Exercise and Drinking Alcohol

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Researchers from the National Institute of Public Health in Denmark studied 12,000 men and women over a period of 20 years.

They were specifically interested in understanding what correlation, if any, there was to exercising, drinking alcohol and heart disease.

The results are quite interesting.

The groups with the highest risk for heart disease are those who didn’t drink and didn’t exercise.

Those who didn’t drink but exercised AND those who drank in moderation but didn’t exercise represent the next level of risk relative to heart disease.

The lowest groups at risk for heart disease are those who exercise and drink in moderation.

Why do those who abstain from alcohol but exercise fall into a riskier group? No one knows for sure but we can hypothesize that abstainers aren’t receiving the medicinal benefit of alcohol. Those who abstain generally don’t go out and socialize as much as moderate and heavy drinkers. This might also have something to do with it.

The Mayo Clinic defines moderate drinking as 1-2 alcoholic drinks for women per day and 2-3 drinks per man per day.

Moderate drinking can promote good heart health. It has been found to increase “good cholesterol” and decrease “bad cholesterol”. It has also been found to decrease blood clotting and increase blood flow.

For moderate drinkers, a BAC Calculator has been developed to help them understand their blood alcohol content percentages.  Moderate drinkers are generally conscientious drinkers who are concerned about drinking, driving and DUI’s.

This BAC Calculator takes into consideration a drinker’s age, weight, height, gender, tolerance, volume of alcohol, duration and hunger. When drinkers understand their BAC percentages for each drink, they are able to make better decisions.

Hunger greatly affects a drinker’s BAC percentages. If you know you are going to the gym the next day but have a night out with friends, it’s strongly recommended that you eat prior to drinking. Food helps slow down the alcohol absorption rate so that you don’t feel the affects as fast. Many people make the mistake of eating at the end of the night which unfortunately is usually something greasy and unhealthy.

For many, working out at the gym and socializing with friends over a glass of wine or beer is an integral part of life.

If this is your lifestyle, you’ll find yourself in the lowest risk group for heart disease (please Google Dr Hanson from Potsdam University for more information.)

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