Of all individuals who exercise vigorously, heavy drinkers tend to exercise the hardest.
University of Miami Researchers evaluated the self-reports of 230,000 people nationwide regarding their weekly exercise and drinking habits.
Of those who reported participating in vigorous exercise, men and women who were considered heavy drinkers worked out 10 minutes more than moderate drinkers, and 20 minutes more than non-drinkers.
Vigorous activities include those that strongly increase breathing and heart rates, such as running, aerobics or heavy manual labor.
Almost half of the participants reported that they did not engage in any kind of vigorous exercise in the last 30 days, but nondrinkers were slightly more likely to fall into this group.
According to the study, a heavy drinker was defined as a woman who consumed more than 46 drinks during the 30 days before the interview, or a man who consumed more than 76.
Women who had 15 to 45 drinks per month and men who had 30 to 75 were considered moderate drinkers. A light drinker was a woman who had less than 14 drinks or a male who had less than 29.
Researchers suggested that vigorous exercise and alcohol consumption might be linked because people often go out for drinks together after playing in group sports. They also theorize that heavy drinkers might exercise “to compensate for the extra calories gained through drinking or to counterbalance the negative health effects of drinking.”
The researchers also warn against the problems of excessive drinking or too little exercise. In the short term, drinking can cause dehydration, which athletes need to be mindful of preventing.
“Similar to an unhealthy diet and cigarette smoking, heavy drinking and physical inactivity are two behavioral practices that are strongly discouraged by health professionals because they significantly contribute to preventable chronic disease morbidity and mortality,” said the study authors.
Source: University of Miami