To wrap up 2013, I’m taking a look back at some of the research, studies and anecdotes I wrote about this year that point to the positive benefits of beer after running, cycling or any other healthy activity.
The research Daniel 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.
Key takeaway If you want to stick with running, remember one thing: reward yourself at the end. Beer can make you remember the whole experience better.
The research An Australian university did an experiment by adding electrolytes to light and dark beers. Then they had subjects either drink one of the augmented beers or regular, non-electrolyte beer. The subjects who drank electrolyte beer showed signs of being better hydrated after exercise. Specifically, those who drank light beer with added sodium.
Key takeaway Researchers see electrolyte-enhanced beer (currently just a prototype) as an improvement for beer drinkers, or a kind of “potential compromise” beverage between beer and Gatorade.
The research A “hack” is a shortcut or smarter or more efficient way of doing things than the accepted norms. Hacking can be applied to all aspects of the world, as a Ted Radio Hour episode demonstrated. Actual examples included turning off Parkinson’s symptoms in the brain or bringing back extinct animals.
Key takeaway Beer tastes better after a hard workout when your body is craving hydration and carbohydrates, the buzz feels like it hits you faster and if you share with your running buddies the social interaction enhances your mood. You can “hack” your beer by drinking after a workout.
The research The folks at WearYourBeer.com put together an infographic of 24 beer facts, including a few about the health benefits of beer. You can see the entire infographic here.
Key takeaway The positives of beer include preventing kidney stones, strengthening bones and even making you smarter. The last one I wrote about here.
The research In horse racing, the term “cheap speed” refers to “the kind of horse that goes to the front and runs as hard as he can – that horse usually doesn’t do too well at the end of the race.” says David Milch.
Key takeaway Don’t chug your beer. Don’t burn yourself out running or racing. Be in it for the long haul. For more on this topic, read my post on pacing.