Home Health & Fitness Does Beer Work As A Recovery Beverage?

Does Beer Work As A Recovery Beverage?

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By Dr. Mark Kovacs, CTPS, MTPS; CEO, Kovacs Institute; Executive Director International Tennis Performance Association

Many of you may enjoy an adult beverage after a hard-fought tennis match. Some of you may consume a beer (or two) during a match as well. Beer, like sports drinks, contains carbs and electrolytes. Studies have shown that drinking a beer after exercise doesn’t have negative effects on hydration. In fact, people who consume beer moderately tend to be more active. Light beer, with added sodium specifically, has been shown to replace fluid loss rather well. If you can get your hands on non-alcoholic beer, some greater benefits have been seen. Non-alcoholic beer has been shown to reduce post-exercise inflammation and even upper respiratory tract illness.

Moderation is key here, though. Too much alcohol can suppress muscle protein synthesis, can be a diuretic, and can lead to other challenges with excessive consumption. So, it is important to understand that one or two drinks after a tennis match can be an acceptable choice, while having a 12-pack is not recommended.Many of you may enjoy an adult beverage after a hard-fought tennis match. Some of you may consume a beer (or two) during a match as well. Beer, like sports drinks, contains carbs and electrolytes. Studies have shown that drinking a beer after exercise doesn’t have negative effects on hydration. In fact, people who consume beer moderately tend to be more active. Light beer, with added sodium specifically, has been shown to replace fluid loss rather well. If you can get your hands on non-alcoholic beer, some greater benefits have been seen. Non-alcoholic beer has been shown to reduce post-exercise inflammation and even upper respiratory tract illness.

Cool-Down & Stretch
Along with having a beer or two after your match, you also should focus on the recovery of your entire body. Spend 5 minutes cooling down and stretching. Stretch your calves, lower back, hips, and shoulders. These are the areas that tighten and stiffen up the most after tennis play. We know that the body tightens up while playing tennis. In our Kovacs Institute lab, we have tested many players before and after tennis practice and matches, and have found it is not uncommon to see a 10-percent reduction in range of motion in various parts of the body after playing tennis. I always recommend spending a few minutes on your body before you leave the court area. If you make this part of your routine, your body will thank you the next day.

Heat
If you have to drive a considerable distance after your ALTA match, I highly recommend you travel with something that can keep your lower back and legs warm. This could be as simple as a towel or an extra layer of clothes, a heat pack, or even a heat and/or vibration wrap. The purpose of all these options is to keep you warm and the blood flowing so that you do not stiffen up when sitting in a car for an extended period.

In my experience, too many tennis players and other weekend warriors neglect the recovery period following exercise. Hopefully, these tips can provide you with realistic and manageable ideas to help you recover better after you play so you wake up the next day feeling ready to play more tennis.

Why Have A Beer?

  • Contains carbohydrates and electrolytes
  • Replaces fluid lost during tennis play
  • May reduce post workout inflammation