Is that Pre or Post Race Beer a Good Idea?

Updated: Dec 30, 2019

One of the favorite items runners enjoy before or after a race? Beer! There are many races sponsored by beer companies, a few of which I have completed. Drinking a post race beer for me has never been something I have needed to do. My go-to meal before every race? Shrimp fried rice and a beer. . Or at least, it used to be. It turns out, drinking that beer the night before a race may not be the best thing to do.

According to Professor Matthew Barnes of New Zealand’s Massey University School of Sport and Medicine, ergolytic effects of alcohol on endurance performance.” Ergolytic, which means performance-impairing, is likely to inhibit recovery, which is what your body needs after a race.

If you drink too much before a race, you may not eat as healthy as you would normally. When drinking, we tend to forget about dieting and this can lead to improper fueling which is something you don't need on race day. 

For those of you who enjoy a drink at night to help you fall asleep after an intense workout, it won’t. In fact, it will disrupt your sleep pattern, that’s why you may feel the need to sleep longer or take a nap in the middle of the day. If you do not get enough sleep before a race, it won’t help you PR.

Some other effects alcohol has on your body?

  1. It is a diuretic and causes to you pee more. As a result, you could be more dehydrated come race morning.

  2. If you like to drink after races, remember that alcohol can poison your muscle fibers—leading to a longer recovery period because the fast-twitch fibers in the muscle do not adapt like they typically would.

  3. When running a marathon, our immune systems already begin to weaken with the amount of stress we put on it over 26.2 miles.  Well, drinking too much can weaken your immune system even more. As runners, we don’t want to be getting sick as it can mess up our training and racing regime.

But hey! If you have already consumed a solid, protein and carbohydrate-based meal, drinking that glass of wine, especially red won’t completely ruin the work you’ve put in.

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