Last updated:

25 July 2023

If the latest headlines are to be believed, a glass of red wine is better than an hour of exercise. In this post I’m breaking it all down.

a glass of red wine is better than an hour of exercise

Reading time:

3 min read

If the latest headlines are to be believed, a glass of red wine is better than an hour of exercise.

In this post I’ll be breaking down the research which led to these revelations.

Of course, if my readers know anything by now it’s to NEVER believe newspaper headlines. After all, these are the same publications which told you carbohydrates cause weight gain, and the same f**ks who gave Twilight a five star review.

Let’s get into it…



The study which caused the headlines came from a team of researchers at the University of Alberta.

They were testing the possible benefits of resveratrol for exercise performance.

So we had four groups of rats.

  • Group A were the control group. They did not exercise and had zero resveratrol.
  • Group B did not exercise but had resveratrol.
  • Group C exercised but did not use resveratol.
  • Group D went all in, both exercising and having resveratrol.

The study itself was actually really well conducted, but it took the media about five minutes to skew the findings and shout “Holy flaps! Drinking wine is better than going to the gym!” (link link link link link).

However, we can see from the results below that the participants who exercised outperformed the others, regardless of whether they used resveratrol. (1)

is red wine better than exercise

But what’s perhaps even more interesting about these results is that the group who used resveratrol alongside exercise yielded slightly great results than the group who exercised without it.

Maybe resveratrol does have some uses in the gym?

Hold your horses on that one, cowboy.

The amount of resveratrol used in the trial was 146mg per lb of body weight. When we adjust this for human subjects this would be 24mg per lb, so a woman weighing 130lbs would need 3120mg resveratrol to match the dose shown to be effective in this trial.

A glass of red wine contains between 4-7mg of resveratrol, so she would need to drink about 445 glasses – at which point she’d be in no fit state to hit the gym and would feel more at home sitting on a park bench next to Rab C. Nesbitt!

red win exercise

is red wine better than an hour in the gym


Don’t believe everything you read in the newspaper.

Resveratrol showed some positive indicators that it can be used to boost performance in the gym, and this study has at least got the ball rolling to see how we can tap into those benefits.

However, we don’t know how to get the most out of it yet so the headlines proclaiming “Wine O’ Clock” are utter bulls**t.

While I’m at it:

  • There’s no such thing as 6 minute abs.
  • Selling weight loss shakes doesn’t make you a coach.

Who Is Russ Howe PTI?


Russ has been a personal trainer in the UK since 2002, and provided both training advice and full programs on this website since 2011.

His work has been featured in Men’s Fitness magazine, and the content on this website led to him being voted one of the world’s top 50 fat loss coaches by HuffPost.

Russ’ days are spent coaching men and women in the legendary Powerhouse Gym, and creating new content for the 109,246 followers of his popular free weekly e-mail, which you can join below!


  1. Dolinsky, V. W., et al. Improvements in skeletal muscle strength and cardiac function induced by resveratrol during exercise training contribute to enhanced exercise performance in rats. J Physiol. (2012)

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