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Wine and workouts: YES/NO?

August 3, 2018

When your office gang says “it’s wine o’ clock” they usually mean they’re going to indulge in a tall glass of Shiraz to celebrate the end of another working day. A glass of grape nectar after a long day sounds extremely refreshing, but what about the spinning class you’ve booked for tonight? Would it cancel each other out or is a workout after a glass of adult juice bad for your bod?

Let’s do some investigating! We’ll have to see what the experts say, before we order our next pre/after workout.

Here are the health benefits of drinking wine:

3 Health Benefits of wine

Good for the ticker- People that drink a moderate amount of wine regularly, particularly with food, have a 30% lower risk of heart diseases.

  1. Endorphin boost- Chemically speaking, alcohol stimulates your feel-good hormones. It releases serotonin, dopamine and opioid peptides into your brain, which makes you feel lekker.
  2. Reduces risk of Diabetes – The VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam did research on 639 862 people over a 12-year period. They found that moderate wine drinkers have a 30% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than non-drinkers.

Remember all of the above health benefits only apply if you stick to a glass (maybe two) daily. Overindulging can have the opposite effect on your health (and weight). Pouring fermented grape juice down your throat like it’s a jug of fresh aqua might be delicious, but it can be destructive.

Okay, so in general moderate amounts of wine is good for you, but what about a glass before or after you hit the gym?

Before the gym…

According to Irene Lewis –  McCormack, an exercise physiologist and international fitness educator, booze affects your performance (exercise wise- get your head out of the gutter!) . Your body uses glucose for fuel and that fuel gets stored in your liver. Alcohol, incidentally, also gets metabolized in the liver, which means that alcohol affects your ability to use your glucose. As a result, you’re not going to get the energy you need, and you simply just won’t function on an optimal level.

In addition to the lack of energy, you’ll also dehydrate fast, because alcohol makes you lose water and exercise makes you sweat like a dunk convict stuck in a roadblock… in Kazakhstan.

After the gym…

“Red red wine, you make me feel so fine”. Researchers have found that wine releases endorphins into our brains that we use to reward motivation for working out. If we consume a glass of wine straight after a sweat session, our body remembers and wants to replicate the action again and again. This means, we, subconsciously encourage ourselves to hit the gym the next day in order to have a bevvy again following the workout.

Please note: Moderation is still key here. A hangover the next morning can keep you away from the weights.

The verdict

One glass of wine before or after a workout won’t kill you, but it’s better to avoid the combo. Your heart and liver will thank you for it. Make a choice between a glass of ruby delight or a date with the bar (not the alcoholic kind). Choose wisely!

“Everything in moderation, including moderation.” -Oscar Wilde

 

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