Cheers! This Study Offers One Guilt-Free Pass to Skip the Gym and Enjoy a Glass of Wine Instead
If you’ve ever been tempted to skip the gym in the name of a much-needed glass of red wine then this study is after your heart – literally.
A study published in the Journal of Physiology suggests that the resveratrol compounds contained in a single glass of red wine may be as beneficial for long-term heart health as a one-hour sweat session at the gym.
Researchers from the University of Alberta found that resveratrol not only mimicked the positive effects of exercise, it increased general endurance and enhanced exercise performance when study participants did hit the gym.
To conduct the study, researchers randomly assigned male rats to either a control chow diet or a test chow diet that included resveratrol, the health-boosting compound found in red wine, grapes and some nuts. The subjects were then placed on a progressive 12-week treadmill regimen and monitored.
Researchers found that the subjects on the test resveratrol diet experienced improved resting left ventricular ejection (blood flow) by 10% and increased exercise performance by 21%. The test group also demonstrated improved muscle function by increasing the force of isometric muscle contraction.
The study authors noted that “These functional changes were accompanied by increased cardiac fatty acid oxidation and favorable changes in cardiac gene expression and signal transduction pathways that optimized the utilization of fatty acids.”
In addition to its ability to mimic the benefits of exercise, resveratrol has also been studied for its ability to mimic the physiological influences of calorie restriction, a practice that has been linked to array of health perks, including enhanced cellular protection, improved muscle function and increased energy.