Journal Logo

B-17 Thematic Poster - Nutritional Antioxidants and Oxidative Stress: JUNE 1, 2011 1: 00 PM - 3: 00 PM: ROOM: 404

Non-alcoholic Beer Reduces Inflammation And The Incidence Of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections After A Marathon


Board #5 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Scherr, Johannes; Nieman, David C. FACSM; Schuster, Tibor; Braun, Siegmund; Wolfarth, Bernd; Halle, Martin

Author Information
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2011 - Volume 43 - Issue 5 - p 18
doi: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000402720.41923.7b
  • Free

Strenuous exercise significantly increases the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) caused by transient immune dysfunction. Naturally occurring polyphenolic compounds present in food such as non-alcoholic beer (NAB) have strong anti-oxidant, anti-pathogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties.

PURPOSE: To determine whether the ingestion of non-alcoholic beer polyphenols for three weeks prior to the Munich Marathon would attenuate post-race inflammation and decrease URTI incidence.

METHODS: Healthy male runners (N=277, age 42±9 y) were randomly assigned to 1-1.5 L/day NAB or placebo (PL) beverage (double-blinded design) for three weeks before and two weeks after the Munich Marathon. Blood samples were collected 4- and 1-week pre-race, and immediately-, 24-h-, and 72-h-post-race, and analyzed for inflammation measures (IL-6 and total blood leukocyte counts). URTI rates, assessed by the Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Survey (WURSS-21), were compared between groups during the 2-week period following the race.

RESULTS: Change in IL-6 was significantly reduced in NAB compared to PL immediately post-race [median (interquartile range): ng/L 23.9 (15.9 - 38.7) ng/L vs. 31.6 (18.5 - 53.3), p = 0.03]. Total blood leukocyte counts were also reduced in NAB versus PL by approximately 20% immediately- and 24-h-post-race (p=0.02). Incidence of URTI was 3.25-fold lower (95%-CI 1.38-7.66) (p=0.007) in NAB compared to PL during the 2-week post-marathon period.

CONCLUSION: Consumption of 1-1.5 L/day non-alcoholic beer for three weeks before and two weeks after marathon competition reduces post-race inflammation and URTI incidence.

© 2011 American College of Sports Medicine