Craft Beer is my Gatorade, My Muscle Milk

This is all John King’s fault.  He posted a picture of Pliny the Elder on his Facebook wall, saying it was his reward for a long run he had taken.

It got me to thinking about a post I did last year about how craft beer is pretty suitable as a recovery drink. After all, craft beer has protein, potassium, and 5 to 15 percent of the DRI for riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, and vitamin B-6.  You could do much worse after a work out. 

As a guy who always worked out in the morning, this was never an option for me. Enjoying a brew or two before driving to work wasn’t a responsible thing to do.

But I recently switched up my routine and have started working out after putting the kids to bed. Now I hit the basement for a little P90X, cool off and go to bed.  But not before collecting my reward.

At least I’m not THIS bad…

You see, John’s little post on Facebook got the wheels turning in my head. I have recently started working out again after taking a few months off, and a delicious craft beer is a wonderful carrot to dangle at the end of a workout. It sits in my mind as a beacon of happiness as I power through Plyo or suffer the agony of the Ab Ripper X.  Turns out I’ll work hard for a nice beer!

When I finish my workout, I hit the shower, throw on some PJ’s and grab 12 or 22 ounces of something wonderful and basically drink it for dinner (I can’t eat before I workout or I’ll puke, so I usually have my last solid food at 4pm).  I wake up in the morning feeling great and like I’m not suffering one bit as I reverse the damage my months of lounging had inflicted on my body.

Now, I know there are better things to consume after working out, and carb loading before bed isn’t the smartest thing to do if you’re totally anal about your body fat percentage.  But I’ve been doing this for about three weeks and so far, so good.  I’m happy, motivated, I feel great and and I’m seeing some good results.  Another month or two of this and I’ll be back in tip top shape (for me).

I might not continue with my post-workout beer forever, but right now it’s doing wonders to keep me on track and making the whole thing fun.  Life is all about balance, and right now my “recovery” beers have my ying and my yang swirling in happy symmetry.

UPDATE: I see that John King also blogged about beer as a post-run recovery drink a couple of weeks ago.  Looks like his Facebook post got him thinking about this as well.  All I can say is great minds drink alike!




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Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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20 Comments on “Craft Beer is my Gatorade, My Muscle Milk”

  1. April 22, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    That’s a fine reward, Jim. I do it myself actually, fully aware that beer so close to bedtime isn’t necessarily the best thing in the world for the body. I figure its better than Crack though.

    • April 22, 2011 at 10:52 am #

      Yes, compared to crack it’s mothers milk, Scott.

      Which reminds me, I have to go look for some New Holland Dragon’s Milk…

  2. April 22, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    I like the idea of the reward, but I don’t know about right after a workout. I’ve been cutting back on the nightly beer as a way to lose a few pounds. It allows me to enjoy the weekend beers that much more. That said, I do like to reward myself on a Saturday or Sunday after working out in the yard all day. nothing satisfies or rejuvenates me more than a good craft beer.

    • April 22, 2011 at 11:33 am #

      It’s helping right now, Zac, but I’ll probably knock it off in a week or two. I’m also drinking the beer in lieu of actually eating dinner, so I figure it’s about even from a caloric standpoint.

      • Don
        April 22, 2011 at 11:35 am #

        You’re like a exercising Monk that only drinks beer for dinner…

        • April 22, 2011 at 11:36 am #

          Exactly! 🙂

      • April 22, 2011 at 11:36 am #

        Not sure replacing dinner with beer is the best idea, but I’m sure you know that already. An exercising? LULZ.

  3. April 22, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    I have also used the workout/run reward trick. Sometimes it backfires, though. The first beer sometimes leads to a second, then I think: “hmm, better eat something.” One empty box of fried chicken later and I’m worse off than before. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen all the time.

    And I agree that cutting out weekday beers is a good idea, though I can’t say that I’ve been religious about it. 😉

    • April 22, 2011 at 11:12 am #

      Oh, I haven’t been religious about it either, but it’s certainly helped my caloric intake and not put such a dent in my stash of beers. Over the past two weeks, I’ve had one weekday beer and that was more of a celebration of Stone’s arrival in our state. I keep myself within reason on the weekends, but the weekday beer by myself was getting excessive. I’ll certainly make an exception when a buddy wants to hit the bar or the club calls a meeting.

      • Don
        April 22, 2011 at 11:23 am #

        That is a great euphemism…The club calls a meeting. I’ll have to try that one on for size myself…”Honey I can’t stay home tonight, the Pour House club has called a meeting”…I like it!

      • April 22, 2011 at 11:38 am #

        I didn’t think of it that way. I actually have a beer club, but I like how you’re thinking, Don.

      • April 22, 2011 at 11:50 am #

        Yeah, kind of like the beer geek equivalent of a stoner “safety meeting.” I like it.

    • April 22, 2011 at 11:35 am #

      Ha – that happened the other night. I had a stout and was really hungry so I went downstairs and ate cheese. Just cheese. Fortunately not too much, but that kind of stuff can happen. As long as it’s on occasion, that’s fine – it’s fun to hit a midnight snack once in a while.

  4. johnking82
    April 22, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    If she knew I was doing this she would kill me since im running like a mad man for the wedding…great post fellas!

    I had a Clown Shoes Tramp Stamp last was awesome.

    • Don
      April 22, 2011 at 11:42 am #

      John, if I didn’t know that was a beer I’d question the mental stability of your bride to be. And by the way Jim and I wish the two of you all the best and a long and happy marriage.

    • April 22, 2011 at 11:51 am #

      You’re running to your wedding?

    • April 22, 2011 at 11:55 am #

      I think she’d be more upset if you just said “I lingered over a Tramp Stamp last night.” The clown shoe part would just make you sound even more perverted!

      Anyway, hope you guys have an awesome day.

  5. Jason
    April 24, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    What’s your take on P90X? I’ve been thinking about giving it a try myself…do you like it?

    • April 27, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

      Sorry for the delayed response Jason. P90X is the best – I’ve done the 90 day cycle a few times now and it has given me strength, flexibility, and athleticism like nothing else. It’s awesome. I started in the spring of 2009 and stuck with it through summer of 2010, then slowly fell off the wagon, especially around the holidays. I started up again a few weeks ago not only because I had gained a few pounds, but also because I missed how it made me feel. That’s mostly due to having yoga and Kenpo and Plyo mixed in with weight training – it really get you balanced results (strong and lithe). After a month I have most of it back and the pounds are falling off.

      It’s also easy to get started. If you can’t do an exercise, there’s always an alternative that easier until you get up to speed. Once you’re up to speed, it’ll totally kick your butt, but in a good way. As long as you like Tony Horton (I love him, my wife hates him) you’re going to be in good shape. The only other watch out is that you have to buy some equipment (yoga mat, dumbells, pullup bar, push up bars) but it’s well worth it if you’re committed to the program. Of all the money I’ve ever spent on fitness equipment, this has easily been the smartest dollars I’ve parted with.

      I suggest checking out the videos online first to see if Tony’s for you. If so, make sure you buy the set from, the makers of P90X. Lots of folks who’ve bought off places like Amazon have gotten pirated disks – it’s worth the extra $$ to get it from the source.


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