Hustle And Chug: Why Americans Are Chasing Their Workouts With BeerAnyone who has been at the finish line of a road race is familiar with the post-run beer tent. Sweaty runners stride victoriously through the end of the race, promptly moving to sip beer out of a branded plastic cup. While this practice has been a staple for decades, it’s taking on a new form to join the ranks of other fitness trends. The rise of beer and exercise could very well be tied to the rise of beer itself. The United States is like in a golden age of beer. In fact, the Brewers Association reported 4,144 breweries in the country as of December 2015. This is the highest number of brewing operations that have been operating simultaneously in U.S. history. This beer takeover also pairs with a dip in exercise habits. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that only 21.7% of adults are getting the recommended amount of aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise. Perhaps the introduction of beer into fitness has given sedentary Americans the boost they need to create healthier habits. Experts are citing multiple possibilities for this boozy trend:
- Drinkers Move: A 2001 study published by the National Institutes of Health found that people who qualified as moderate drinkers (consuming one drink per day) were twice as likely to exercise as people who don’t drink at all. So, maybe active people and beer lovers are simply the same people.
- Motivation: The promise of a beer at the end of your workout may be more enticing that a protein shake. Exercisers may also use their workout to justify the extra calories, seeing the moments after a workout as prime time to indulge.
- Keep The Buzz: Some people may drink alcohol after a workout to retain the elevated feeling that comes with a satisfying sweat. J. Leigh Leasure, professor and director of the neuroscience lab at the University of Houston told The New York Times that people turn to beer, wine, or a cocktail to keep this buzz going.
- Celebration: Many people drink beer to bond with their sports team or celebrate a workout with their fitness group. A study published in Psychological Science found that drinking moderately in groups actually eases social bonding and makes members of the group smile more. Beer drinkers can cheers to that.