It’s no secret: I like a good glass of wine —or two, three… Because balance, right? But can alcohol hurt your running performance? Obviously, we don’t need to tell you the effects of a bottle a day during training (or any time of the year). Alcohol intake leads to dehydration (hangover, hello?), decreases uptake of glucose and amino acids by the skeletal muscles, adversely affects the body’s energy supply, and impairs metabolic processes during exercise. So, do the health benefits of moderate drinking outweigh the risks?
Moderate drinking is loosely defined as “consumption of fewer than three standard drinks of alcohol per day” —and research has found that this level of intake may offer health benefits. These include positively affecting cholesterol levels and—if you drink wine—supplying your diet with natural phenols, polyphenols and antioxidants that are good for your body, skin and heart. The miracle worker in this case is resveratrol. Since the skin of red grapes contains more of this stuff, red wine is often considered as healthier. However, white wine or rosé have health benefits too.
Advantages of drinking wine —red, white & rose
— Wines rich in resveratrol (especially heavy red wines) lower cholesterol levels by protecting heart and vascular against fatty acids, help prevent dementia brain hemorrhage, and improves endurance.
— Lowers risk of heart and vascular disease (alcohol widens de blood vessels and thins the blood.
— Lowers the risk of cancer, especially prostate and breast cancer. Research showed that 4-7 glasses a week lowers the risk by 52%.
— Increases your good cholesterol HDL (mainly because of the alcohol).
— Boosts your memory and sharpens your mind!
— Antioxidants contribute to a healthy immune system and slow down the aging process. Yay!
— Positive effect on your metabolism.
— Positive effect on your insulin levels and help prevent diabetes type 2
— Wine erotizes and leads to more sex (max. 2 glasses per day)
— Enjoying life clearly has health benefits, reduces stress and is relaxing!
Personally, I’m a realist and not a purist. So if you’re not competing for a spot on the podium and you enjoy a summery rosé or a glass of red wine with your steak, well then, cheers!
What’s your take on drinking and running?