For many fitness gurus, alcohol is the devil: excessive consumption hurts athletic performance, inhibits weight loss, impairs muscle growth, limits growth hormone and testosterone production, delays muscle recovery, and dehydrates the body.
However, in some studies, wine's powerful antioxidant, resveratrol, has been shown to delay aging, decrease chronic inflammation, and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
So how can we enjoy the pleasure and health benefits of wine without compromising fitness goals?
1) Timing: After a killer workout, don't reach for the bottle. The jury is still out on the effects of moderate consumption after workouts, but it makes sense that heavy drinking will negate your hard work. So, create as much time as possible between your most intense workouts and night(s) when you’re enjoying a considerable amount of wine.
2) Drink of Choice: According to Yale-New Haven Hospital, cabernet sauvignon, petite sirah, and pinot noir have the highest antioxidant content. White wines have significantly less antioxidant content, since antioxidants come primarily from grape skins and white wines are fermented without skins. As a rule of thumb, dry wine has more antioxidants than sweet wine and less insulin-spiking sugars.
3) Moderation: The Centers for Disease Control define 'moderate' alcohol consumption as having one 5 ounce serving of wine per day for women, and two per day for men. In The 4 Hour Body, author Timothy Ferris claims moderate wine consumption had no adverse effects on his extreme fitness and health experiments. Everyone handles alcohol differently, so it’s a good idea to experiment, too.
Have any tips for lovers of wine and fitness? Share them here.