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Alcohol Doesn't Affect Exercise Performance, Says New Study

Although it may cause you to sing loudly.

In a field predominated by the question “Why?" – Why does exercise lead to a healthier heart? Why is sitting so bad for you? Why does protein build muscle? – a group of intrepid Italian scientists (apparently not too afraid of lawsuits) decided to ask “Why not?”

Their study, published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine, examines how drunk exercise compares with sober workout sessions. It turns out, if you ignore the coordination deficiencies, potential for dehydration, and inclination to Irish jig on top of a bar, caused by alcohol consumption; the booze doesn’t affect exercise performance too much.

The 10 participants in the study, described as “nonhabitual drinkers,” took back three shots of whiskey before stumbling running on a treadmill to their max heart rate. Three days later, they did the same thing sans booze, with only a slight increase in performance based on VO2 max and exercise metabolism.

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The reason the authors decided to study this, according to the research? “The usage of alcohol is widespread, but the effects of acute alcohol ingestion on exercise performance and the stress hormone axis are not fully elucidated.”

In other words, no one’s really done this before. We doubt further research is needed to prove drinking in the gym is still not a very good idea.


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