How Many Beers Does it Take to Get Your Employees to Peak Performance?

Did you see that winter Olympic athletes were using beer as a recovery drink!?

The science says that non-alcoholic beer, used as a recovery drink for sports, is better than normal sports drinks like Gatorade. From the NPR article:

Appalachian State University’s David Nieman has studied phenols’ health effects. On the whole, phenol-rich diets tend to lower inflammation and reduce the risk of sickness, he says. “[Polyphenols] have a very unique molecular structure that can actually regulate the genes that control inflammation,” in addition to general antiviral properties, says Nieman.

In 2011, Nieman and the University of Munich’s Johannes Scherr investigated the effects of beer, which contains around 50 phenols, on athletes — whose intense physical activity can compromise their immune activity. When marathon runners were instructed to drink 1.5 liters of nonalcoholic beer a day, their risk of upper respiratory infection was reduced. The activity of white blood cells, a good indicator of inflammation, was lowered 20 percent.

All over the world, we were trying to figure out why the Germans were kicking our butts in all these events and the secret was they drink a bunch of this new ‘sports’ beer!

If non-alcoholic beer helped athletes recover more quickly from grueling workouts, then it could allow them to train harder. Scherr credits the nonalcoholic beer’s salubrious effects to its high concentration of polyphenols, immune-boosting chemicals from the plants with which its brewed.

“After that, we really had the proof: It’s really healthy and not only a marketing gag,” said Holger Eichele, the chief executive of the German Brewers Association. From 2011 to 2016, German consumption of nonalcoholic beer grew 43 percent even as overall beer consumption declined, according to Euromonitor International. New brewing techniques helped to diversify and improve the flavor, and now there are more than 400 non-alcoholic beers on the market in Germany. Germans drink more nonalcoholic beer than any nation, except Iran.

So, making beer available to our employees became super popular as a ‘benefit’ to offer up over the past decade, as employers looked to attract millennials and show how ‘super cool’ they are to work for. Work hard, play hard!

What we didn’t know, was that we had it just a tiny bit wrong! We should be giving beer to our employees, but it should be non-alcoholic beer, not the normal stuff!

The one aspect of both articles I thought had particular interest to employers was the social aspect of drinking beer. All over the world, people drink beer in mostly social settings. We tend to see drinking beer as a social activity.

So, having a beer at work isn’t necessarily a bad idea, if it was non-alcoholic and it increased our employees to interact more with each other. Plus, if it actually helps your employees recover faster from those grueling all-night coding sessions, heck, we better give it a try!

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