery every year and boasts a medal that converts to a wall-mounted bottle opener. It just makes sense.
Which is why a Canadian company is developing “Lean Machine,” a so-called recovery ale created by a team of food scientists at Vampt, as a “healthy” alternative to traditional beer. The only problem? While the 77 calorie count is desirable, the beer contains only 0.5% ABV. Goddammit, Canada.
NPR has more sciencey-type details:
Beer itself contains a small amount of carbohydrates and electrolytes, he says. It’s not enough to do your body any good after exercise, but researchers like Desbrow have been experimenting with ways to reformulate beer so it’ll have the properties of a sports drink without the dehydrating effects of alcohol.
In a study published last December in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, he and his colleagues found that beer’s dehydrating effect can be weakened by changing its electrolyte content — a good first step into turning ale into a sports beverage.
By lowering the level of alcohol by volume to 2.3 percent and adding salt, they found that the manipulated beer actually hydrated their sample of athletes better than traditional ale. Plus, he adds, since beer is plant based — the key ingredients, aside from water, are barley, hops and yeast — it contains a whole range of naturally occurring nutrients that manufactured sports drinks don’t have.
Yum. Salty beer that doesn’t get you drunk. Where do I sign up for that? Maybe to go with it they can invent some kind of joyless pizza with no cheese and sauce.