created over 2 years ago | Tagged:
Beer. It's not just for couch potatoes anymore. A Bavarian brewmeister is touting its no-alcohol beer as the latest sport drink for athletes, handing it out at the finish line of sporting events and touting its regenerative benefits. Unlike Gatorade, Erdinger Alkoholfrei is served up with a frothy head. And it comes in one color -- a golden hue -- unlike conventional sport drinks.
The company touts the beverage as an isotonic, vitamin-rich, no-additive beverage with natural regenerative powers that help athletes recover from a workout. In other words, it's carbohydrate-loaded refreshment without the alcoholic buzz of beer or the jitters caused by some energy drinks. "It's a very healthy product," said Glenn McDonald, U.S. manager for Erdinger. "Overseas, it's very popular. It's the No. 1 non-alcohol beer in Germany."
Promoted as a "sports and fitness drink," Erdinger began targeting athletes in 2001 in Europe with an advertising campaign featuring a pair of triathletes. Its popularity quickly grew in Europe, where it's often distributed for free in the finishing area of sporting events. Marketing beer as a sport drink for athletes is a new concept in the U.S., though McDonald points out that Alkoholfrei can be enjoyed by anyone, not just athletes.
The 125-year-old company, which makes Alkoholfrei in the same brewery outside Munich where it turns out conventional wheat beers for suds-loving Germans, promotes itself at cycling and running events in the summer. In the winter, it's one of the main sponsors of the World Cup biathlon, which combines cross-country skiing and rifle marksmanship.
Beer contains sodium, potassium, carbohydrates and B vitamins, all of which are good, but they're not found at the optimal levels for an athlete, said professor Mary Ellen Camire. "It will help with rehydration. Whether it's the ideal drink to have, I'm not sure," she said. "Surely if people are looking to celebrate, it's better to celebrate with that than a regular beer after a workout, because a regular beer has alcohol and that would dehydrate you further."