How much sodium is in beer

Alcohol-free beer as a sports drink?

Beer manufacturers are sponsors of many fun races; after the finish line, the athletes are often given a mug of beer. Alcohol and sport, how do they go together? The drinks are of course non-alcoholic. A cool wheat beer or Pils with 0.0 percent is the ideal thirst quencher after exercise - at least if you believe the advertising messages. What's behind it? We asked an expert.

What are isotonic drinks?

Most non-alcoholic beers are among the so-called isotonic drinks. Isotonic means: The liquid has the same osmolality as blood. This means that the same concentration of particles is dissolved in it. This makes it easier for the body to absorb substances such as electrolytes contained in the drink. This principle works even better with hypotonic beverages, in which the number of suspended solids is lower than in the blood. These include, for example, water or mineral water.

In general, the question arises as to what the aim of drinking is: absorb carbohydrates quickly or replenish the body's fluid stores? "For the latter, hypotonic beverages are more suitable, for the carbohydrate intake, however, isotonic ones," explains Axel Klein, specialist in orthopedics, trauma surgery and sports medicine and Vice President of the German Society for Sports Medicine and Prevention. “With this in mind, alcohol-free beer can be recommended after exercise. With one restriction - it must be a 0.0 and should not contain any residual alcohol. "

Who is alcohol-free beer particularly suitable for?

Anyone who does sport sweats. As a result, the body loses fluid, salts and of course calories are burned during exercise. After intensive training, all these reserves should be replenished. "Alcohol-free beer contains sugar, no fats, electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and magnesium and, above all, liquid," says the sports medicine specialist from Dresden. The drink is therefore a sensible option for normal athletes. "However, if you only move for an hour, you usually don't need to be afraid of draining."

As soon as you lose two to four percent of the fluid, you lose performance - this corresponds to an average of one to one and a half liters of water. As a countermeasure, tipping down alcohol-free beer during a run is rather inadvisable: “If I drink something while exercising that I normally don't consume, you don't know how the body reacts. Hefeweizen in particular could cause problems because it stimulates intestinal activity. "

What are the alternatives?

The classic drink is always a good way to replenish lost fluids: mineral water. In order to provide the body with quickly available carbohydrates, some sugar may also be included. The expert recommends all juice spritzers that are not too sweet: “The optimal mixing ratio is 3: 1, so three parts of water to one part of juice.” Of course, this only makes sense if the sport is not used to lose weight. Because so-called "empty" calories, such as those contained in juices and lemonades, set in particularly quickly. In everyday life, water and unsweetened teas should therefore be the liquids of choice.