4 Reasons Why Drinking Actually Helps Your Exercise Efforts

Exercise with beer and wine

With the holiday season finally past, many people are trading in their cork screws, bottle openers and shakers for gym memberships. In fact, some people swear off booze all together in January, but before you join the crowd and exchange a glass of red for the treadmill, read up on how wine and beer, combined with exercise, can actually be a good thing.

To Get Red Wine’s Heart Benefits, You Need To Both Drink A Glass AND Exercise

Researchers from the European Society of Cardiology studied people who consumed a moderate amount of alcohol for at least 5 days a week. They separated the individuals into those that drank and exercised and those that only drank. In the individuals that only drank, the researchers found, there was no appreciable affect on their cholesterol, blood glucose, triglycerides, or levels of inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein. But in the people that worked out as little as twice a week, the wine had a dramatic impact on cholesterol levels, causing the researchers to conclude that wine consumption combined with exercise is beneficial in preventing cardiovascular disease.

Wine And Beer Consumption Create Endorphins That Motivate Us To Work Out

Ever notice how after working out, all you really want is a refreshing beer or nice glass of wine? It turns out researchers have uncovered that wine and beer release endorphins in our brain that we use as a reward and motivation for working out. When the endorphins from exercising and the ones from drinking are combined, meaning we consume a glass shortly after our workout, they create a reaction our body remembers and wants to replicate again and again. Meaning, we subconsciously encourage ourselves to hit the gym the next day in order to have a beer again following the workout. So if you actually want to use that gym membership you just guiltily signed up for, grab a beer after your first workout.

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Beer Could Be Better Than A Protein Shake

After that crossfit class you just got talked into attending, most people are gonna grab a protein shake, but you might want to grab a cold beer instead – added bonus it’ll help with all those sore muscles you’re bound to have. Why beer? Because it contains nutrients, among them selenium (which contains antioxidants), B vitamins (which aid in energy), phosphorus (which is said to help with strong bones and teeth), and niacin (which is possibly beneficial to cholesterol). Moreover, beer packs in a good amount of protein, a bit of fiber, and silicon, which some sources say can prevent osteoporosis. These are all nutrients that researchers say are ideal for your body to consume after hitting the gym. Just don’t grab a high-gravity option. Stick to a sessionable beer and you’ll get all the nutrients you needs, without overdoing the alcohol.

Wine Can Help Burn Fat And Keep It Off

Researchers at both the University of Nebraska and the University of Florida discovered that ellagic acid, which is found in grapes, dramatically slowed the growth of existing fat cells and the formation of new ones, boosting metabolism of fatty acids in liver cells. But drinking red wine alone isn’t enough, as the ellagic acid only slows fat growth, it doesn’t burn fat. That’s where exercise comes in. In combination the exercise allows you to shed the pounds in the first place and a moderate amount of red wine could help you keep it off.

So don’t swear off wine and beer entirely if you’ve resolved to hit the gym in the new year, simply consume them in moderation. Their benefits could aid in your success.