Experience From - Thom Ludwig#1 ,   Thom Ludwig#2
Drinking beer which has 3.2 percent alcohol will lower your hydration by 3.2 percent when the alcohol burns off as fuel and is basically consumed.By 3.2% compared to what? Obviously, if a glass of water has 3.2% of something in it which isn't water, you get 3.2% less water. By this theory, drinking Gatorade would be just as bad because some of the volume is sugar, not water. On the other hand, if 1 liter of beer has 970ml of water in it, one can simply drink 1033 (more or less) ml of beer and you still have 1 liter of water. Voila, problem solved.
That means that if you drank water and were keeping up ie: maintaining your hydration you would be falling behind a minimum of 3.2 percent drinking beer.Yes, *IF* you were drinking the exact same volume, and *IF* you were drinking beer DURING the race! The point is that the night before the race you're drinking lots of water (much more than you can hold) and *MAYBE* a beer. In either case you are well hydrated.
12 percent drinking wine. Up to 50 percent drinking liquor.Yes, I must admit, drinking 10 liters or so of liquor during a 8 hour ultra would be quite a challenge!
Drinking beer or any alcohol when you're trying to hydrate is self defeating and not recommended. Take the advise of the doctors and drink all the water you can hold and forget the beer etc.I disagree. Your pseudoscientific argument has no basis in truth whatsoever. The ENTIRE problem from drinking alcohol comes from its diuretic effect via its effects on the hypothalamus (and therefore kidney) and has little, if anything to do with the displacement of water by alcohol. Beer also contains carbohydrates, and the alcohol itself has 7kcal/gram.
Besides being a diuretic, alcohol will attract water to itself while it is in the body, decreasing the amount that is available to your system. It can also cause swelling in your extremities, dilate your blood vessels thus lowering blood pressure, and it is a depressant. You may sleep "more" after drinking beer, but the quality of sleep is certainly compromised. In addition, alcohol puts stress on your kidneys and liver.Certainly alcohol can have some or all of these effects to a minor degree. The point that I was trying to make is that a) the severity of these side-effects are very minor -- if they aren't, you should have some liver enzyme tests run and b) they will have worn off long before you even begin running. As I recall we were talking about having 1 or 2 beers at dinner the night before a race, not going out on a all night drinking binge. Moderate amounts of alcohol may also help prevent certain forms of heart disease and certain forms of cancer.
If the carbs, etc, are so good, why not drink the non-alcoholic stuff?Two reasons: