Sounds too good to be true. We dive into the truth behind this claim.
Red wine contains significant amounts antioxidants, which neutralize healthy-cell-damaging free radicals. Among these antioxidants in wine (called polyphenols) one is known as resveratrol, and it’s been attracting scientists’ attention.
According to “Science Has It: Drinking Red Wine Enhances Exercise Performance” by Robert Locke, “A University of Alberta study showed that high doses of resveratrol produced similar benefits for the heart and muscular strength as physical exercise.” In small quantities, alcohol can help cholesterol levels, prevent blood clots and preserve arteries. However, scientists are not yet able to judge the effects on humans in the long term, as human testing has been limited. These effects on older people are also relatively unknown. A study carried out in the Chianti region of Italy on 800 senior citizens over 11 years was somewhat inconclusive, though it did find that “those with higher levels of reservatrol were not protected in any significant way from dying of cancer or heart disease. Those with lower levels had better health.”
Locke concludes that although having a glass of red wine may benefit your health, it cannot replace all the benefits of a good workout, “In fact, you need some of the bad free radicals released by exercise to help your body to recover and help you improve your performance. After all, exercise will make your heart stronger and that puts less pressure on the arteries, which helps to lower blood pressure.”
The Harvard School of Medicine recommends a glass of red wine as the best way to enhance your exercise regime and it can also have anti-aging properties. Need another reason? Having a glass of red wine after your workout “can help digestion and add to the good bacteria in your intestines…That glass of red wine can also help to sooth those sore muscles and make you less sensitive to pain. As in all things, moderation is key.” Not to mention, all those mood-regulating endorphins released by exercise.
Ultimately, red wine can enhance exercise performance but it cannot replace it. You’ll still need to break a sweat in order to get all those good benefits. Feeling uninspired? It’s difficult to stay engaged in workouts right now, especially if you live somewhere where gyms are still closed, or where it may be uninviting or even impossible to take your workout outside. Our owner, Véronique, has recently found that bouncing on a small trampoline not only accomplishes her exercise goals, it is also a great way to engage with her inner child. Exercising shouldn’t have to be a chore, it can be fun and rewarding too-it’s just about finding what works best for you. And of course, we’ve got you covered when it’s time to reach for that post-workout glass of red.
Locke, Robert. Science Has It: Drinking Wine Enhances Exercise Performance. Life Hack. https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/science-has-drinking-red-wine-enhances-exercise-performance.html