Stay Healthy and Drink Wheat Beer, Marathoners!

Marathoners and other endurance athletes rejoice!  Scientific research has now concluded that drinking wheat beer is good for your recovery process.  No, we aren’t kidding!  There are real health benefits to drinking wheat beers!

So what is this magical element that makes wheat beers better than other types for athletes?  In a word….polyphenols.  Polyphenols are the aromatic compounds in plants that are normally credited with cancer-preventing properties, anti-viral properties and regulate the immune system.  Wheat beers that are made from a particular yeast strain (strain 3068 or weizen yeast) contain enough amounts of polyphenols to make them beneficial to endurance athletes.

You can look forward to 20-30%  less muscle inflammation.  In fact, the scientists that performed the study reported that wheat beers are more effective than NSaids (i.e. Advil) in combating muscle inflammation.  You also have a one-third less chance of catching a cold post-run.  If you do happen to catch one though, the polyphenols anti-viral properties make your cold milder and briefer.  Since a marathon runner’s immune system is thrown out of whack they become an open window for illness, the anti-viral portion is important.

The research was originally done at the Department of Preventative and Rehabilitive Sports Medicine in Munich, Germany.  While they concentrated on wheat beers that are non-alcoholic (Erdinger to be exact), they did mention that alcoholic wheat beers have double the amount of polyphenols.   Does that mean that the drinking the alcoholic version increases the above benefits?  Well, we don’t know but we are happy to think that.  Alcoholic or non-alcoholic, wheat beers are great for the recovery process.

Peter Liebert, Managing Director for Technology, Purchasing, Human Resources and Logistics for Erdinger Weissbräu, is pleased about the study results, saying “In brief, the study confirms the benefits for sport athletes and proves new health-promoting effects. Thus, Erdinger alcohol-free is proven to be more than just an isotonic thirst-quencher.”

Although we are happy to report this exciting news, we do have to warn that not all wheat beers are the same.  It is the yeast strain that provides the polyphenols.  Most American wheat beers do not contain 3068.  So do your research before you buy….or just come see us and we will help.  Julius Echter, Troegs Dreamweaver, Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier, Ayginer Brau-Weiss are a few of the beers Bauer carries that have 3068 yeast strain!

Journal Reference:

Johannes Scherr, David C. Nieman, Tibor Schuster, Jana Habermann, Melanie Rank, Siegmund Braun, Axel Pressler, Bernd Wolfarth, Martin Halle. Non-Alcoholic Beer Reduces Inflammation and Incidence of Respiratory Tract Illness. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2011; DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182250dda

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