Why Do Marathon Runners Drink Beer After A Race?

I love a good beer straight after a marathon. It’s an enjoyable reward after a long hard run.

I’m not alone in enjoying a beer after a marathon; many runners do it.

A training block can be anything up to six months for a specific race, and I do not drink beer at all during that time.

So while I’m not a big drinker, that first sip after a marathon tastes very good!

This article explores other reasons a marathon runner might like a beer post-race and a few additional considerations.

The Benefits Of Drinking Beer After A Marathon

Marathon runners know the hard work that comes with training for a marathon.

While the medal, title, and sense of accomplishment are all great rewards, nothing quite compares to the feeling of having a beer afterward!

The combination of hops and barley in beer can be refreshing and provide valuable nutrients to help replenish and refuel muscles after a race.

The carbohydrates in beer can also help restore depleted glycogen levels from all those miles. Beer can also help reduce inflammation, fatigue, and post-marathon muscle soreness! All in all, cracking open an ice-cold beer post-marathon makes for an enjoyable reward for a job well done.

Why Do Marathon Runners Drink Beer After A Race

Beer Contains Carbs!

After a marathon, any athlete knows just how important it is to replace the energy their body has used up during the race.

Fortunately, beer provides a tasty way to do just that – thanks to its healthy carbohydrate content!

Not only can beer provide a much-needed energy boost, but its combination of electrolytes and plant proteins help with hydration and muscle recovery.

If you need proof that beer makes an excellent post-marathon drink, look no further than elite runners from the US Track & Field team, who have been known to enjoy an occasional celebratory brew after their competitions!

So don’t be afraid to reach for that icy cold beer after your next big race – your body will thank you for it!

How To Make The Most Of Your Post-Marathon Beer

The post-race beer is a well-earned reward for days, weeks, and months of hard work.

If you’re going to enjoy it to the fullest, take your time sipping it and observe its color, aroma, flavor, and body.

Do you detect subtle notes of hops or malt? Is there any bitterness? What do you think about aftertastes? Reflecting on the beer while drinking it can give you a greater appreciation of the ingredients that went into creating your drink.

You can also savor the moment and allow yourself to bask in the glory of completing a race.

Make sure to clink glasses with friends or strangers and share stories from the day’s events.

Ultimately, I’d like to make sure this is a beer enjoyed leisurely rather than one chugged quickly; an experience that marks out a celebration instead of just another beverage.

Don’t Drink Too Much Beer After A Marathon

After all the hard work it took to get over the finish line of a marathon, overindulging in beer can seem like a great way to reward oneself.

However, drinking too much beer after running 26.2 miles can be counter-productive to recovery and can even lead to further health complications such as dehydration. Not only does overconsumption of alcoholic drinks interfere with the body’s natural process for recovering from an intense exercise session, but it also messes with nutrient absorption & metabolism.

They are being mindful of alcohol intake after a marathon is vital for athletes to ensure proper healing and prevent future injuries.

Non-Alcoholic Beer

After completing the Berlin marathon (2018 and 2021), sponsored by Erdinger, I was thrilled to celebrate with an ice-cold non-alcoholic beer.

Despite not having alcohol, drinking this refreshing beverage was a well-deserved reward for all of my hard work and dedication that it took to finish the race. The taste was distinct and effervescent, providing a satisfyingly crisp flavor that fits perfectly after completing one of the world’s best marathons.

Beer Helps Reduce The Body’s Inflammation Response After A Marathon

It has been discovered that beerhas anti-inflammatory properties and potentially reducese the body’s inflammatory response to strenuous exercise.

Not only did the research imply that drinking beer after a long race could help ease pain and swelling in the muscles, but it also suggested that moderate consumption of alcohol may improve recovery time for athletes between competitions.

While these findings need further exploration, they are encouraging as they suggest an enjoyable way to reduce inflammation and facilitate healing.

Final Thoughts

One of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon’s long-standing sponsors is Goose Island. I fully engaged with their products after completing the race in 2022. Before you left the event, there was a free post-run beer and plenty more available at the post-marathon party, the 27th mile.

I’d never had a Goose Island beer before, but I’m a convert now!

Why Do Marathon Runners Drink Beer After A Race


Slightly obsessed middle aged runner.