Be-magic study: (Beer, marathons, genetics inflammation and the cardiovascular system)
Participants were all marathon runners, running a marathon during the study. Two groups consumed different but indistinguishable beverages, one being a non-alcoholic wheat beer. The study measured post race inflammation. One of the markers being white blood cells, or leukocytes. Leukocytes typically increase immediately with inflammation, which is intensified in marathon runners. It was found that the active beverage drinkers had leukocytes counts 20% lower than the placebo group post marathon. Thus, there was a balancing or compensatory effect done by the polyphenolic compounds in wheat beer that seemed to keep the immune system from over performing.
We know the immune system of marathon runners is weakened by physical stress. The study also followed runners post marathon and resulting susceptibility to the common cold. We know there is a window of susceptibility following strenuous exercise that we can catch a cold more easily. It was found the test subjects had a reduced risk of developing a cold by 30%, and those in the active group that actually did develop a cold had milder, briefer symptoms.
The active ingredient being studied was polyphenols. These are found most prevalent in wheat beers, IPA's, and dark beers. This study used non-alcoholic beers so you will have to conduct your own study with whatever you can find to to draw your on conclusions. Shouldn't be hard for me to give it a whirl!
Jeff Bangle, DVM prrunningcoach.com
- 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