Just think of somebody like Luka Modric, the Croatian team captain who was awarded best player in the world by FIFA and who, even before the start of the world championship, had played 49 matches for a total of 3,878 minutes.
How can we help players recover quickly and in a healthy way?
Beer as you wouldn’t expect
The role of phenols
In 2011, Nieman and Johannes Scherr of the University of Munich studied the effects of beer, which contains about 50 phenols, on athletes - whose intense physical activity can also compromise immune activity. When marathon runners were trained to drink 1.5 liters of non-alcoholic beer per day, their risk of upper respiratory infection was drastically reduced. The activity of white blood cells, in fact, was reduced by up to 20%, a clear sign of an improvement in the state of health of the immune system.
A team of Chilean researchers arrived to give him a safe hand. In 2016, he published a study on the relationship between beer consumption and football in the journal Nutrients. The research team found that non-alcoholic beer, when drunk before a workout, helped several "endurance" players stay hydrated longer than those who only drank water.
Yes to beer, but only if it’s non-alcoholic?
In theory, this means that players who drink alcohol the evening before a major game may have less energy and less oxygen for their muscles the day after, causing the so-called "heavy legs" effect. From here, the advice is not to drink more than an average beer, or perhaps drink a non-alcoholic one, in order to avoid the negative effects that alcohol has on the body in terms of sports performance.
So, if you were watching a World Cup game while sipping a fresh beer and you'd ever wondered how those players played so often and recovered quickly, perhaps the answer was right under your nose.