Although data shows drink preference won’t affect outcome, recreational athletes have long connected craft beer and a healthy lifestyle.

“Most organized races always have a beer at the end,” Korslund says, adding that she is part of a running club that starts and finishes at a local brew pub, a phenomenon that has gained in popularity nationwide since David April created the Philadelphia Fishtown Beer Runners a decade ago, with its mission dedicated to exercise and quality beer.

Beer does have some healthful effects and ingredients, says Marisa Bunning, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Colorado State University (CSU). It’s made with barley and hops—considerable nutrients from plant sources—vitamins and higher amounts of fiber in dark beers. Moderate beer intake appears to reduce risk of cognitive decline in women, she says, as reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Red wine wins over beer, however, when it comes to the antioxidant power found in its polyphenols, a type of plant compound, says Bunning’s colleague Jessica Clifford, RDN, a CSU research associate. “Much of the health hype has been attributed to resveratrol,” Clifford says. “However, there are other polyphenols that may be advantageous to health as well. Some research has also shown that drinking purple grape juice may be an alternative and provide these protective effects for non-alcohol drinkers.”