Recovery Drinks – the definitive collection

Ok so once you’ve crossed the finish line, had your chocolate milk, 10 Cokes (with it’s 10 spoons of sugar per cup) and caught your breath, what’s your go-to bevvie asks Shayne Dowling

Yes, yes we know you head for the car and your pre-prepared ultra recovery shake – well the A batch certainly, but let’s be honest, the biggest motivation over the last 10 kays was the thought of an ice cold beer! Yes, ladies you too!  So while we have our tongue firmly planted in our cheeks when we place the golden brew under recovery drinks we did think it would be cool to taste a few of our favourite after action satisfaction brews.

So can beer be healthy? Sure. But like all things in moderation (one or two a day max). All beer contains Vitamin B in various levels and guises, Vitamin B6 and B12 being the most prevalent. However for those guys who wish there was a comments button below, the alcohol in the beer cancels outs any benefit – of course not so in the low or no alcohol brewskies. Beer contains the same number of antioxidants as wine; they are just different antioxidants due to the ingredients (barley and hops vs grapes). Beer also contains silicon which is apparently found in very few foods but is really good for your bone strength – who knew? (To find out more about the health benefits of beer scan this QR Code. Online version copy: To find out more about the health benefits of beer click here.)

The Stalwarts:

gear-castle-liteCastle Lite

ABV 4.0% |

Up until recently most rides would end with a Castle Lite. The big boys quickly saw the potential of being at the finishing line of events and quickly crept into the hands (and fridges) of most beer drinking sports folk. Business clout aside the beer is damn good. In fact I would rather have a Castle Lite before its big brother – and if on tap it’s a no-brainer. Castle Lite has a maize component not found in many other beers available at the finish line and delivers a really crisp flavour with a clean aftertaste. The 4.0% alc/vol leaves the dryness in the beer which makes it closer to more traditional beers and a great beer to drink while swopping war stories afterwards.

Windhoek Lightgear-windhoek

ABV 2.4% |

Windhoek delivers a very staunch and loyal consumer. It is a “natural” beer with no added preservatives – uhm as opposed to which beer? I always find myself thinking. Jokes aside, Windhoek is a stunning beer. The Windhoek Light is really tasty, it has a great hopsy flavour complimented by the malted barley. The alcohol content is a low 2.4% alc/Vol and yet maintains the crisp, dryness wanted in a beer – it also means that we can have one more without to much concern.

New Kids on the Block/The Craft Beer Revolution

Darling Brew – Sun Gazer

ABV 2.6% |

A light craft beer – yip at only 2.6% alc/vol.  The Sun Gazer comes from the brewery making big waves, based in the dorpie of Darling.  Not only are they producing quality beer but have also established a really popular MTB event.  I’m just waiting for the MTB label! Sun Gazer is a flavourful beer that has a distinct floral flavour – it reminds me of a light “IPA” and has a lingering aftertaste. In the distinct Darling Brew bottles that are awesome in their own right and the juice is definitely one to savour at the end of a race.

Devil’s Peak Lagergear-devils

ABV 4% |

The first crafty beer (see what I did there…) in a can!  The Devil’s Peak looks over the brewery in the trendy suburb of Woodstock. It is a slick little operation that is producing quality bevvies. The lager is exactly what it’s supposed to be: A clean, dry and really tasty beer that delivers a long finish, with a great full mouthfeel. But like most good lagers isn’t so strong on flavour that you don’t feel like coming back for another. You need to just  make sure that the next one tastes as good as the last one.

Designated driver/Non-Alcoholic Beers

gear-erdingerErdinger Weissbrau

ABV <0.5% |

I love Weiss beer. Made with wheat it is a tasty, normally hazy but with a distinct Weiss beer (banana for me) taste. While not a traditional tasting Weiss, the Erdinger explodes with flavour: Malty, not exceptionally dry (which of course is also as a result of having little to no alcohol) a nice mouthfeel and a lovely “beer” flavour, with a very pleasant and distinct malty aftertaste. All natural, the beer doesn’t come across as a lightie, it’s really lekker and the bottle and packaging can hold it’s own in any company.

Becks Bluegear-becks-blue

ABV <0.5% |

A clean, crisp-tasting beer. Becks has the bitterness of a beer and is quite dry; it has a light malty aftertaste.  The mouthfeel is less than a conventional beer but that is to be expected with an almost non-existent alcohol content. Drink the beer when it’s really cold to get the most out of it – when you cross the line, go for the one at the bottom of the ice bucket!

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