German Athletes Are Using Nonalcoholic Beer As Gatorade

Because Germans are synonymous with precision and efficiency, when it comes to sports training, we trust that their methods have been engineered for maximum results.

So when The New York Times tells us about Germany's Olympic athletes are drinking nonalcoholic beer as a recovery drink, The Takeout staff got awfully excited, imagined all the practical possibilities in our own lives, then realized most of our training comprised of the arm lift from Taki bag to mouth.


Nevertheless, many—including of course, beer companies—claim there are benefits in drinking nonalcoholic beer after training. The Times cited a study in which marathon trainers who drank nonalcoholic beer "suffered significantly less inflammation and fewer upper respiratory infections after the race than runners who had been given a placebo." (It should be noted the study was funded by a beer company, but the findings were published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.)

The doctor for the German ski team is quoted in the story, telling The Times that nearly all of his athletes train with nonalcoholic beer, and that 1,000 gallons have been shipped to Pyeongchang, South Korea, for the Winter Olympic Games.


The trend of beer companies marketing their nonalcoholic offerings as sports drink has also seen an uptick in recent years. From The Times:

The Bavarian brewery Erdinger, for instance, calls its nonalcoholic wheat beer "the isotonic thirst quencher for athletes" and advertises it with the motto, "100% Performance. 100% Regeneration." Heineken promotes its nonalcoholic beer Heineken 0.0 with lines like, "There is no limit to what the human body can achieve," and recently struck a deal to sell Heineken 0.0 in the vending machines at McFit Fitness, Germany's largest chain of gyms.

Read the rest of The Times' reporting here.