Are the claims that a glass of red wine is equal to a workout true? As much as we’d like to hope so, the answer is unfortunately, no. It is true that a glass of red wine contains resveratrol, but not enough. Resveratrol certainly offers benefits for good health such as boosts to physical performance, heart function and muscle strength. Still, the amount contained in a glass of wine is not a substitute for a workout.
Although there is resveratrol in red wine it is far less than the amount studied. Researchers found health benefits for rats when they ingested more than 140 milligrams of resveratrol. Those health benefits included better physical performance. By contrast, the amount contained in a glass of red wine is less than two milligrams. That is far too little to be considered a workout substitute or to achieve comparable health benefits.
Still, there are benefits to a glass of red wine
Years of research have shown that red wine can have a positive impact on health. Benefits include reduced likelihood of dementia and cancer. Red wine is also thought to have anti-aging properties as well as compounds that improve heart health and blood sugar. You can realize the same benefits with grape juice and blueberries.
Moderation is the key
Remember that if your goal is to lose weight you will need to take in or burn 3500 calories per pound of intended weight loss. Stated differently, you would need to expend 500 more or eat 500 fewer calories for one week to lose one pound. A 5 ounce glass of wine contains about 125 calories. By contrast walking at a casual pace for 30 minutes burns an average of 75 calories. As you can see the math doesn’t support the substitution.
It isn’t either or
That isn’t to say you shouldn’t drink the wine. Just remember that you shouldn’t drink the wine instead. If you do drink alcohol, do so in addition to exercise rather than as a substitute for exercise. If you do not drink alcohol the purported benefits of red wine are not a reason to start. Resveratrol belongs to a family of plant compounds that offer antioxidants the body needs. But, as stated earlier you can find resveratrol in other foods, such as peanuts, grapes with red skin and berries, so you get the benefits without the booze.