Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Non-alcoholic wheat beer boosts athletes' health, sport doctors say

Date:
June 12, 2011
Source:
Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Summary:
Amateur athletes have long suspected what sports medicine researchers in Germany have now made official: evidence, gathered during the world's largest study of marathons, that consumption of non-alcoholic weissbier, or wheat beer, has a positive effect on athletes' health.

Ingredients in alcohol-free wheat beer appear to reduce the risk of illness in athletes, a study of marathoners in Germany suggests.
Credit: Markus Bernards / TU Mόnchen

Many amateur athletes have long suspected what research scientists for the Department of Preventative and Rehabilitative Sports Medicine of the Technische Universitaet Muenchen at Klinikum rechts der Isar have now made official: Documented proof, gathered during the world's largest study of marathons, "Be-MaGIC" (beer, marathons, genetics, inflammation and the cardiovascular system), that the consumption of non-alcoholic weissbier, or wheat beer, has a positive effect on athletes' health. Under the direction of Dr. Johannes Scherr, physicians examined 277 test subjects three weeks before and two weeks after the 2009 Munich Marathon.

The study focuses on the health risks for marathon runners and the potential positive effects of polyphenols. These aromatic compounds occur naturally in plants as pigment, flavor, or tannins, many of which have been credited with health-promoting and cancer-preventative properties. Unique to this study was the combination of different polyphenols that were tested on the large pool of participants. The research team met the scientific requirements of the study by conducting a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

Non-alcoholic Erdinger wheat beer was selected as the test beverage, chosen for its rich and varied polyphenol content and its popularity with marathoners and tri-athletes. The "active" group drank up to 1.5 liters of the test beverage per day, while a second group consumed an equal amount of an otherwise indistinguishable placebo beverage that contained no polyphenols and was especially produced for the study.

One result from the study was the discovery that, after running a marathon race, athletes experience intensified inflammatory reactions. The immune system is thrown off balance and runners are much more likely to suffer from upper respiratory infections. This heightened susceptibility to illness following strenuous sport activity has been identified as an "open window." Furthermore it was shown that non-alcoholic wheat beer containing polyphenols has a positive, health promoting effect on the human body: inflammation parameters in the blood were significantly reduced, and there was a lower frequency of infection with milder symptoms.

Reduced Inflammatory Reaction: Dr. Scherr, who also serves as physician to the German National Ski Team, explains: The analysis of the leukocytes, or white blood cells, which constitute one of the most important parameters for inflammation, revealed values in the active group that were 20% lower than in the placebo group."

Support for the Immune System: Compounds in the test drink had a compensatory or balancing effect on the immune system. Dr Scherr: "We were able to prove that it strengthens an immune system that has been weakened by physical stress. It also prevents the system from over-performing."

Prevents Colds: Runners who drank the non-alcoholic wheat beer were up to three times less susceptible to infection than those in the placebo group. Dr. Scherr: "Drinking the non-alcoholic test beverage reduces your risk of developing a cold by one third."

Improvement with Upper Respiratory Infections: People in the active group who did succumb to a cold experienced a milder or briefer infection than those in the placebo group. Dr. Scherr: "Results showed a Number Needed to Treat (NNT) of eight. That means that for every eight people who had the test drink, one of them was prevented from succumbing to a cold."

In summary, Dr. Scherr explains: "The potential for foods containing polyphenols to have a positive effect on athletes' health has already been suggested in several articles. Nevertheless we were ourselves sometimes surprised at how clearly evident this was in the results. We now have scientific confirmation of those assumptions for this test beverage, with its particular combination of polyphenols, vitamins and minerals."

Dr. Scherr presented this study to the approximately 5,000 scientists, physicians, and trainers attending the world's largest congress for sports medicine in Denver (USA) hosted by the American College of Sports (ACSM) at the beginning of June 2011. The study will be published in the January printed edition of the professional journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (MSSE).

Peter Liebert, Managing Director for Technology, Purchasing, Human Resources and Logistics for Erdinger Weissbrδu, is pleased about the study results: "In brief, the Be-MaGIC study confirms the benefits for sport athletes and proves new health-promoting effects. Thus, Erdinger alcohol-free is proven to be more than just an isotonic thirst-quencher."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Technische Universitaet Muenchen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Johannes Scherr, David C. Nieman, Tibor Schuster, Jana Habermann, Melanie Rank, Siegmund Braun, Axel Pressler, Bernd Wolfarth, Martin Halle. Non-Alcoholic Beer Reduces Inflammation and Incidence of Respiratory Tract Illness. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2011; DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182250dda

Cite This Page:

Technische Universitaet Muenchen. "Non-alcoholic wheat beer boosts athletes' health, sport doctors say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110609112901.htm>.
Technische Universitaet Muenchen. (2011, June 12). Non-alcoholic wheat beer boosts athletes' health, sport doctors say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110609112901.htm
Technische Universitaet Muenchen. "Non-alcoholic wheat beer boosts athletes' health, sport doctors say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110609112901.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) — An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) — America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins