The Benefits of Beer

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Five years ago, Brad Perkins took over for the Chicago Beer Runners group. Since then, he’s run miles upon miles, forged new friendships, and even met his wife … all over a pint of beer.

The Chicago Beer Runners is representative of a growing trend: the marriage of exercise and good, craft brews. Perkins says the Chicago Beer Runners typically run three to five miles, meet outside the Mystic Celt for everyone to finish, then head inside to talk about their run, upcoming races, and enjoy some food and beer.

While running certainly brings a slew of health benefits to the table (weight loss, stress relief, and decreased risk for diabetes, to name a few), enjoying a beer after a run can bring some benefits as well. We sat down with Rahul Khare, an emergency physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, to learn what makes beer healthier than you might think.

  1. Decreased cardiovascular risk: Men who drink up to two glasses of beer a day and women who drink one glass a day decrease their risk for heart disease by 20 percent.
  2. Decreased risk of stroke: A moderate amount of beer can help prevent blood clots that block blood flow to the heart, neck and brain.
  3. Stronger bones: Beer contains a chemical called silicone which helps promote bone growth.
  4. Longevity: “In Europe, there’s some studies that show that people who drink, for whatever reason, live longer,” Khare says. “One to two years with people who drink moderately.”

Above all, Khare credits the entire experience of such groups with promoting  overall health.

“Running is a wonderful exercise for people but not only that, to socialize afterwards with peers and friends and get to know people is healthy as well,” he says. “The thing that makes it great is the entire experience: the exercise, the socializing and the beer effects.”

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