Forget Christmas, let’s talk about New Years for a minute. Specifically, let’s talk about the number one resolution made by Americans every year – to get in better shape. Fitness is a major industry in the United States, and for the most part, the fitness industry advocates for little to no alcohol. But to recommend this assumes that all alcohols are created equally. We know they’re not. When it comes to alcohol and fitness, red wine clearly crosses the finish line first. Here’s why.
Photo credit: http://nutritionexpert.com/blog/2013/07/skinny-strawberry-sangria/
We’ve all heard about the health benefits of moderate consumption of red wine for years. But, in case they’ve slipped your mind, here’s a brief refresher:
Red wine has a ton of antioxidants, which can lead to better coronary health. In layman’s terms, it means a lowered risk of heart disease. Flavonoids are also found in red wine and have been linked to improved heart health. Antioxidants can also help improve the appearance of your skin, leading to a younger looking appearance as you age.
Linked to a variety of health benefits, these babies can even strengthen the enamel on your teeth. That could mean red wine helps whiten your smile.
Red wine can contain trace amounts of melatonin, a natural element that can help you sleep better.
Lowered risk of certain forms of cancers
Red wine contains quercetin, which can help ward of both breast and lung cancer.
But, in addition to these awesome reasons to pour some Pinot Noir, turns out there could be even more! Recent studies suggest that a certain compound found in red wine may actually mimic the effect of exercise on the body AND boost workout performance.
We’re talking about the compound Resveratrol. Researchers recently studied the impact of resveratrol and found that it can greatly improve muscle strength, heart function, and athletic performance.
More Merlot? Not so fast.
Turns out these studies were conducted on mice, not on men. And, in addition to that little detail, it looks like you’d have to ingest significant amounts of resveratrol in order to see the fitness benefits. So much, in fact, that you’re likely to counter the positive impact of the resveratrol with the quantity of red wine you’d have to consume.
In the study, researchers gave the equivalent of 146 milligrams of resveratrol per kilogram of bodyweight, per day. Considering that in a typical glass of wine you can count on anywhere from .29 to 1.86 mg of resveratrol, that adds up to a lot of wine. Let’s do some math.
Assume that you are a woman weighing 150 pounds. That converts to about 68 kilograms. That means, to see the athletic benefit of resveratrol, you’d need to consume roughly 9,928 milligrams of resveratrol per day. That breaks down to about 5,337 to 34,000 glass of wine. Per day. Not very likely to happen we suspect.
So, while red wine can have a positive impact on your overall health when consumed in moderation, it’s not advisable as a replacement to good old-fashioned exercise.