Good news for all beer-lovers out there—beer can actually make your muscles stronger! Well, that is, if you’re up for the challenge of drinking 154 pints a day.
A recent study conducted by Japanese scientists at the University of Tokushima showed that the flavonoid ingredient found in beer known as 8-prenylnarigenin (8-PN) significantly limited muscle atrophy in debilitated laboratory mice. The mice that were given the flavonoid saw minimal muscle loss compared to other mice that weren't. The control group experienced a 10 percent decrease in muscle mass.
But don’t run to the store and pick up a six-pack just yet. In order to see the effects of this study on a human body, you’d have to drink so much beer—154 pints, to be exact—that you’d die of alcohol poisoning first.
In a more practical sense, scientists are now looking for alternative ways to get the daily dose of 8-PN necessary for the muscle-building benefits without the alcohol poisoning side effects. This could mean a huge breakthrough for elderly people suffering from severe muscle loss, preventing astronauts' muscles from atrophying while in space and even for paralysis patients.
While beer isn’t the ideal fitness beverage of choice because of its high caloric content, it does offer other health benefits. Dark beer in particular contains more antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that have been proven to keep heart disease at bay.