The notion of drinking a glass of red wine each day to avoid doing exercise has been around for quite a while. Every time a new study comes out – and sometimes even when one hasn’t – it hits the news cycle and circulates social media. However, can drinking wine really replace exercise? Does it even help at all?
The Wine Vs. Exercise Experiment
In a study, 4 groups of rats were monitored. 2 groups were sedentary (inactive), while the other 2 groups exercised. However, one group from each side also had resveratrol – a phytochemical in red wine that is known to be beneficial to your health – whereas the others were left as they were.
The results speak for themselves. The rats that took resveratrol did better than those that didn’t in both the sedentary and exercise groups. However, the rats that exercised without resveratrol still outdid the rats that took only resveratrol without any exercise. There is a noticeable jump between the scores for the two groups..
By setting a base rate of 1.0 (sedentary with no resveratrol), we can say that the sedentary with resveratrol group scored 1.25. Then there is a significant difference, as the exercise with no resveratrol group scored 4.0, while the exercise with resveratrol scored 4.1.
Is Red Wine As Good As Exercise?
No. With the difference in body mass between rats and humans, 146mg of resveratrol per kilogram in body weight for rats equates to approximately 24mg per kilogram in body weight in humans.
Assuming that there is approximately 7mg resveratrol in a 125ml glass of wine, you would have to drink 229 litres in order to simply reach the relative levels of resveratrol as in the experiment. That is 1300 glasses of wine… in a day.
The study itself was well conducted and has pushed for greater research in this area, especially as phytochemicals and exercise is becoming an increasingly interesting field of scientific research. As a result, new discoveries are likely to be made on the effectiveness of phytochemicals, but its widespread knowledge highly depends on how well it is portrayed in the media.
So, as wonderful it would be, the plain fact is that the resveratrol in a glass or two of red wine is nowhere near enough to match the health benefits of exercise. By calculating the amount of resveratrol needed for a human to match the effects it has on test rats, you can see that you are likely to get alcohol poisoning long before resveratrol starts to affect you.
In short, it is much more advisable to exercise regularly with a good diet. Studies show that enjoying red wine in moderation can be a good thing as it is high in antioxidants and can lower the chances of inflammation or developing heart disease. So, you can still enjoy it as part of a healthy lifestyle – just don’t expect too much from it.
Many people believe that drinking a glass of red wine is as good for you as doing exercise – this simply isn’t true.
In a study, it showed that rats that took resveratrol in exercise and non-exercise groups did better than those that didn’t.
However, rats that did exercise without resveratrol still outperformed the rats that took only resveratrol – it shows exercise is vastly better than simply drinking a glass or two of the vino!