Thursday, January 6, 2011

Does Exercise Make You Drink More?

I know, the saying – “Hydrate or die.” But people who exercise more seem to drink alcohol more too. At least according to some recent studies.

I wonder if more drinking helps you forget the difficulty of the workout. Or helps you forget that you failed to meet your new exercise goal. Helps you wipe out the pain of failure. Or that’s it’s easier to find friends

to drink with than to exercise with. It’s also quite likely that people just lie about how much exercising they do. I know I have never lied to a phone interviewer. (It is absolutely true I am exercising 24/7. And I would spend more time than that exercising if I could pry the beer can out of my hand.)

Read the article here. I liked this quote:

Drinking and exercising both preferentially alter activity in ‘the mesocorticolimbic neural circuitry,’ she said, a portion of the brain associated with reward. Brain activity patterns there suggest that, for rats and presumably for people, exercise and drinking are rewarding activities; we enjoy doing them (although, in the case of exercise, it may be that we ‘enjoy having done it,’ Dr. Leasure said, since the exercise itself sometimes feels like drudgery). When the exercising rats were deprived of their running wheels and the accompanying rewards, they may have sought a replacement in booze, which lights up the same brain centers.”

(Now if I had a name like Dr. Leasure, I think I would be studying drinking also.)

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