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Science: Beer better after exercise

CATEGORIES: Beer Editor   Beer Runner  


I have discovered scientific explanation for why you should drink beer at the end of your next run.

I was recently listening to a Ted Talk from Daniel Kahneman about why the end of any experience is crucial to our memories.

Kahneman, a Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics, explains that we remember through stories that we create for ourselves. And the ending of each story strongly influences its overall feeling and meaning.

This holds true for both positive and negative experiences.

Kahneman used both colonoscopies and vacations as examples. He explains that colonoscopies feel less painful if they don’t end during the most acutely painful portion. Conversely, the memory of a fun vacation can be ruined if the last day is a marred by an unpleasant experience.

James Clear also wrote about this theme recently in his blog. He explains that to boost happiness, you should “stack the pain” at the beginning of any experience. Leave the more pleasant portions for the end, and you’ll enjoy it more.

The positive implications for drinking beer after running is clear.

Running can be painful, no doubt about it. The experience from miles 20-26 of a marathon is something no one wants to remember. If you dwell on that, you’d never want to train again.

But what do you remember from your last race or hard training run? Do you remember the pain, or do you think about the medal you received at the finish line or the feeling of accomplishment?

If you want to stick with running, remember one thing: reward yourself at the end. Beer can make the whole experience better.

Flickr photo by Mor


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] draftmag.com.


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