You probably know by now the basics of a successful fitness routine: exercise regularly, cut out unhealthy foods, minimize alcohol consumption, and stick to a wholesome diet. Now, this might be the recipe to reach your fitness goals whether they are to lose weight and keep it off, or build muscle, but there are a couple of caveats you need to consider. One of these relates to alcohol consumption, wine in particular.
You might have heard over the years just how much the medical and even the fitness community promotes the health benefits of a daily glass of wine. Aside from the obvious fact that its delicious and makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Well, today we’re going to take a look at the health benefits of wine and how, when consumed in moderation, it can benefit your body and mind.
Aids the prevention of heart disease
Over consumption of any substance, especially alcohol, can have serious health consequences and can severely impact your performance in training. So, before you open you first bottle of wine, understand that health comes from moderation. This means that you can indulge in as much as 0.3 litres per day (about two glasses) if you’re a man. And 0.2 litres per day if you’re a woman. Any more, and you’re just getting tipsy for no reason.
As for the health benefits, the first and obvious one is hearth health. Red and white wines are rich in antioxidants, especially resveratrol. Which gives it the majority of its healthful properties. Resveratrol can have numerous health benefits, and one of them is to protect the lining of blood vessels in the heart, supporting proper function and longevity.
Support your weight loss efforts
Fitness and alcohol don’t go well together, which is why you should refrain from overindulging if you want to safeguard your health in the long run and achieve your fitness results faster.
That said, it’s important to note that the inherent health benefits of wine consumption might include faster weight loss, and long-term obesity prevention. That’s only if you stick to a healthy diet and plenty of exercise, of course.
On average, people who enjoy a daily glass of wine tend to have narrower waists, less abdominal and total-body fat, and lower body mass in general. While the jury is still out on whether these effects are causal or not, it’s safe to say that moderate consumption can’t harm your weight loss efforts, and might even accelerate the process.
A good way to alleviate stress
When it comes to battling emotional and psychological stress, wine might just be the thing you need at the end of a long day. There are no specific compounds in wine that suppress the production of cortisol or improve the production of dopamine, aside from the taste itself. Taking a few moments to slowly sip on your favourite wine, red or white, can instil a sense of calm and serenity.
When you’re choosing your wines though, it’s important to research the regions, vintages, and makers in order to discover the tastes that fit your palate. You can start with the most popular regions such as Burgundy that boast a centuries-old wine-making tradition. Because buying a cheap bottle of wine when you’re in the process of discovering your taste preferences is not a good way to experience the benefits of vino. Instead, let the famous regions and labels guide you and help you discover the aromas and taste notes that bring you joy at the end of the day.
Support healthy blood flow
For a long time, medical professionals have been advocating the benefits of red wine, particularly when it comes to healthy blood flow. And they weren’t wrong. Red wine acts as a vasodilator, effectively expanding the blood vessels in your body and helping the blood literally course through your veins more efficiently.
As an athlete, you should know just how important proper circulation is for performance and post-workout recovery. So sipping on a glass of wine each day might just be the thing you need to take your fitness game to the next level. But don’t drink it before a workout, instead, enjoy it before bed.
Increase bone mineral density
Everyone knows that to build stronger bones, you need to exercise, and you need to keep calcium consumption moderately high. While calcium is best absorbed from dairy products such as milk and cheese (the latter goes great with a glass of red wine), it’s important to note that wine also has a role to play here.
Drinking a glass of wine a day may be able to improve bone mineral density in men and women, through ethanol and silicon. However, these effects are only observed through moderate consumption. As overindulging can and will produce the opposite effect.
Keep your cholesterol levels in check
Remember resveratrol, the antioxidant? Well, this little bad boy is also good at regulating the balance between the bad cholesterol (LDL) and good cholesterol (HDL) in your body. Needless to say, elevated LDL leads to numerous health complications the likes of strokes and heart conditions, while the latter will ensure a healthier lifestyle.
Whether you have bad cholesterol as is, or if you simply want to elevate the good cholesterol in your body to become healthier in the long run, wine might be the thing you need.
A glass of wine every day will help lower LDL and improve HDL, which means that you will be able to regulate blood pressure and prevent numerous health conditions as you age. Not to mention that your performance in the gym will improve as a result.
Boost your immune system
And finally, keep in mind that moderate wine consumption can help you ward off the seasonal sniffles, as the antioxidants found in wine can help improve your immune system.
This means less time spent treating a cold, and more time spent in training and reaching for your fitness goals. Again, be sure to stick to the recommended daily dose, as drinking too much will defeat the whole purpose.
For the majority of athletes and fitness enthusiasts, wine might be at the bottom on a long list of “supplements” and dietary guidelines.
However, with these health and performance benefits in mind. Be sure to introduce a healthy glass of wine into your daily routine in order to boost your fitness game, calm your body and soul, and support a long and healthy life.