When it comes to Rethinking Drynking, we’re committed to the belief that good drynks can easily be incorporated into a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, without missing out on the ‘fun’ of having alcohol.
Our Smashed range of beers and lagers give you all flavour and delight of a regular alcoholic drink, without the danger of a hangover the next day that’ll damage your fitness goals.
Earlier this year we partnered with Spartan – the UK’s leading obstacle course race and endurance brand – due to our mutual belief in hard work and determination.
Partnering with Spartan and seeing how hard their racers train has made us think about the somewhat strange phenomenon that sees people reaching for a cold beer after training hard or competing in a physical sport.
The temptation of a cold beer after a workout is a very real thing for many people and it’s hard to argue with the theory that those cold bubbles are seriously satisfying.
Interestingly, it turns out that research shows that people who are more physically active are actually more likely to drink above average amounts of alcohol.
It seems like a bizarre consequence of exercise, after all – shouldn’t good old H20 be the drink that fitness fanatics turn to? What does beer have that water doesn’t? It is psychological or it could be because of that age-old adage ‘play hard, drink hard’?
It turns out that it’s neither of these things – there is actually a physiological scientific reason as to why active people turn to cold beer…
You can’t argue with the bubbles
Thirst science is actually a thing (who knew?) and some smart bod from the Monell Chemical Sciences Center in Philadelphia has properly researched why cold carbonated beverages seem to quench your thirst more effectively than flat, room-temperature beverages.
The research team found that when thirsty participants were given the option of four types of water (room temperature and cold, both with and without carbonation), the ones given the cold, carbonated water in the priming phase drank the least room-temperature, non-carbonated water in the follow-up.
This shows that coldness and carbonation made water better at quenching thirst, even though they do nothing for hydration.
The study’s co-author Paul Breslin, Ph.D. stated that this is because the cold and carbonation combine to make your body aware that you’re filling it with liquids.
Your stomach has an average temperature of 97-degrees and it goes into ‘high alert’ mode when it’s filled with a cold 40-degree drink.
And what about the bubbles? Well, the carbon dioxide (the source of those delightful bubbles in beer and other carbonated drinks) add a satisfying ‘biting’ sensation.
This means that it causes harmless irritation to the tissues in your mouth and throat that make you think that you’re filling up your stomach with a hydrating liquid more than you actually are.
So this shows that it’s not actual hydration that cold bubbles ease, but just the feeling of ‘thirst’.
We don’t know what we’re more impressed by – the fact that someone has actually spent time researching this, or the findings themselves!
Will beer effect your workout gains?
There are lots of people out there who work out based on reward plans and ‘treats’ that help them stick to their fitness goals.
This means that reaching for a ‘hard-earned’ can or bottle of beer after a particularly strenuous training session can feel harmless and even like a good thing.
However, as many fitness gurus will tell you, using alcohol in this instance is a counter-productive approach.
Firstly, alcohol not only is typically high in calories, but it also stimulates our appetite meaning that any gains through the training may be immediately lost.
Secondly, after exercise, our muscles are in ‘repair-mode’ where they are working hard still to recover and build. If you immediately turn to an alcoholic drink, research shows that it could actually interfere with that essential process and subsequently also increase your risk of injury. This could damage your long-term health goals as well as your short-term wishes.
Obviously, the occasional beer or lager is unlikely to have a monumental effect on your workouts but changing some of your habits could help you stay on track while also allowing yourself to enjoy those icy cold bubbles.
Instead of automatically choosing a standard beer, why not crack open a Smashed Pale, Cider, Citrus or Lager instead? You’ll get all the satisfaction of those smashingly refreshing bubbles, but without any of the drawbacks and with significantly fewer calories.
As Spartan Racer Michael the Urban Challenger commented in a Q&A with us in May, Drynks range of Smashed beer is “perfect for enjoying a beverage when you ‘get the taste for it’.
You don’t feel like you’re going to miss out on drinking with friends, but they do allow you to miss out on the hangover the next day!”
Why not give it a try and see if you can take your training to the next level while still getting Smashed?!
Pick up a Smashed Variety 12-Pack for just £20 here.