They're full of carbs, sodium and all sorts of nutrients to keep our bodies hydrated and energized during and after exercise. And beer may be able to do that, too — if formulated the right way, says Ben Desbrow, a sports nutritionist at Griffith University in Australia.
Beer itself contains a small amount of carbohydrates and electrolytes, he says. It's not enough to do your body any good after exercise, but researchers like Desbrow have been experimenting with ways to reformulate beer so it'll have the properties of a sports drink without the dehydrating effects of alcohol.
Desbrow and his colleagues found that by lowering the alcohol content of beer to 2.3% and adding salt, they were able to turn it into an effective sports drink.
These scientific developments encouraged the Vampt Beverage Corporation to develop Lean Machine, a drink for athletes to consume after vigorous exercise. The company calls it a "recovery ale." It has 77 calories and 0.5% alcohol.