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Why You Should Run To Beer

(and not chocolate milk)

Confirmation bias. That's the tendency to seek out information that supports what you want to believe.

Your search, my friend, ends here.

Let's talk about beer and why it's such a natural choice for runners. And let's start by talking about the fact that beer is natural. It's usually just water, grain, yeast and hops.

Beer is also fat free and and contains fewer calories than the same volume of, say, chocolate milk. Though beer contains less protein than the cafeteria classic, it contains more of the vitamins and minerals a runner actually needs.

Okay, but enough about chocolate milk. Unless you're eight, you're probably not craving it anyway.

Beer: think of it as the runner's multivitamin. Dark ales especially (think Porter, Stout, Black IPA) contain higher levels of the vitamins and minerals runners need most.

Magnesium, for instance, plays a bit part in bolstering your endurance. Not only does it help with muscle contraction, it also enhances aerobic capacity by helping to deliver oxygen to the muscles.

Chromium, meanwhile, helps the body process the carbohydrates you're probably consuming in greater quantity than your more sedentary friends, and if you're a distance runner you're losing this valuable mineral in your urine after long runs. This is where beer is the true champion because there's still no evidence to suggest your body can effectively absorb chromium supplements. Ales are brewed with hard water and Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (aka. Brewer's Yeast), making them a easily digestible source of chromium.

Then there's zinc, which your body also loses through urine after a long run. A valuable helper for your body's immune system, it works with about 100 enzymes in your body, aiding your energy metabolism.

I could go on about antioxidants, resveratrol and all the other benefits of hops, which have been used in medicines longer than they have in beer. I could share stats about dietary fiber and electrolytes. Beer is also an anti-inflammatory and promotes bone health.

I could go into much, much more detail, but I'd rather end with possibly the most compelling reason to reach for a beer after a run: it's even more delicious than before you run.

Wine tasters, as you likely know, can swirl a Chianti around in their mouth, spit it out and record their impressions. A Bock, on the other hand, needs to be consumed to be properly evaluated. That's because beer is carbonated. As you swallow, the carbonation carries some of it back into your olfactory system, engaging more of your sensory receptors. Win! Research shows that a brisk workout – as little as 10 minutes – heightens your olfactory system in the short term, while regular exercise prevents it from deteriorating as you age.

Just remember, despite being 85-95% water, beer still does more to dehydrate than re-hydrate, so make sure you're getting enough of the non-alcoholic H2O as well. And skip the chocolate milk. 

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Explore Fund Grant-Giving Program

The North Face Announces 2015 Explore Fund Grants Open for Applications

The North Face today announced the 2015 Explore Fund grant-giving program is now open through October 31, 2015 for applications and $30,000 will be awarded to organizations this year. The Explore Fund provides grants to organizations that connect people to the outdoors in meaningful ways, with youth as the primary focus.

 

“For 2015, we are looking to identify programs that will provide experiences that nurture an enduring appreciation of the outdoors,” said Ann Krcik, Director of Outdoor Exploration, The North Face. “We want these programs to encourage people to explore and appreciate the outdoors in their favorite ways, whether that be hiking, skiing or camping – we want to be the catalyst.”

 

All grants are evaluated on the clarity of proposal, the projected impact and alignment to the spirit of adventure and exploration. Proposals that leverage collaboration and partnerships within communities are encouraged. The Explore Fund reviews grants by individual merits and as part of a balanced portfolio that includes such factors as geography, type of program funded, target audiences, and more.

 

To be considered for an Explore Fund grant, applicants must be non-profit organizations or in a formal relationship with a qualified fiscal sponsor. All applicants must fully complete the online submission process and provide the required application information.  Explore Fund grants are for one year and funding in a giving cycle does not guarantee future support.

 

As part of its mission to start a global movement of Outdoor Exploration, The North Face introduced the Explore Fund (www.explorefund.org) in 2010 and the program has since provided more than $1.5 million in grants to organizations committed to inspiring the next generation of outdoor explorers and conservationists.

 

For more information and to submit an application before October 31, 2015, please visit www.explorefund.org.