Modern living is incredibly busy, so after a long day at work the last thing most people want to do is put on their workout clothes and spend an hour running, cycling or lifting weights.
What most people are more likely to do is kick back with their feet up, stick a good film on and enjoy a glass of red wine.
“A good wine has many qualities, I think. If drunk moderately, it is healthy and good for your heart.”
– Tom Araya
Whilst it might sound too good to be true, a recent study by researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada has shown that a compound found in red wine, resveratrol, could be offering your body some of the same gains as an hour of working out does.
Obviously, if you are a gym bunny who is dedicated to making muscle gains, we absolutely wouldn’t advise tossing aside the weights, binning the protein shake and drinking a glass of red wine each day for every hour you would usually spend in the gym. That’s only going to end horribly!
For some time, the health benefits of one small glass of red wine a day have been discussed yet most people would quote this without really knowing why it could be good for them. This is where we turn to the researchers who have spent time looking into this.
They have found that in red wine there are a number of different polyphenols – the scientific word for antioxidants – which are thought to help protect the blood vessels in your heart. It’s the polyphenol called resveratrol that is the one we want to look at in particular.
Not unlike an hour of cardio or some light strength training, resveratrol is thought to both boost the heart rate and also increase muscle performance.
“I’ve always wanted to improve on the idea of living well, In moderation, wine is good for you – mentally, physically, and spiritually.”
– Robert Mondavi
Whilst the idea that just drinking a glass of red wine instead of working out at all is questionable, this discovery could be particularly promising for anyone who is incapable of a full-on workout as resveratrol could boost the benefits of whatever small amount of exercise they are capable of.
Looking further into the benefits of resveratrol, research has shown that it can offer protection of the blood vessels, as well as reducing the bad LDL cholesterol. Other research has shown that resveratrol can reduce any risk of inflammation and clotting of the blood which both leading causes of heart disease.
Whilst this is all incredibly promising for anyone who loves a glass of red in the evening from the brand new wine cooler or even old cellar, there are other studies which were unable to find that resveratrol could prevent heart disease.
Whilst a glass of red wine a day sounds lovely to some people, it’s important to still be aware that it does count towards your recommended daily allowance of alcohol so don’t go sinking a few bottles with the mindset you’ll have a ripped, healthy body in no time.
If anything it’s likely to go the other way! It’s always good to remember that balance is important and the famous phrase ‘everything in moderation’ rings true here.
Feel free to enjoy a small glass of red wine every day, but ensure you are doing so as part of a healthy balanced diet with plenty of fruit and veggies as they are packed full of nutrients and will alkalize your body – diseases struggle to thrive in an alkaline environment!
If you are able to, it is very important to exercise every day, even if it’s only for a short amount of time. Studies suggest that even a small amount of exercise every day can lower the risk of an early death by 20 percent.
If you can manage around 150 minutes per week, this jumps to a 31 percent drop, so even if you are going to enjoy that glass of wine, why not earn it first.
To recap, a glass of red alone isn’t going to give you that perfectly toned, healthy body. If you make sure you are eating right, working out and looking after yourself then you’ve earned a glass of red of an evening. Even if it doesn’t offer any fitness gains, it will certain help you relax after a long day.
“But nothing beats a Woody Allen film on a Sunday night, with a glass of wine and some leftovers.”
– Kate Fleetwood
A longtime vegan, red wine advocate and health ambassador. Member of a team of freelance writers from New York publishing tips and recipes for the Secrets of Vegan Baking blog and product reviews for Consumerion site.