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.

Is A Glass Of Red Wine Better Than An Hour Of Exercise? Of Course It’s Fucking Not!

Written by Russ Howe PTI, and most recently updated 1 day ago.

3 min read

A new study published in the Journal of Physiology claimed that drinking a glass of red wine is as good for you as an hour of exercise.

Holy fuck!

This claim is total bullshit, as you can probably guess, but that didn’t stop the media running wild with crazy headlines about quitting the gym and declaring Wine O’ Clock (link, link, link, link), so in this article I’ll show you what the researchers actually discovered, instead of what was reported.


The Study Which Led To These Claims

is_red_wine_better_than_exercise

Researchers from the University of Alberta, Canada, set out to test the health benefits of a compound called resveratrol.

This compound is most commonly found in red wine.

They worked with four groups of rodents (not humans) over a 12-week period, splitting them into the following groups:

  • Group A: No exercise + no resveratrol
  • Group B: No exercise + resveratrol
  • Group C: Exercise + no resveratrol
  • Group D: Exercise + resveratrol

At the end of the trial they found that Group D (the test subjects who received regular exercise and resveratrol) saw the biggest improvements in body composition. (1)

is red wine better than exercise

It took all of about ten nano-seconds for the media to go nuts and tell everyone to take up recreational drinking.

However, when we look a little deeper at the results we can see that’s not what the researchers discovered AT ALL.

The first thing we can see here is that the study was done with rodents. These trials should never be taken as golden, because our bodies do not work the same way. Rodent trials are generally the first step to deciding whether a certain topic needs further research (eventually leading to human trials).

We can also see that the results boost caused by resveratrol was very small compared to the boost caused by performing exercise, so you definitely shouldn’t quit the gym.

And finally, when we dig even deeper into the results we can see that the dose used was 146mg per lb of body weight. When we equate this to human size it gives us a dose of 24mg per lb, and this means that a woman weighing 130lbs would need 3120mg resveratrol to replicate how much the rats had in this trial. There’s 4-7mg resveratrol in one glass, so she would have to drink a staggering 445 glasses of red wine to do this, at which point she’d be in no fit state to go to the fucking gym!

In summary, there are definitely some positive signs that resveratrol may be useful for fat loss, but there’s currently no safe way of unlocking those results, so you should discard this study until more research is carried out.

red win exercise

References:

  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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I’m Russ. I’ve been a personal trainer since 2002, and I own russhowepti.com.

My job is to simplify fitness for my readers.

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