In honor of the Irish holiday, some runners in Omaha and Lincoln will throw back a beer after finishing 5K races this weekend.
On Saturday, Lucky Bucket Brewing will provide post-race beer at the St. Patrick's Day Beer Run in Lincoln, and the Blarney Stone 5K in Omaha will offer free beer to finishers. A number of races also offer alcohol without the guise of a holiday, and the tradition, it appears, is long-standing.
103: Average calories in light 12-ounce beer
255: Calories average woman* burns running for 30 minutes
335: Calories average man* burns running for 30 minutes
*Based on 140-pound woman/185-pound man
Sources: calorieking.com; livewellnebraska.com calorie burner calculator.
"I've been a runner for years and years and years, and back in the 70's, it was not uncommon for someone to satisfy their thirst with a cold beer," said Kris Berg, co-director of exercise physiology laboratory at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. "I don't see much of a problem, but there's nothing particularly beneficial about alcohol."
There goes the "I'm carb-loading" excuse.
Berg and Susan Wright, a registered dietician with Immanuel Medical Center in Omaha, have a few pointers for runners who plan to crack open a cold one.
• Give your body what it needs first. Drink at least 8 ounces of water or Gatorade before grabbing a beer, and continue drinking water after you finish. Eating something high in protein - yogurt or chocolate milk - after the race helps, too.
• The more beer you drink, the more difficult it is for your body to retain liquid. Quit after one beer.
• Water stations along the race route? Use them. Drinking water during the race means you'll be more hydrated once you finish. The less work your body has to do to recover, the better.
• Don't drink beer if it's offered during the race. Beer will speed up the dehydration process, and because your body is already struggling, beer's impairing side effects will surface more quickly.
Upcoming beer-touting races:
• March 17: St. Patrick's Day Beer Run in Lincoln
• March 17: Blarney Stone 5K in Omaha
• March 30: Fish Fry 5K in Omaha
• June 9, 10: Warrior Dash in Louisville, Neb.
Contact the writer: