The 30 Best Post-Workout Beers—Ranked

These lower alcohol brews are probably better for you than a sports drink.

The 30 Best Post-Workout Beers—Ranked

These lower alcohol brews are probably better for you than a sports drink.

Beer gets a bum rap. Sure, if you’re chugging swill like an undergrad week after week, you’re looking at an ugly weight gain, a gasping liver, and more carbs than any human should ever consume. But with a little responsibility—and the right brands in your cooler—knocking back a cold one or two is fine. In fact, some scientists believe that beer doubles as a fine recovery drink after a good workout.

According to Men’s Fitness, one or two beers will leave you with a stronger immune system and a lower risk of heart disease afterwards. And scientists agree that ingesting carbs in the hour right after a tough workout is essential for your muscles and your metabolism. (For what it’s worth: legend has it that Arnold Schwarzenegger used to leave the gym and knock back a pitcher of beer with a roast chicken.)

The key to drinking beer and staying healthy and fit is to keep your in-take moderate and keep your alcohol consumption on the lower end. (If you’re drinking more than that, off-set it with several glasses of water.)

With that in mind, we’ve compiled our favorite beers that double as great post-workout brews (excluding the always reliable Michelob Ultra), and we’ve ranked them here. So if you’re pounding the pavement or hitting the CrossFit Box this spring and summer, don’t be afraid to replenish yourself with one of these cold ones. And for more advice on indulging without consequences, here’s how to Eat Whatever You Want Without Gaining Weight.

30
Beck’s

This German beer is low in alcohol and calories and tastes better than many of it’s American counterparts.

-147 calories

-4.7% ABV

29
Blue Moon Summer Honey Wheat

Few things sound more mouth-watering than a smooth wheat beer brewed with an orange peel and boasting a sweet honey flavor, and this Blue Moon seasonal offers all that and more (without all the calories).

-159 calories

-5.2% ABV

28
Brooklyn ½ ale

Brooklyn brewery drew its inspiration for this citrusy ale from traditional farmhouse ales, which farm workers would drink to refresh themselves after a hard day’s labor.

-102 calories

-3.4% ABV

27
Peak Organic Winter Session Ale

Peak brewing strives to use all local and organic ingredients in its products, and this dark malted ale is a testament to the brewery’s business ethos that a beer can be sustainably brewed and still taste great.

-144 Calories

-5% ABV

26
Brasserie de la Senne Taras Boulba

Sometimes you’ve gotta go authentic, and that means a big Belgian beer (it’s one of our Best Beer-Brewing Countries after all). This light blonde ale is beer delicacy that remains, at least by Belgian standards, mercifully low in alcohol.

-135 Calories

-4.5% ABV

25
Full Sail Session Lager

Hailing from Oregon, this award-winning, all-malt lager offers a smooth and sweet flavor without bloating your gut.

-130 Calories

-5.1% ABV

24
Abita Purple Haze

This New Orleans favorite is made with raspberries to give it a special sweet, fruity flavor.

-128 Calories

-4.2% ABV

23
Victory Lager

This brew boasts German-style hops, malt and yeast, and provides a smooth malty flavor.

-144 Calories

-4.8% ABV

22
Schlafly Pale Ale

A pale ale that can manage a hoppy, malty taste while remaining low on overall alcohol and calories is a rare and wonderful find.

-132 Calories

-4.4% ABV

21
Yuengling Lager

 

A classic of American brewing, this rich and delicious lager is a tried-but-true beer that won’t set you back fitness wise.

-126 Calories

-4.6% ABV

20
Evil Twin Bikini Beer

If you’re health conscious but love the strong hoppy taste of an IPA, try out a session beer like this product from evil twin brewery, which gives you that same kick but is lighter on calories and hops than a traditional IPA.

-120 Calories

-4% ABV

19
Murphy’s Irish Stout

This is one of the lower-calorie stouts out there, for those of you who (understandably) want that rich creamy flavor, and in this case a hint of coffee, without the consequences.

-144 Calories

-4% ABV

18
Philadelphia Brewing Company Walt Whit

Named after you-know-who, this brew offers a wonderfully sweet, fruity taste that is much more palatable than reading poetry.

-120 Calories

-4.5% ABV

17
Siera Nevada Otra Veez

This is what’s called a Gose, a German-style beer with a little bit of fruit juice mixed in to cut the alcohol and add a healthy dose of refreshment. Thankfully, the Otra Vez is as low on calories as it is high on flavor.

-139 Calories

-4.5% ABV

16
Bell’s Oarsman Ale

A special session Wheat Ale from the Michigan-based Bell’s Brewery that offers a citrus and lemony aroma and is another great way to get your hops fix without actually drinking a lot of alcohol.

-140 Calories

-4.5% ABV

15
Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA

Definitely drink this one in moderation as it packs a lot more punch than most on this list, but it’s still relatively low in calories considering the amount of alcohol you get, and most importantly, it’s delicious. To make sure you’re drinking in moderation, here is a guide to What Your Boozing Habits Say About Your Health.

-188 Calories

-7.1% ABV

14
New Belgium Sunshine Wheat Beer

This brew from the popular Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing Company offers the smooth, easy-to-drink quality typically associated with wheat beer while still remaining fairly low in all of the harmful ingredients in beer.

-145 Calories

-4.5% ABV

13
Boulevard Pop-Up Session IPA

Made in Kansas, this beer offers the traditional session blend of strong hoppy flavors with a touch of caramel malt and a low level of bitterness and alcohol content.

-126 Calories

-4.3% ABV

12
Southern Pecan Brown Ale

This Mississippi-prodcut was actually made from pecans, giving it a delicious nutty flavor.

-135 Calories

-4.5% ABV

11
Fat Tire Amber Ale

 

A rich, delicious amber beer that is a staple in the Western U.S. but is slowly taking over the East Coast, as well. It’s sharp and tasty and fairly light on calories.

-160 Calories

-5.2% ABV

10
New Belgium Slow Ride

Another session, this beer is all hoppy, fruity flavor, without the guilt.

-140 Calories

-4.5% ABV

9
Flying Dog Easy IPA

Flying Dog is one of the great microbreweries in the country, and this is their tastiest, hoppiest version that won’t strain your waistband.

-126 Calories

-4.7% ABV

8
Ommegang Witte

Brewery Ommegang is based in upstate New York, but this beer is modeled after Belgian-style wheat ales for a smooth delicious taste.

-153 Calories

-5.2% ABV

7
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

This bull-bodied amber ale is relatively low on calories while offering a delicious hoppy and spicy flavor, although with a bit more alcohol then you may prefer after a workout. However, you may also want to check out this helpful video on how to drink alcohol without gaining weight.

-175 Calories

-5.6% ABV

6
Ballast Point Even Keel

 

This beer has an almost shockingly low amount of alcohol, but still offers a hoppy flavor with an added dash of citrus.

-168 Calories

-3.8% ABV

5
Beamish Irish Stout

This creamy and coffee-tinged Irish brew is another good go-to option for those of you who are partial to stouts but still watching your calorie intake.

-146 Calories

-4.1% ABV

4
Uinta Black Baba Lager

This lager boasts delicious dark, coffee flavors, but is still light on alcohol and carbs.

-120 Calories

-4% ABV

3
Founder’s All Day IPA

This Michigan-brewed session beer has little in the way of alcohol, and carbs, but a lot in terms of taste with its mixture of malts, grains, and hops.

-147 Calories

-4.7% ABV

2
Stone Go To IPA

Stone is one of the top IPA-brewers in the country, and their take on the session IPA  offers a wonderful hoppy, piney taste.

-150 Calories

-4.5% ABV

1
Guinness Draught

It’s surprising, but true, given that drinking it can sometimes feel like you’re drinking maple syrup. But a good old-fashioned Guinness has everything you want: less calories, amazing taste, and a surprisingly low alcohol content. Best of all, it’s way cooler than ordering a Michelob Ultra.

-126 Calories

-4.0% ABV

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