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by Erin Bates November 04, 2020
For the third iteration of our “My Grüvi Story” series, we meet Matt Hanson- professional triathlete & coach, 5x Ironman/ 4x 70.3 champion and owner of MHR based here in Colorado. You can learn more about Matt’s racing on his website.
I am 35 and just moved to Colorado last month. I am a professional triathlete, which means I am fortunate enough to make a living doing what I love to do. I spend most of my spare time with my wife, Ashley and our two dogs, Rocky and Zoey. We enjoy traveling quite a bit, so we cannot wait for the new normal to arrive so we can get back to doing that on a regular basis.
Personally, I am not against alcohol consumption, but I saw too many examples of how alcohol can negatively affect peoples lives when not consumed responsibly while I was growing up. I lost a friend in high school and family members as a kid due to alcohol related incidents. I witnessed alcohol abuse tear families apart.
I made a promise to myself early on never to let alcohol create issues in my life. I typically have 1-2 alcoholic drinks a month. When the big races start showing up on the horizon, I typically cut alcohol out completely.
Like many, I enjoy a good beer or wine. That said, I've really never wanted to drink alcohol on a regular basis. As a professional athlete, I have to be careful that the choices I make do not affect my training or racing in any way. In addition, my extended family has definitely had its share of issues with alcohol. So I’ve always tried to be very careful with my alcohol consumption. I started to look for alcohol free options so I could be able to enjoy beer and wine without risking any negative effects on my training schedule.
As a high performance athlete, I have to constantly be wary of everything that I am consuming. This is doubly important as I am heading into big races. While I do consume alcohol on occasion, I remove it from my diet completely 4-6 weeks before any major race. Alcohol can make it harder to rehydrate after hard workouts, can cause gut issues which my delay recovery, and and prevent me from getting high quality sleep.
Having the NA beer and wine options allows me to enjoy a refreshing drink without risking any of these negative effects. There are often social events and holidays during the build up into key races. Being able to stick to being alcohol free while still enjoying a beer with friends and family is always great. There are a lot of sacrifices that are required to allow me to perform at my best. Thanks to Grüvi, enjoying a great beer is no longer one of them!
When I first started looking at NA beer options a number of years ago, I was quite disappointed in what I found. The only real options seemed to be "bottom of the barrel" type beers which I can certainly live without. I first saw Grüvi on Instagram and started looking in to them a bit more. I was happy to finally find a craft style NA beer company!
I went from enjoying maybe one beer a month to a Grüvi almost everyday. Grüvi is something that I can enjoy daily without the negative impact on my body the next day. Now when we have social gatherings we serve it as an option to our guest and we don't have to worry about them driving home.
Grüvi means freedom to enjoy a great beverage everyday of the week. Thank you for giving us an option to enjoy great tasting beer and wine without it interfering with our everyday lives.
Favorite thing about living an alcohol free life?
still being able to enjoy a beer with friends without the risk of it affecting my training.
Go to Grüvi?
Any advice to someone curious about going alcohol-free?
Just give it a try. You don't have to completely give up alcohol from the start. Any time you replace a NA beer with a regular one is a win for your liver.
The south island of New Zealand.
Grüviest song on your playlist?
Seven Bridges Road - The Eagles
An ice cold Grüvi is best enjoyed______.
Sitting on the beach while playing fetch with my dog.