Newsletter: Hydration science, it’s not just for breakfast

It’s exactly like Batman vs. Superman, but different…

In our continuing saga of when it’s really hot and humid out, there are multiple recommendations as to what someone should do to stay healthy.  From staying in an air conditioned space to working as early in the day as possible to taking frequent breaks in the shade or other cools spaces.  One of the most important things of course is to stay hydrated which brings us to a very interesting debate…

Ask the Brewer

Which is better for staying hydrated, water or beer?

Unsurprisingly, there are two differing points of view on this (maybe more?). There are those that feel beer hydrates better than water and then those who are certain it dehydrates you.  While more research could probably be done (insert air quotes here… “research”), we figured we’d do a run down on what we were able to uncover from both points of view.

In the beer is better camp, we have all of the runners, backpackers, climbers and bicyclists who feel there is nothing better after a hard days workout than a cold beer.  The science supporting this indicates that as long as the beer is less than 10% alcohol, there is a net hydrating effect, or that a moderate amount of beer (22 oz.) has no negative effect on hydration.  In other words, up to 22 oz. of beer that is less than 10% alcohol followed by as much water as a person wants has no different effect on hydration than drinking nothing but water.

In the water is better camp, we have the individuals who point to the actual science behind the supposed diuretic effect of beer.  The hypothesis is that alcohol interferes with the process that regulates the level of water in our bodies. The science here indicates that an anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) made by the pituitary gland called vasopressin gets suppressed by alcohol thereby making you pee more.

Taking this to another level, when you’re really dehydrated and your body is low on water, you can end up with an increased salt concentration.  Your body can detect that increased concentration and will increase production of ADH, slowing down urine output and hanging onto water.  Alcohol does the opposite, reducing the amount of ADH you make, thereby increasing the amount of urine you produce.  It is estimated that each shot of alcohol you drink causes your body to produce an extra 120 millilitres of urine.

Even today it is still not fully understood how alcohol causes excessive urination.  When you add in studies that seem to indicate that alcohol consumed at moderate levels can re-hydrate you when dehydrated, we would say enjoy your after workout beer, but don’t depend solely on that for staying hydrated when it is hot out!

Taproom Tidings

Tap selection for the weekend includes “Pyro” American Pale Ale, “Roasted” Coffee Ale, “Fused” Orange Blossom Honey Ale, “Parched” Lime Shandy, “Raj-Agni” India Pale Ale and Raspberry Infused Pyro.

Food trucks for the weekend are Patacones on Friday (7/22) with their authentic Colombian street food and Crazy Puppy on Saturday (7/23) with their gluten-free fair food!

  • Thirsty Thursdays $1 off pints and $2 off growler fills (no growler or grumbler fills after 8pm on Thursdays)
  • Chocolate-Strawberry and Orange Cupcake from Groundswell includes a moist chocolate strawberry cake with an orange curd center, and a chocolate whipped cream with orange zest and chocolate chunks

Final Thoughts

This Saturday, July 23rd, we will be “up North” enjoying the cool breezes coming off Lake Superior.  Join us in Duluth at Bayfront Park for All Pints North, with over 120 craft breweries/brew pubs participating, food vendors, music and opportunities to learn more about craft beer.

Also, there are still spaces available on the July 30th Beer and Bacon Cruise.  This is a unique opportunity to cruise the Mississippi, sample gluten-free beers, and eat from a bacon-focused, gluten-free menu!

As always, if you have questions, drop us a note via Email, Facebook or Twitter.