We Australians like to think we are a nation of beer drinkers but in fact almost every nation is a nation of beer drinkers. Some imbibe more wine, some are too busy dealing with flood and famine to care. Yes, it is a popular social lubricant. But does it help you recover post-ride? (Drinking seemed to do wonders for Floyd Landis in between stages.)
But laying off the grog seems to work for Aussie Rory Sutherland: Beer drinking is a major pastime in his homeland, so it is no surprise he would crack open a few after these two weeks. But Sutherland said he thinks his approach to the beer this year might be the secret to his success. "It's funny, I made a rule with myself at the beginning of the week that I don't drink any beers during a stage race, and it's worked every since," said the Australian. "It normally is [a pastime,] but it seems to be working pretty well! So I'm not going to jinx it. Once I leave my home I don't drink until I get home again."
Beer: High caloric value, good for energy recovery: tick. A relaxant, good to get you in a recovery frame of mind: tick. Full of vitamin B, which can't hurt: tick. A dehydrator, to lessen your rate of recovery: tick. Includes a toxic substance damaging to your health: tick. Hmmm.
Rory also supports the 'less is more' theory of recovery: Sutherland also said he is going to spend his week at home more off the bike than on to get ready for the upcoming CSC and Philly week races. "I'm a big advocate of recovery off the bike, it seems to work well for me," he said. "Just clear your head and walk the dog or go for a swim - something different than riding your bike."
That sounds healthy, as long as he lays off the beer.