The consumption of non-alcoholic weissbier, or wheat beer, has a positive effect on athletes' health, according to 'Be-MaGIC', the largest study of marathons worldwide (beer, marathons, genetics, inflammation and the cardiovascular system).
Physicians, under the direction of Dr. Johannes Scherr, from the Department of Preventative and Rehabilitative Sports Medicine of the Technische Universitaet Muenchen at Klinikum rechts der Isar examined 277 test subjects three weeks before and two weeks after the 2009 Munich Marathon.
The study was based on the combination of different polyphenols that were tested on the large pool of participants.
While the 'active' group drank up to 1.5 litres of the test beverage containing polyphenols per day, the second group consumed an equal amount of an otherwise indistinguishable placebo beverage sans polyphenols that was produced especially for the study.
One result from the study discovered that after running a marathon race, athletes were much likelier to suffer from upper respiratory infections.
Furthermore it was shown that non-alcoholic wheat beer containing polyphenols caused lower frequency of respiratory infection with milder symptoms.
The results showed that runners who drank the non-alcoholic wheat beer were up to three times less susceptible to infection than those in the placebo group.
The study will be published in the January printed edition of the professional journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (MSSE).