Ever noticed that happy hour gets even happier if you go after a big workout?
Turns out that may not be only your post-spin endorphins: A recent study shows that people who exercise on a given day are more likely to consume alcoholic drinks later that same day. They'll also drink more alcohol than usual after especially high levels of physical activity, like a hard workout.
It's no wonder baseball involves so much beer.
For the 2014 study, researchers from Pennsylvania State University recruited 150 men and women aged 19 to 89. They gave each participant a smartphone app in which they tracked both daily workouts and alcohol consumption for three 21-day periods over the course of a year.
After crunching the resulting data, the researchers concluded that regardless of age, gender or season of the year, the relationship between exercising and drinking alcohol remained consistent: those who engaged in more physical activity drank more, too, albeit moderately.
A separate review of previous studies sheds some light on why we may tend to drink more after exercising. The "high" we get from exercising and the "high" from drinking are similar in some ways, but they're not exactly the same. People who exercise may be seeking to further their post-workout "buzz" by imbibing in a cocktail afterward, the review suggests. But there could be other prompts, too: Maybe we worked out with a team or group and want to celebrate at a bar afterward. Or maybe we only completed the workout because we promised ourselves a glass of wine at the end.
Of course, most kinds of drinking are not encouraged if you're trying to get or stay in shape, and some research suggests that drinking heavily after a workout could impair recovery time and muscle growth. Drinking also affects how much fat you burn, lessening the potency of your workouts overall.
Better stick with beet juice instead -- at least on the regular.
H/T New York Times
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