Drinking More Makes You Exercise More

Scientists aren’t sure why but research shows that people who drink more are more likely to exercise longer and more intensely.

“Drinking is associated with a 10.1 percentage point increase in the probability of exercising vigorously,” said the study published in The American Journal of Health Promotion. “Heavy drinkers exercise about 10 more minutes per week than current moderate drinkers and about 20 more minutes per week than current abstainers.” Furthermore, “an extra episode of binge drinking increases the number of minutes of total and vigorous physical activity per week for both women and men.”

Scientists theorized that perhaps people who drink more exercise more to burn off the calories, that heavy-drinkers and heavy-exercises are drawn to a “sensation-taking lifestyle,” or, that both exercise and drinking stimulate similar reward systems in the brain.

Whatever the case may be, the next time someone gets on your case about having a drink you can say, “Hey, I’m just trying to stick my New Year’s resolution to get in shape, man.”

Do alcohol consumers exercise more? (abstract) [American Journal of Health Promotion]
Phys Ed: Does Exercising Make You Drink More Alcohol? [NYT]


Edit Your Comment

  1. rpm773 says:

    They’re drunk. Alcohol’s a depressant. It takes them longer to realize how much exercise sucks.

    /I’ll show myself out.

  2. FatLynn says:

    What about “people who get into relationships stop trolling bars and no longer bother trying to look good”?

  3. ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

    For my own part- I find that heavy drinking puts me in a position where I’ve been so “under” (as in, affected by the depressive effects of alcohol) that once I come out through to the other side, I start itching to go do things. Also, experienced drinkers, and the people who tend to become experienced drinkers are less susceptible to hangovers.

  4. idx says:

    I just popped in here to say what the hell is going on in that picture?

  5. zomgorly says:

    Maybe its just that the heavy drinker are more social since they are probably out more and are more image conscience so they spend the extra time in the gym.

  6. dolemite says:

    Or they are all guidos that live on the Jersey Shore and their day consists of laundry, gym, bar.

  7. bogartbrown says:

    No, no it doesn’t.

  8. sonneillon says:

    I think that their causal relationship is flawed.

    Single men drink more than married men.
    Single men exercise more than married men.
    I think the relationship is single versus married and not alcoholics vs alcoholics for exercise.

    Also after a good hour of exercise I want a drink.

  9. mbgrabbe says:

    Its because some people are just more extreme than other… SOMOS EXTREMOS!

  10. Blueskylaw says:

    Work – reward relationship?

  11. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    There are recent studies that show drinking wine improves one’s health. But one possible explanation offered by researchers is that the wealthy tend to drink wine more than other alcohols, and that they tend to drink more frequently (versus the poor who don’t drink the prescribed one glass a day, instead combing all their allotted drinks into one night a week, twice).

    Similarly, it’s possible that because the wealthy tend to drink more, than the wealthy are able to, and care more about, their outward appearance.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Sorry, to clarify regarding the wine study: The wealthy, who drink more wine, also have more money to afford good health care. The researchers suggested that wine = health could be a false correllary.

      • dolemite says:

        Just what I was thinking. People that drink wine tend to also have nice jobs and nice healthcare.

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        Thank you. The problem with behavioral research (and I know, that was my field for a while) is that correlation ≠ causality…but that usually doesn’t stop researchers from providing their opinions right alongside their data analysis.

  12. c!tizen says:

    When you’re in good shape you can make that early morning “walk of shame” a quick sprint.

  13. FrinkLemur says:

    Correlation != Causality.

    In a study of buggy drivers in rural Pennsylvania, it was discovered that most buggy drivers were wearing black. Therefore, driving a buggy makes you wear black. Scientists have theorized that this is so that the drivers’ outfits will match the buggies.

    It has nothing to do with them being Amish.

  14. carlathecommander says:

    I’m not sure about this study. When I didn’t exercise I drank heavily. Now that I do Crossfit 4-5 times a week, I still drink, but not nearly as much nor as often. The only difference is I don’t feel as guilty about it.

    I do seem to get the same relaxation feeling out of heavy exercise that I do from drinking.

  15. AllanG54 says:

    I remember back when I was about 20 and drinking 40 to 50 beers a week or so because I was at the bar four nights a week and at the bar that was in the student union building at college when I had a break between classes not exercising at all. Maybe it was because I was too busy running around and working three jobs when I wasn’t attending classes and didn’t need to burn off those extra calories.

  16. wam says:

    Repeat after me, “Correlation does not imply causation.” Abstract of the paper says: “Our results strongly suggest that alcohol consumption and physical activity are positively correlated. The association persists at heavy drinking levels.” This does *NOT* mean “Drinking makes you exercise more”.

  17. lance55 says:

    If I can beat my hangover to the gym on Saturdays and Sundays, I usually get a really, really good workout in. It is extremely odd.

  18. jamster says:

    I must exercise the most!

  19. ahecht says:

    Is this about drinking alcohol, or just fluid intake? The article never specifies.

    • osiris73 says:

      Um, if you’d actually RTFA, no wait… if you’d even read the *title* of TFA you’d see it was about alcohol. I’m not one to tell people to RTFA, but jesus, it was even in the title.

  20. JG2002 says:

    they really studied this. what a waste of time.

  21. thekevinmonster says:

    The only reason I ever drank hard and regularly was social pressure from people I was living with. The only reason I ever exercised hard and consistently was social pressure from people I was living with.


  22. JustMyPOV says:

    So all those bottles in my spin class aren’t filled with water?

  23. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    Work hard, play hard…

  24. oldtaku says:

    Well, you’ll workout longer and harder after a drink, assuming you aren’t such a lightweight that one drink renders you tipsy. And after that long hard workout you could sure use a beer.

  25. Erich says:

    This TOTALLY explains Guidos!

  26. Chaosium says:

    Correlation is not causation. Drinking does not *make* you exercise.

  27. Papa Bear says:

    That study is flawed. Heavy drinkers do not exercise more than anyone else. As a former heavy drinker, I can tell you that most heavy drinkers talk far more about what they do than actually doing anything. Ask a heavy drinker something about themselves and nine times out of 10 he or she will exaggerate about it. That is a symptom of alcoholism – exaggeration about the things you do to compensate for the fact that you are not doing anything but drinking.

  28. mob3000 says:

    That’s funny. The first gym membership I ever signed up with was after I’d had about five beers. I really wanted to start a fitness regimin and so I went down the road to the 24 hour fitness and signed up right away and got on the treadmill

  29. okt says:

    None of the cited material supports the claim “Drinking More Makes You Exercise More”. In fact, the study on mice actually suggested excercise makes you drink more.

    How does a site that is devoted to nitpicking corporations misleading advertising and product claims post a headline like this?

  30. UnlockYourDollar says:

    Not the correlation that most people want us to make, but it is an interesting finding. I assume that those that drink heavily live under the mantra: “Work Hard, Play Hard.”

  31. MadConsumer says:

    Why do we have beer belly then?

  32. nkdeck07 says:

    College kids binge drink a lot and they also work out a lot, does this seem like it might be affecting the study in any way?