If you’ve always suspected that exercise drives you to drink (#RealTalk), you could be right on the money. People who exercise the most tend to drink the most too – possibly because good vibes you get from exercising and the ones you get from drinking are amplified when you engage in both activities. All this according to a new study that tracked the exercise habits and alcohol intake of 150 adults during three different 21-day spurts, and a separate review of existing research on alcohol and exercise.
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In the study, researchers found that people who prioritize exercise only appear to wear a healthy halo. Just because they work out like it’s their job doesn’t mean they choose exercise over alcohol. More likely, they gym it during happy hour, then pour themselves a heaping glass of wine to reward themselves when they get home, or they take a Saturday morning spin class to compensate for going out hard Saturday night.
But the study didn’t actually look into why formidable fitness habits appear to go hand-in-hand with drinking on the regular. The review examines this connection, suggesting there could be some neurology at play here. J Leigh Leasure, behavioural neuroscientist and associate professor at the University of Houston and the lead author of the academic paper, told The New York Times that the exercise-alcohol combo could trigger an innately desirably neurological high that’s more pervasive and longer-lasting than it would be from an exercise-induced endorphin high or a happy hour buzz. The thing is, this theory has only been tested on animals so far. (So don’t start filling your water bottle with vodka.) (Who would want do to that anyway?) (But seriously – never, ever, ever drink at the gym.)
Luckily, no-one is saying that exercising compels you to drink more. Because that would be crazy! (And world’s best excuse to say, ‘Fuck it, I’ll just make drinking my sport.’)
This article was originally published on Cosmopolitan.com