Well Being

Don’t Bother Working Out, It Will Just Make You Booze Harder

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working out causes us to drink moreIf you're anything like me, you reward a particularly intense workout with a beer. Or several. As it turns out, wanting to knock back a few drinks after the gym is a pretty common habit. Talk about getting motivated to hit the treadmill.

A new study by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine found that people tend to drink more on days that involve some form of exercise—typically Thursday through Sunday, which to me sounds suspiciously like the weekend. The study culled data from 150 participants aged 18 to 89 and who used a smartphone app to monitor both their physical activity and their alcohol consumption. 

Previous studies have found that the more active we are, the more likely we are to be, well, lushes. Which makes sense, when you think about it—that whole work hard, play hard mentality that society collectively lives and dies by.

When researchers took into account that duh, obviously people drink more toward the end of the week, they adjusted for alcohol-fueled social events, drinking primarily on weekends, and the time of year and still found that the relationship between working out and boozing remained unchanged.

So, what's it mean?

“It could be that people who are more physically active on a given day have to use all their willpower and cognitive resources to get themselves to be active, and they don’t have enough willpower left to resist the temptation of a drink at the end of the day,” said David E. Conroy, lead study author.

Other reasons we're all detoxing to re-tox? If you work out with a buddy, going for a drink post-gym stretches out your social agenda. For some, alcohol is viewed as a reward for a job well done. And for a few tragically misinformed, alcohol is (mistakenly) seen as a way to replenish fluids. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I guess just carry on with your normal working out/binge drinking routine, because that's my plan. Cheers.

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