Examination of Beer Under the Aspect of its Eligibility as a Fitness Drink

Publikation, 2016


K. Krennhuber, P. Kuttner, A. Jäger - Examination of Beer Under the Aspect of its Eligibility as a Fitness Drink - International Journal of Food and Biosystems Engineering, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2016, pp. 67-73


During longer physical strainsour body loses water and salts by sweating. This deprivation leads to states of exhaustion and convulsions. A fitness drink should replenish both, water and mineral nutrients (mainly sodium). Different beers, alcoholic, alcohol-free and yeast-clouded, alcohol-free beer were analyzed by HPLC and Ion chromatography to determine the content of mineral salts and carbohydrates. Osmolality as a degree of tonicity was calculated based on the dissolved components. Data was compared to three fitness drinks declared as mineral nutrient containing and isotonic. Subsequently, different sodium salts were added to alcohol-free, yeast-clouded beer to reach the recommended sodium concentrations of 500 mg L1. These spiked beers were blind tested for flavor impairments. This study shows that just two of the fitness drinks came even close to fulfilling the EU direction. Generally, almost all beers are mineral nutrient containing, as defined by Austrian law. Due to the alcohol concentration none of alcoholic beers are isotonic, as they are hypertonic.Most of the yeast clouded, alcohol free beers are within the isotonic range. Each beer fulfills the EU recommended carbohydrate content but none comes even close to fulfilling the sodium content.The blind tasting of the spiked beers showed minor flavor impairment with sodium carbonate causing the least negative effects on taste and odor. In conclusion, yeast clouded, alcohol-free beer might be labeled as mineral nutrient containing and isotonic, implying to be an ideal sport drink. Due to the lack of sodium the real benefit of such a beverage could diminish unless mixed with beverages containing high levels of sodium or sodium carbonate.