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Beer drinking, tendonitis and climbing
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Nov 16, 2010
So... Here's a question. From October 09 to May 10 I was on the road, climbing full time. I ate lots of fatty foods and drank lots of beer and my chronic lateral epicondylitis never flared up. During the summer of 2010 I drank more beer and climbed lots. Again, no flare-ups.

During this past fall, I have continued to climb, but my beer drinking has dropped in frequency... And my tennis elbow is back in full force. Most interesting.

I've been dealing with really chronic tendonitis my entire climbing career. And the full time climbing/beer drinking schedule is the first time in my life where my elbows haven't hurt. I went for almost a year of steady, hard climbing and my elbows never hurt.

So. What gives?

Turns out beer has lots of B vitamins, B6 is good for tendon health... Is there a connection? Should I resume my beer drinking? I'm not talking about being a drunkard, mind you -- My beer drinking schedule was as follows: climb all day, come home and drink a beer, and then drink another beer later in the evening...

So I would have 2 beers a day or so, but on a regular basis. That's long term loading of B vitamins. Any thoughts?

I'd like to think that I can drink beer and send hard. Please tell me it's true.
Nathan Welton
From Estes Park, CO
Joined Nov 17, 2006
504 points
Nov 16, 2010
My kinda simian
Can't argue with that. It's science. Ryan Kelly
From work.
Joined Oct 10, 2006
3,262 points
Nov 16, 2010
Beer drinking is a time honored remedy used by almost all older trad climbers. It can pretty much cure anything.... Mike Storeim
From Evergreen, CO
Joined Sep 16, 2002
48 points
Nov 16, 2010
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
I"ve never had a pain left anywhere when drinking beer and climbing. Soothes the aches and injuries. Woodchuck ATC
Joined Nov 29, 2007
3,091 points
Nov 16, 2010
I was once a serious runner, and dealt with chronic tendonitis and injuries in my achilles, but the day after drinking beer it was literally painless. I did some quick research and managed to find a few articles on the internet claiming beer may have anti inflammatory properties. Can't say whether that's true or not but it definately made my tendons feel a lot better oatsmeal
Joined Sep 8, 2010
0 points
Nov 16, 2010
As much as I agree with the above posters, in all seriousness the amount of b vitamins are slim.
Take B6 for example, theres about .16 mg of B6 per beer. You have to have say, 90+ beers a day to reach the low end of the B6 recommendation for an active climber. (given you don't ingest any B6 from other sources)
If your still thinking about giving that route a go, you may wanna consider the negative effects of the alcohol itself. Alcohol interferes with absorption of vitamins, especially B vitamins. As well as impairs protein metabolism, i.e. muscle repair. You might be better off with a multi vitamin.

But its so good, once it hits your lips its so good!
Noah C
Joined Oct 19, 2008
87 points
Nov 16, 2010
Noah C wrote:
But its so good, once it hits your lips its so good!

"Frank the tank, Frank the tank!"
Superclimber
Joined Mar 7, 2009
1,486 points
Nov 16, 2010
I guess it depends on what you are drinking. I like a local IPA with some vitamin I (600-800 mg)
For really bad pain then some Jameson with lemon.
john strand
From southern colo
Joined May 22, 2008
2,279 points
Nov 17, 2010
The hops in beer are an anti-inflammatory, which probably helps. As far how potent the AI effects of beer are, I have no clue. clucking
Joined Jul 5, 2010
30 points
Nov 17, 2010
Tree-bouldering near Mt. Tam
I've heard a few folks argue that beer is among the best post-sports beverages out there, with low ABV brews aiding in rehydration nearly as well as commercial sports drinks... I'm sure there's plenty we don't yet know about all the loose good stuff floating around in our brews - plenty that may prove medically significant someday soon! saltlick
From gym
Joined Mar 4, 2009
553 points
Nov 17, 2010
saltlick wrote:
I've heard a few folks argue that beer is among the best post-sports beverages out there, with low ABV brews aiding in rehydration nearly as well as commercial sports drinks... I'm sure there's plenty we don't yet know about all the loose good stuff floating around in our brews - plenty that may prove medically significant someday soon!

??? mmmm, no.


And I think the hops thing isn't effective as an AI once its been heated and fermented, as in a beer.
Noah C
Joined Oct 19, 2008
87 points
Nov 17, 2010
Colonel Mustard
Noah C wrote:
You have to have say, 90+ beers a day to reach the low end of the B6 recommendation for an active climber.


