It’s 1 p.m., and I am a sweaty, disgusting mess. This isn’t a typical Saturday, I swear -- especially because I just went to the gym. So here I am, sweaty, and hungry, too -- but before I shower or eat a thing, I’m going to have a few beers. Because word on the street (if the street is Men’s Fitness and a fancy professor at a university, among other outliers) is that beer might potentially help replenish some of what’s lost during exercise. Emphasis on “might.” And “potentially.”
Still, I wanted to put this hypothesis to the test and determine which type of beer might be best to drink after a workout. More than just an excuse for me to drink beer at 1pm, this is a super unscientific experiment for which I am going to be the guinea pig, in the hopes of bringing some post-gym knowledge to you, our faithful readers. ….Also, it’s an excuse to drink at 1 p.m.
So I’ve selected a couple of fruity, refreshing beers I thought might be good after a workout...and one that’s making me cringe just thinking about having to gulp down after strenuous exercise. Here are my conclusions:
Fruit IPA, 5.8% ABV
credits:"Oskar Blues Brewery / Facebook" width:350 align:right
The name of this beer refers to the fact that this is a yuzu and ugli fruit IPA. I have no idea what a yuzu or ugli fruit is (according to the can, they’re Japanese and Jamaican citrus fruits, respectively), but the resulting beer name is hilarious. The aroma is only vaguely tropical, but the taste is super-duper tropical. I would’ve thought that my body wouldn’t want any hops while I’m exhausted and sweaty, but I can confidently say that this works after a workout. It’s so refreshing, I kind of don’t want to go on to the next beer. But I must! For science!
Is this good to drink after a workout? I don’t know, is Chris Hardwick in every single TV show and commercial? Yeah, I’d fucking say so.
Bière de Garde, 6% ABV
I interviewed the homebrewer who came up with the recipe for this tamarind-infused beer that ultimately won the Viceland show Beerland. Now Golden Road is distributing the beer across the country! Here we go again with delicious fruit flavors: it’s sort of in the same vein as the Oskar Blues beer for me, because tamarind is another fruit I don’t normally eat on a regular basis. But I honestly feel like I could drink one or two and go back to the gym. Though I will say that the carbonation is making it slightly less fun to drink after a workout. I think now I know why they don’t carbonate Gatorade…
Is this good to drink after a workout? Tropical fruit + refreshing Belgian-style beer = Hell. Yes.
Mexican Style Lager, 4.8% ABV
Considering my previous successes, I’m a bit bummed to pick up this bottle and find that this lager doesn’t contain any fruit. But after taking a few sips, I don’t miss the fruit at all -- likely because SweetWater brewed it with El Dorado hops, which gives the beer some fruity aromas nonetheless. And this beer goes down super easy. The beer industry appears to be celebrating a summer full of fruited sours and Mexican-style lagers, and I couldn’t be happier about it. SweetWater has brewed a smooth, easy-drinking beer here that I’d buy again in a heartbeat.
Is this good to drink after a workout? I think my gym should replace its 5lb weights with six-packs of this beer.
Lime Radler, 3.7% ABV
credits:"Burnt City Brewing / Facebook" width:350 align:right
Regardless of whether or not this beer is good to drink after a workout, I’m starting to feel the effects of my previous samples. Drinking after a workout was a damned good idea. Drinking at 1:36pm? Also a good idea! But as objectively as I can say this, this session ale brewed with key lime juice is my favorite beer to drink after a workout so far. The lime notes remind me of lemon-lime Gatorade, which is and always will be the superior Gatorade flavor. (Don’t @ me, you ignorant fans of orange.) Radlers are perfect for the summertime, and that fact has never been more clear than when I was drinking this beer. I almost want to pour the rest over ice. I also almost want to take a nap. Think my boss will notice if I take a 20-minute nap? I won’t tell if you won’t tell. (20 minutes later) Great decision. Did I mention that this has been my favorite beer to drink after a workout so far?
Is this good to drink after a workout? Gatorade might want to consider coming out with a lime radler flavor.
Barrel Aged Imperial Stout with Coffee, 10.8% ABV
Upslope is one of my favorite breweries in Colorado. It’s no surprise, then, that I’ve loved everything from their limited-run Lee Hill Series of “cellar keepsakes.” Cracking open this can of brew -- aged on Dragonfly Dark Horse coffee in Leopold Brothers rye whiskey barrels -- makes my kitchen smell like a coffee shop. Man, the aroma is intoxicating. I can’t believe I’m into trying this beer right now! Okay, let’s take a sip…. Oh, no. Oh no no no no no. No, I do not want to drink this after a workout. This is super strange: Coffee beers are my thing. Barrel-aged beers are also my thing. But this beer, in the middle of the day, while I’m still hot and sweaty from a workout? Not my thing. I guess this experiment does have its limits.
Is this good to drink after a workout? No, but give me another hour or so (and a pitcher full of water) and I will gladly drink a can of this delicious liquid.
Note: Golden Road Brewing is a member of The High End, owned by Anheuser-Busch.