Drinking beer after a run isn’t better for you than a formulated energy drink or water, but it also isn’t worse for you. That’s probably why the practice has grown popular over the past few years, with more and more joggers grabbing a pint after a long run, ride, or workout. In fact, a 2015 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that moderate intake of beer post-workout had “no deleterious effects on markers of hydration in active individuals.” Basically, it hydrated them.

Couple this with the fact that beer also contains carbs, electrolytes, and sodium –– things that your body needs after losing fluids –– and you have a decent recovery beverage. The catch is that for beer to truly work as a recovery drink, you need to stick to one that is low in alcohol (think 4 to 5 percent) and limit yourself to just one or two. If you drink too many, or consume beers that are higher in ABV, you’ll wind up reversing the beer’s benefits and dehydrate yourself further –– and research has shown this tends to be the case, as we drink more to subconsciously reward ourselves for a job well done. Bearing this in mind, the safest bet is to drink water first, and beer second.

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