That's a lot of beer, but I do want to be healthy.
Colonel Mustard
Joined Sep 13, 2005
1,382 points
Nov 17, 2010
Boulder Canyon  photo by Curt
My beer drinking isn't curing my tendonitis, but if it works for you, you probably should keep imbibing. Step hen
From Fort Collins, CO
Joined Jul 6, 2010
99 points
Nov 17, 2010
Noah C wrote:
??? mmmm, no. And I think the hops thing isn't effective as an AI once its been heated and fermented, as in a beer.


Its my understanding that the AI of hops lies in the isomerization of alpha acids, which occurs during the boil process and survives the fermentation. Granted they break down over time and UV exposure.
clucking
Joined Jul 5, 2010
30 points
Nov 17, 2010
"Its my understanding that the AI of hops lies in the isomerization of alpha acids, which occurs during the boil process and survives the fermentation. Granted they break down over time and UV exposure."

does that means i should just drink beer and climb only indoors?
Nathan Welton
From Estes Park, CO
Joined Nov 17, 2006
504 points
Nov 17, 2010
North face of Ama Dablam - taken on approach to Ko...
Your sample size is too small to reach a conclusion. As coincidence would have it, I get tennis elbow too. Sponsor me for your B6 experiment (read: send me beer) and I'll give you a ton of extra data points. Now that's science! Erik W
From Boulder, CO
Joined Mar 8, 2007
303 points
Nov 17, 2010
Rapping off the Matron October, 2010
I too have been suffering from a sore elbow. Based on this thread I drank 1.5 beers last night, and my elbow feels much better today! You may be on to something here. Definitely should conduct some kind of controlled study with n > 2. Volunteers? ErikaNW
Joined Sep 28, 2010
121 points
Nov 17, 2010
new toy
plus beer makes you smarter and women better looking Doug Foust
From Henderson, Nevada
Joined Sep 14, 2008
191 points
Nov 17, 2010
Down low, before the Y and the Railroad couloirs s...
It may have been all the fatty foods that you mentioned eating. Especially if they were high in Omega 3's. Any chance that you were eating a lot of sardines? Tom Nyce
From Flagstaff, AZ
Joined Nov 16, 2010
36 points
Nov 17, 2010
Bob's Been to Joshua Tree!
saltlick wrote:
- plenty that may prove medically significant someday soon!


It's clear that more research is needed.

I'll volunteer.
BrianH
From Santa Fe NM
Joined Aug 17, 2009
54 points
Nov 21, 2010
Little finger
Mike Storeim wrote:
Beer drinking is a time honored remedy used by almost all older trad climbers. It can pretty much cure anything....


better yet... wash down 3-4 ibuprofen with a frosty one, while in the hot tub!

So here's a question- if older trad climbers drink beer, what do younger sport climbers drink? Red bull martinis?
Puzman
Joined Apr 19, 2009
51 points
Nov 21, 2010
view off the 4th belay
ErikaNW wrote:
I too have been suffering from a sore elbow. Based on this thread I drank 1.5 beers last night, and my elbow feels much better today! You may be on to something here. Definitely should conduct some kind of controlled study with n > 2. Volunteers?



I'm in! Good thing beer is a key part of a college climbers diet...
Will Copeland
From Driggs
Joined Aug 18, 2009
91 points
Nov 24, 2010
Albarracin
B vitamins? Nice, now I can drink beer to treat my depression! They call me Sam
From Fort Collins, Colorado
Joined Nov 28, 2006
171 points
Nov 24, 2010
Puzman wrote:
better yet... wash down 3-4 ibuprofen with a frosty one, while in the hot tub! So here's a question- if older trad climbers drink beer, what do younger sport climbers drink? Red bull martinis?

Jagerbombs.

In Clyde Sole's book "Climbing: Training for Peak Performance" (At least that's what I think it's called) he talks about beer as a post workout drink. Basically, it's not optimal, but it's alright.

Alaskan Ale(The one with the polar bear! I think it's called white ale)= Best thing you can drink after a day of climbing!
J.J
Joined Aug 23, 2008
185 points
Nov 24, 2010
Jose Cuervo Fruitcups dirtbag style
Old climbers used to use Somatomax PM as per this Todd Skinner Recovery Trick doligo
Joined Sep 26, 2008
408 points
Mar 25, 2011
I have also found some research that states that drinking a nice cold brew after a day of climbing actually helps the rehydration process.
My blog has the article if you any of you are interested!
climbing-and-beer.blogspot.com...
Westley Shaffer
Joined Mar 25, 2011
0 points


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