New study suggests people who exercise more also drink more
According to a recent study published in the journal Medicine and science in sport and exercise, men with higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness are more than twice as likely to drink a “moderate amount” of alcohol (up to 14 drinks per week) than their less fit peers.
Researchers at the Cooper Institute in Dallas evaluated data from nearly 40,000 Americans, who performed regular aerobic treadmill tests at the Cooper Clinic and answered questions about exercise and drinking habits. ‘alcohol. The research concluded, quite decisively, that the nation’s fittest men and women tend to drink more. And this trend continued at the very top of the scale – “heavy drinkers” (men who had more than 15 drinks per week) also had a higher likelihood of being physically fit.
If these results seem surprising enough to you, you are not alone. The researchers themselves are struggling to understand the correlation and plan to investigate a number of hypotheses. After all, fit people are not more likely to smoke cigarettes, eat fast food, or have a range of other vices that can interfere with their workout. (Like The New York Times Emphasizes, this is a behavioral pattern known as habit grouping. In general, healthy choices lead to healthy choices.)
Yet even though we know that drinking is not a healthy choice, it is certainly a social choice. Consider the “game and a pint” traditions of intramural teams, or the close association between running clubs and local microbreweries. People who are active and on the go may find themselves in situations where alcohol is present more frequently. There are also the elegant justifications that training can provide: since i went to this class i deserve X.
As of yet, there is no scientific connection between a person’s physical form and their ability (or desire) to drink more alcohol. That said, alcohol and exercise ignites a similar “reward center” in the brain, suggesting that people who successfully run four miles may want to maintain the high level when they return home by handing over four beers.
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