How bad really is beer?

Self explanatory really, common sense says beer is bad, I know top pros don't drink it down like it's going out of fashion, but, how bad do the experienced triathletes and runners in this forum consider beer to be? Not talking about falling out of a nightclub at 3 am but is a handful of drinks each weekend day, or one good drinking night turning the clock back on all your hard work during the week? In particular, all things being right coming up to a race, nutrition, taper etc, is the above out of the question or is the difference so tiny that it's o.k? Got to say up to now my experience has been o.k to a few drinks, but how is it on the run up, thanks in advance, mark.


  • I once worked with a nutritionist and sports psychologist and they both taught lots of good stuff, but added if the night before an event a Guinness will help you sleep, then have a Guinness
  • And face it on my last IM I had a Guinness at halfway of the marathon and a bitter on the finish line
  • And when I was doing the physiologist stuff it was during my Motorsport career rather than running
  • Except in excess I don't think it's bad for you at all other than a bit of weight gain which might/might not be an issue.   Even the night before a race I don't think a couple does any harm.   I suppose it might have some negative affect but I'd have an educated guess that being unstressed, well rested and then having a generally healthy diet are more important.   

  • Good point popsider, I'm a drinker/smoker and give up both a few days before a race but it gets me really stressed (especially the smoking). Hey, I train doing both so what the heck image

    That said, am sure giving up the fags and maybe cutting down on beer would help this slow coach a fair amount image

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Steve Jones was fond of a pint or ten, as was Ron Hill. In fact the guy who's the oldest winner of a Middlesex County Gold medal (63 years old) sank 7 pints of real ale the night before he achieved this feat. A marathon in 2:55.

  • Beer is bad for you.  Wine and cider on the other hand are great ways of relaxing and getting a good night sleep the night before a big race image

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Thanks for reminding me. Off to get a beer right now.

    Found 8 unopened cans of Stella on a run once. Handyimage, they were already freezing cold since it was winter time.

  • But how do you keep your cans cool while racing?

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    I keep them in a cool bag with those frozen plastic blocks.

    Had some with me after my last London Marathon. "Fancy a cool beer anyone?".


  • During my last London marathon I grabbed a beer out of a spectators hand and had a good long pull at it, he wasn't half surprised!

  • I was handed a beer by a spectator during the london marathon, only got to have a sip   

    though because I spilt a fair bit whilst running and my mate grabbed the plastic glass so he could have some. It was a nice thought by the spectator outside the pub in docklands though image

  • I'm an ex licensee and spent most of the 80's and 90's trollied. Now I've cut back on the beers and added some considerable training to my week. I take my rest days very seriously and get lots of carbs from my beer. I'm a leader in the extreme tapper too. no room for pasta. But honestly, when I'm digging deep and a smile etches accross my lips, "It's for ballance." is my mantra, and I enjoy both.

  • as a former rugby player from the era when beer was part of the staple diet of players, then I don't believe that it does a huge amount of harm when it comes to competing at even a good standard.  the key is moderation.

    sure, if you go out and get trollied regularly it won't do you much good, but keep the beer under control and then it's fine.  I still have beer most days - and wine - but I don't go OTT these days bar the odd binge at a celebration.

    some people give up alcohol totally in the lead up to a major event but for me that's never figured.  I like relaxing with a beer so cutting it out completely would stress me more!   and I will have a drink the night before an event - it just won't be a lot.

    so keep a balance between booze, diet and exercise and you'll be fine.

    right - who's round is it??  image

  • I used to cut out alcohol during the last 2 weeks before a big race, that said, I was never a big drinker anyway and it was more a psychological thing, and a calorie thing, really.  I always felt I'd earned my first pint after a race. 

    Also, during races I always used to get a craving for a pint of lager shandy, usually about two thirds of the way through..........weird. image

    However, on quite a few occasions we stayed over at friends' houses for a catch up and beer the night before the long sunday training run and I always put in a PB unintentionally.......maybe it was because I felt so pants that I wanted to get it over with quicker?!?

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