By Christina | September 1, 2009
When you picture avid exercisers in your mind, you don’t think of party animals usually. People who exercise regularly surely must eat egg whites, drink protein shakes, and favor green tea as their beverage of choice. Or so you would think.
Who knew that people who drink alcohol regularly are more likely to be exercisers than people who abstain from alcohol entirely? A recent study came out showing a direct correlation between drinkers and exercisers. What is even more shocking is that the findings showed that the more people drank, the more likely they were to exercise regularly and the more intensely they were likely to push themselves during their workouts.
Before you run for the closest bottle of vodka, take a step back for a moment and assess these findings. Perhaps people who drink alcohol, even to excess, exercise more than their teetotaler counterparts because of the excess calories they consume when they are drinking. Alcohol has a lot of calories, especially if frozen concoctions like margaritas and daiquiris are involved. Even wine and beer, when heavily consumed, pack a major caloric punch. More significantly, if you drink too much you are more likely to eat too much and it is highly unlikely that the food you find yourself binging on after a late night out is broccoli.
Another reason not to run to the nearest bar after you analyze this data is that it intellectually doesn’t make sense. Whatever health benefits you garner from vigorous, daily exercise is trumped by the negative effects of overconsumption of alcohol to your body. It has been shown that drinking wine in moderation is not deleterious to your overall health and can even be heart-healthy. However, drinking to oblivion is toxic to your liver and dangerous to your well-being and the well-being of those around you.
The fact that the more you drink means the more likely you are to exercise intensely and consistently is not a license, in my book, to drink to excess. Like anything else, everything is fine in moderation. Eat well most of the time, get plenty of sleep, and exercise regularly. If you do all of those things, gp ahead and enjoy an occasional glass of wine. It is not going to negatively impact your health in the long run.