International Beer Day: a toast to moderation!

International Beer Day is celebrated on the first Friday of August every year: a warm month, a much-desired day of the week, and a drink that is the greatest companion of sports lovers. Perfect for celebrating team victories, commemorating good performances with friends, and cheering with those you love the most. 


Benefits of moderate consumption

Beer contains vitamin, mineral, and carbohydrate components, so drinking it in moderate doses [1] by adults can play a role in the recovery of normal metabolism and immune system in sportsmen and women after exercise [2].

Considering the high level of stress to which athletes are exposed, celebrating triumphs, and accepting defeats in the company of teammates and a beer, can have a positive effect. However, this consumption, as we have pointed out, must be moderate.

In fact, the consequences of alcohol are more aggressive the more you drink. But there are other important aspects. For example, there are different consequences of drinking before or after exercise:

Drinking before exercise
Alcoholic beverages can make an athlete more prone to injury, and this occurs for several reasons. By changing the different phases of the sleep cycle, there is a reduction in the body's ability to retain glycogen - a fundamental energy source for endurance in long activities; as well as increasing levels of cortisol - a stress hormone that obstructs the healing process. Alcohol is also classified as a strong diuretic, a substance that increases urine production, meaning it can severely dehydrate the body for up to a week, depending on the amount ingested.

Drinking after exercise
After exercise, the body needs to restore oxygen and sugar levels. Alcohol, when in excess, will affect rehydration, and you may become more fatigued, with cramps, headaches, and other symptoms of dehydration.


The influence on sports performance

The excessive consumption of alcoholic drinks may lead to the well-known "hangover", whose effects cause various consequences, which vary from person to person. However, in some cases, they may mean hypoglycemia, gastric irritation, and sleep disturbances. This type of outcome can mean a less effective physical and mental performance, leading to a considerable reduction in the athlete's performance.

Summing up, it's the best to have a beer! It's healthy to unwind and socialize with friends. However, if physical activity is part of your life, professionally or otherwise, it is important to keep in mind the points mentioned above about how drinking can influence your athletic performance. If you consume alcoholic beverages, avoid doing so 48 hours before important events and make sure you eat before and after. Water is also an important sidekick!


[1] Rehidratación post-ejercicio: efecto del consumo de cerveza con varios contenidos de alcohol sobre el balance de fluidos después de una deshidratación leve. (2016, November 15). Fisiología del Ejercicio.

[2] Barbany, J. R. (2006). Fisiología del ejercicio físico y del entrenamiento (Vol. 24). Editorial Paidotribo.