Fluid and electrolyte status have a significant impact on physical performance and health. Pre-exercise recommendations cite the possibility of consuming beverages with high amounts of sodium. In this sense, non-alcoholic beer can be considered an effective pre-exercise hydration beverage. This double-blind, randomized study aimed to compare the effect of beer, non-alcoholic beer and water consumption before exercise on fluid and electrolyte homeostasis. Seven male soccer players performed 45 min of treadmill running at 65% of the maximal heart rate, 45 min after ingesting 0.7 L of water (W), beer (AB) or non-alcoholic beer (NAB). Body mass, plasma Na⁺ and K⁺ concentrations and urine specific gravity (USG) were assessed before fluid consumption and after exercise. After exercise, body mass decreased (p < 0.05) in W (-1.1%), AB (-1.0%) and NAB (-1.0%). In the last minutes of exercise, plasma Na⁺ was reduced (p < 0.05) in W (-3.9%) and AB (-3.7%), plasma K⁺ was increased (p < 0.05) in AB (8.5%), and USG was reduced in W (-0.9%) and NAB (-1.0%). Collectively, these results suggest that non-alcoholic beer before exercise could help maintain electrolyte homeostasis during exercise. Alcoholic beer intake reduced plasma Na⁺ and increased plasma K⁺ during exercise, which may negatively affect health and physical performance, and finally, the consumption of water before exercise could induce decreases of Na⁺ in plasma during exercise.
Keywords: blood electrolytes; fluid balance during-exercise; hydration before-exercise.