Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Beer as sports drink?

Last night, the hubby and I went to a bar to see one of his co-workers off to a new job. The bar was called the Winchester. I couldn’t help but hear Simon Pegg in my head all night saying, “We’re going to the Winchester!”


First of all, this is the Winchester’s cools sign.

Second, upon setting my glass of wheat ale down on the bar’s provided coaster, I noticed this.

Erdinger Weissbier Alkolholfrei - “The sports and fitness drink.”

What?!?! Beer as a sports drink?! Apparently this German low-alcohol wheat beer is a very popular post-race beverage at triathlon, running and biathlon events in Germany. The Erdinger website says this:

With its isotonic effect, ERDINGER Non-Alcoholic is particularly well suited to regenerating the body after sport, as it quickly replaces the liquids and minerals the body has lost. In order to popularize the positive properties of its sporting thirst-quencher, ERDINGER Weissbräu launched a cooperation with professional triathlon couple Nicole and Lothar Leder in 2001. The two athletes were convinced of the regenerative effects of ERDINGER Non-Alcoholic and still actively promote the alcohol-free weissbier today.

Lothar Leder is the guy riding his bike on the coaster.

So, I understand that beer contains carbohydrates, water and probably some minerals. And if it’s low-alcohol, it won’t dehydrate you too badly after sports. And don’t get me wrong – I enjoy a beer with friends after a good mountain bike ride or mud run. But can beer really “regenerate the body after sport” as well as an actual sports drink with electrolytes (AKA salts), carbohydrates and water?

Maybe so. Maybe my consumerist, American sentiments are just skewed by Powerade and Gatorade commercials away from the time honoured European belief in beer as a recovery drink.

One way or another, I was surprised and amused by this marketing strategy.

Has anyone out there had Erdinger Alkoholfrei after a race? How did you like it?

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