Beer could be better than water as a half-time drink during energetic sports games, Spanish research has found.
The amber fluid had a more beneficial effect than water when given to athletes exercising strenuously in hot weather.
Manuel Garzon and his team at Granada University in Spain tested 25 students who were told to exercise hard in temperatures of around 40C until they were close to getting exhausted.
After the workout, half the students were given a pint of beer to drink, while the others got water. Then their hydration levels, motor skills and ability to concentrate were measured.
Prof Garzon said the re-hydration effect in the students who were given beer was ‘slightly better’ than among those given only water. Based on the studies, the researchers have recommended moderate consumption of beer -- 500 ml a day for men or 250 ml for women -- as part of an athlete's diet.
Previous studies have found that alcohol consumption leads to dehydration.