Science Has It: Drinking Red Wine
Enhances Exercise Performance
Can it really be true? You mean, you can just have a glass of red wine and avoid those sweat drenching sessions at the gym? Well, not exactly, but recent studies have shown that red wine does contain one ingredient which has revealed certain health benefits in recent tests. Let us have a look at what these experiments show and look at the pros and cons of that seductive glass of red wine.
First, the good news
We need antioxidants because they can neutralize the free radicals in the body, which damage healthy cells. Fruit and vegetables have generous supplies. But red wine also has quite a few. These are called polyphenols, one of which is resveratrol. This latter one has attracted scientists’ attention. Why?
A University of Alberta study showed that high doses of resveratrol produced similar benefits for the heart and muscular strength as physical exercise.
Now imagine older and disabled people who just cannot get the benefits of physical exercise. If they get enough resveratrol through consuming red wine, nuts, raspberries and mulberries, then that would be a great boost for their health. Researchers say that it might even be possible to take a supplement containing the correct dosage of resveratrol but more studies need to be done.
If you are a teetotaller and want to get the same benefits for your heart, muscles and joints, then try red grape juice instead. Yes, alcohol in small quantities can help to keep cholesterol levels right, prevent blood clots and preserve arteries.
Now, the bad news
Well, not bad news exactly but just a few notes to put all this research into perspective so that you do not abandon the gym for your local wine bar.
Most of the research on resveratrol has been done on animals and in test tubes, and they are not yet able to judge the effects on humans in the long term.
The effects on older people are not yet proved. Dr. Richard Semba, from John Hopkins University School of Medicine, carried out research on 800 senior citizens in the Chianti region in Italy, where red wine is plentiful. But after 11 years, he came to the conclusion that those with higher levels of resveratrol were not protected in any significant way from dying of cancer or heart disease. Those with lower levels had better heart health, he found.
Another great benefit of having a glass of red wine after your workout is that it can help digestion and add to the good bacteria in your intestines. In addition, you will be able to considerably reduce your risk of getting cancer and it will help your mind to stay alert.
That glass of red wine can also help to soothe those sore muscles and make you less sensitive to pain. As in all things, moderation is the key.