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Beer, running and the flu


Drink plenty of fluids when you have the flu

For 845 days I managed to keep up a streak of running at least one mile and drinking at least one beer.

Sure, I had some challenges along the way to keep the streaks alive. I had to run the day after running 30 miles for my 30th birthday. I brought beer in my checked baggage on trips in case I couldn’t find a bottle before midnight. I occasionally felt under the weather or dealt with nagging injuries and ran the minimum mileage.

But there was never a day I seriously thought the streak would end. Until yesterday.

I woke up knowing something was wrong, but I tried to ignore it and hoped it would pass. Around 2 pm I started puking. It was the violent, flop-sweating, full-body spasming kind of puking brought on by a really bad case of the flu. I spent the next seven hours alternating between the bathroom and face down on the bed.

The whole time I was counting down how many hours I had left to get in a mile and a beer. When I told my wife my plans to continue my streak, she told me this was grounds to stop taking care of me.

After managing to keep down two popsicles and two glasses of Pedialyte, I crawled out of bed and put on my running clothes. I felt I could barely stand, but I walked out the door before I could think too much about the stupidity of what I was doing. This gave new meaning to the phrase “puke and rally.”

Maybe the fresh air gave me a second wind, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I ended up slowly jogging a mile — and not a step more — in 12:38.

I felt completely drained when I got back, and I promptly fell back asleep for a half an hour on the couch. And I still had to drink a beer to continue my streak. If I was smart I would have added Nuun to a New Glarus Spotted Cow, or other suggestions people gave me for electrolyte beer.

Instead, I drank a Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro, which was the “lightest” beer I had in my fridge. It was the only other choice beside Goose Island Bourbon County Stout or Lucky Bucket Certified Evil. I just never planned for keeping an MGD 64 on hand in case I got the flu and wanted to drink the closest thing to water possible while keeping my beer streak alive.

It took me almost an hour to finish my beer, but I drank the last sip with a half hour before midnight to spare. And I lived to streak another day.

Update: I think this is what I caught. 


Tim Cigelske is DRAFT's Beer Runner. (Beer Run•ner [noun]: Someone equally devoted to fine beer appreciation and an active, healthy lifestyle. Ex. "John downed four microbrews at the triathlon finish line. He's a total beer runner.”) Follow Tim on Twitter @TheBeerRunner, and email him at beerrunner [at]

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  • Kelly says:

    I came down with a bad cold last week, but with this kind of “advice” rattling around in my head from someone, somewhere, not sure who or where, I decided to go for a run and maybe try to sweat it out of me. It seems to have possibly delayed the severe onset for a day or so, although while I was running I did feel my internal organs kind of more prominently than usual, reminding me of the time I had mono and wrestled in the snow just before learning that my spleen was enlarged and could explode with exercise. I had a beer afterwards too.

    It didn’t feel good, but it didn’t kill me.

  • Androo says:

    The flu doesn’t make you puke. You have a stomach virus. Get well.

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