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Beer at the Finish Line?

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At the end of many races, including the Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago, beer tents are lined with thirsty runners who reward themselves with a cold golden hued beverage. Being a participant in events like this one, The Lifetime Fitness Chicago Triathlon and many other races, it is a crowded tent and great place to relax after exhausting the body.

But this season, maybe the beer will take on new meaning. A Bavarian brewmeister is touting its no-alcohol beer as the latest sport drink for athletes, handing it out at the finish line of sporting events and touting its regenerative benefits.

Erdinger Alkoholfrei is served up in one color -- a golden hue -- and unlike other conventional sport drinks, a frothy head.

Several top athletes from Europe quaffed the beverage from giant mugs on the podium of the World Cup biathlons held in northern Maine.

The company touts the beverage as an isotonic, vitamin-rich, no-additive beverage with natural regenerative powers that help athletes recover from a workout.Translation it's carbohydrates which your body craves after any endurance event sans the buzz of alcohol or the caffeine from energy drinks.

"It's a very healthy product," said Glenn McDonald, U.S. manager for Erdinger. "Overseas, it's very popular. It's the No. 1 non-alcohol beer in Germany."

Although it's alcohol-free, Alkoholfrei still contains less than 0.5 percent alcohol. That makes it verboten for anyone under 21 in many states like Maine.

Marketing beer as a sport drink for athletes is a new concept in the U.S., though McDonald points out that Alkoholfrei can be enjoyed by anyone, not just athletes.

Strangely enough that now you can drink beer at a sporting event or after completing one. Guess it really is five o'clock somewhere but think I will stick to my chocolate milk-- it has protein too.