It would probably be assumed that fit people like to be healthy. They probably drink a lot of water, eat healthy meals, get a good night’s rest, and don’t drink a lot of alcohol. But this assumption is not entirely correct. According to a recent study published by the American College of Sports Medicine, People who are physically fit tend to consume a lot of alcohol.
This cross-sectional study looked at more than 38,000 participants who visited the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas for medical exams over a 31-year period. Through fitness and walking tests, as well as assessments of alcohol dependence, researchers have concluded that those with moderate and high fitness levels consume moderate to heavy amounts of alcohol compared to their less fit counterparts—both men and women. The conclusion of the study recommends that “increasing fitness (through enhanced physical activity) may concomitantly consider targeting reduced alcohol consumption.”
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While the reason behind higher alcohol consumption for fit people is still unknown, researchers have been diving into the link between exercise and alcohol consumption for years.
2015 review in Frontiers in Psychiatry It concluded that physical activity and alcohol use are “functionally related” and adults usually drink more on the days they exercise. Surprisingly, the review also notes that “the research to date does not indicate that this relationship is necessarily detrimental to health in non-dependent individuals.”
Another study in 2016 from British Journal of Sports Medicine He also suggests that exercise can help “uncheck” some of the risk factors associated with drinking – such as a higher risk of death from chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, since it is an observational study, the researchers stated that it “indicates an association” between the two, it would be unwise to make a clear statement given that more research is necessary.
However, several sources suggest that alcohol consumption can negatively affect your physical performance – whether it’s in the gym, exercising, or even in your daily life. While the latest study shows an association between highly fit people and heavy drinking, it doesn’t come to the conclusion that alcohol should be consumed if someone is in good shape — or if they’re otherwise.
On the other hand, the study also doesn’t say that it should be completely ruled out. the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans She recommends that for adults, it’s okay to have low levels of alcohol. Women should limit their consumption to one (or less) drink per day, and men can have up to two drinks. Drinking alcohol in moderation is a daily practice for some of the world’s healthiest people – such as the inhabitants of the Blue Zones whose diets closely resemble the Mediterranean diet, which encourages drinking red wine in moderation.
While more research is needed to understand the relationship between exercise and alcohol consumption, studies to date show that a moderate amount of alcohol consumption for fit people—without dependency—can fit into an overall balanced diet.
For more tips on drinking, read the following: