When you think of someone who exercises a lot, you probably think of that person subsisting on green smoothies, lean protein or something along those lines.
This may be true, but he or she is also likely drinking beer or other alcohol.
Researchers asked 150 men and women ages 18 to 89 to record how much they were drinking and exercising for 21 consecutive days at a time. Throughout the year, study participants recorded their drinking and exercise habits for a total of three 21-day periods.
What did researchers find? Exercisers like to drink. And on days when they exercise more than usual, they also tend to drink more.
This could be because both exercise and alcohol activate the brain's reward centers, according to a study review published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, and when you're feeling those good post-workout feelings, you want to keep the party going with a cocktail.
While you should enjoy your alcohol, make sure you're keeping it moderate -- and not drinking before you work out.
As Greatist explains, drinking before exercising can make it hard for the body to circulate glucose, which is what the body needs to produce energy. In other words, your pre-run beer is probably making you run a lot slower.
And for those of you who like treating yourselves with a drink or two after a hard workout, I have more bad news: Alcohol makes it hard for your muscles to recover.
Yeah, I know this is the least fun news you've heard all week. Sorry, party people!
Citations: Daily Physical Activity and Alcohol Use Across the Adult Lifespan (Health Psychology), The Close Ties Between Exercise and Beer (The New York Times), Exercise and Alcohol Consumption: What We Know, What We Need to Know, and Why it is Important. (Frontiers in Psychiatry), Why Alcohol and Exercise Don't Mix (Greatist), THE FINAL WORD ON DRINKING BEER AFTER A HARD WORKOUT (Men's Fitness)