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Sport doctors say non-alcoholic wheat beer boosts athletes' health
Date:6/9/2011

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." Furt
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Contact: Eva Schuster
eva.schuster@mri.tum.de
49-089-414-02042
Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Source:Eurekalert

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