This week we celebrate the wide variety of clubs that combine the joys of running and beer drinking. As far back as the Hash House Harriers, started by British soldiers stationed in Malaysia in 1938, beer and running has been a pair of activities that seem to mesh well. Among the front-runners of this craze are the Race-to-Robie Creek Half Marathon in Idaho, where 2,400 cross the finish line to drain 30 kegs! Or the Beer Belly Two in Wisconsin—these runners don’t wait for the finish line, but grab a cup at “water” stops along the well.

The justification, or as some would prefer to call it, health benefits: Malt and hops used to make dark beers contain flavonoids, the same compounds found in veggies and in wine that counter cell damage and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer!

Meet the professor: Dr. Manuel J Castillo, a professor of medical physiology at the University of Granada School of Medicine in Spain is an avid skier. When challenged by his brother about the wisdom of his post-ski brew, he could not find the research to back his claim up, and so he did his own.

This study into the effects of beer on athletic performance involved sixteen physically active men running on a treadmill for about an hour in a heated room.  The men would then either drink water or 660 mL (about 2 cans) of beer of the average 4.5 percent ABV.  Dr. Castillo presented the following at the 2011 European Conference of Nutrition: “We found that this amount of beer is as effective as water to recovery from exercise.”

The International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism published a study by Griffith University in Queensland with similar results. The goal is harm minimization—not to prove that alcohol is better rehydration than water, but to choose a better way to enjoy your post-run beer. The conclusion? Lighter beer with a salty snack!

Colorado Springs has some great clubs that celebrate the elixir of the legendary Hash House Harriers. We have all seen the Tuesday night parade of runners (and their four-legged friends) that comprise the Jack Quinn’s Running Club. Sign in at 5:15 PM for the self-proclaimed “5K walk/trot/stagger/crawl.”  An average of 1,200 runners per week come out for the $2.50 post-run Odell pints.

Trinity Brewing Company’s Soul Runners boasts the best brews and the most beautiful course. Meet at Trinity (1446 Garden of the Gods Road) at 6 p.m. on Mondays for either a 4 or 8 mile run. The reward? $2 off all house beers! After three runs, you get a Soul Runners Tee; drink specials and points are earned each run for discounts at Trinity and Colorado Running Company.

Maggie O’leary, Guest Writer

1 Comment

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