Do Gym Rats Booze More?
Oddly enough, heavy exercisers might, new studies find
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2011 11:50 AM CST
Turns out heavier drinking is actually associated with heavier exercise.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – Binge drinking and exercise don't exactly seem like they'd go hand-in-hand—but according to two recent studies, they might. In one, rats that exercised on a wheel for three weeks drank more alcohol once the wheel was removed than rats who had never been given access to a wheel. And a survey of adults found that "drinking is associated with a 10.1 percentage point increase in the probability of exercising vigorously." The study's authors also noted that heavy drinkers exercise an extra 20 minutes per week more than abstainers, the New York Times reports.

Why? It could be that drinkers enjoy a “sensation-taking lifestyle,” including alcohol and vigorous exercise. Perhaps they’re playing group sports, then drinking afterward. Or maybe, researchers speculate, they’re simply trying to make up for all those liquid calories through exercise. And even though indulging in heavy drinking is not recommended, there is an upside to this connection: Another study shows that exercise can lower the number of brain cells lost to drinking … though, on the flip side, drinking also tends to lower the number of brain cells gained by exercising.

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Showing 3 of 6 comments
Aitchondo
Jan 5, 2011 5:38 PM CST
Do Gym Rats Booze More? I know that mine do. Heard the one about the sandwich who walked into a bar? Bartender said, "We don't serve food here." I'll drink to that.
vjh
Jan 5, 2011 3:04 PM CST
This is why I don't exercise.. I want to cut down on my drinking..
nostereotypes
Jan 5, 2011 12:39 PM CST
My gym has cup holders on the machines and I was quickly informed that they were for water bottles not my beer bottle........I need a beer. On another note; thank god someone with less of life than me put this study together. Not sure how we would have survived without this information.