Oenologie - Le sport et le vin font-ils vraiment bon ménage ? - Les Grappes

Do sports and wine really mix?

Prejudices have a hard life. Beliefs, as long as they please society and validate a certain lifestyle, spread very quickly. Those concerning wine and health in France are no exception. Is wine good for your health? Can you drink it if you are a sportsman?red winewould be beneficial for health. Some people also claim that they would improve the physical performance of sportsmen and women and allow, among other things, better heart conditions. So, beliefs or scientific truths? Let's go back to these assertions about wine and sport.

A glass of red wine is equivalent to 1 hour of sport: completely FALSE

This statement widely reported since the beginning of the year comes from a Canadian study from the University of Alberta, dating from 2012. It is entitled: " Improvements in skeletal muscle strength and cardiac function induced by resveratrol during exercise training contribute to enhanced exercise performance in rats ":Improvements in skeletal muscle strength and cardiac function induced by resveratrol during exercise contribute to enhanced exercise performance in rats.

Many articles have interpreted from this study that one glass of red wine is equivalent to one hour of exercise. This interpretation is wrong for several reasons:

  • The trial was conducted on rats, not humans. There is no scientific evidence that allows extrapolation to humans.
  • In the study, the researchers compared 2 groups of rats, both of which were subjected to regular exercise for 3 months. One group followed the Resveratrol diet and the other did not. The study in no way replaces physical activity with the Resveratrol injection. At best, it complements it.
  • The rats were not given a red wine diet, but a concentrated diet of the Resveratrol molecule alone. Of course, red wine contains this famous molecule, but not only. All the other compounds contained in red wine cannot simply and so easily be omitted in the interpretations.
  • Finally, Resveratrol levels in red wines in France are on average 5 mg/L. With very long maceration processes, the highest levels can reach 12 mg/L. The rats received a dose of Resveratrol of 4g/Kg of food which is equivalent to 444 bottles of red wine per Kg of food!

The conclusion that one glass of wine is equivalent to one hour of sport is simply wrong. The only conclusion of this study is that a diet with a very high content of Resveratrol combined with sports activity can improve physical conditions... in rats!

Red wine is good for the heart: TRUE and FALSE

This belief, which dates back to the 1990's, is more and more questioned. It is based on the famous French Paradox, highlighted by American medical studies. The population ofSouthwestof France, despite adietvery rich in saturated fats of animal origin, had a lower rate of cardiovascular disease than other populations. This study was surprising in view of the theory that the consumption of saturated fats was responsible for cardiovascular diseases. And since we had to find an explanation: red wine consumption!

Since then, many studies, more or less serious, have examined the effects of polyphenols, Resveratrol and antioxidants contained in red wine. The results are contradictory and the debate is very controversial on this point.

What should be remembered from this debate: some compounds contained in red wine, polyphenols, Resveratrol and antioxidants, could be good for the heart, by promoting blood fluidity, reducing inflammation, decreasing lipid oxidation or dilating the vessels. But there are other compounds in wine that should not be overlooked, especially alcohol: is it also good for the heart?

Is mixing wine and sport good for your health? Quite good

This statement is based on several studies: the Canadian study of the University of Alberta and a Czech study conducted in 2012.

According to these studies, it is not the consumption of red wine alone that improves the lipid profiles of subjects, but the combination with regular physical activity.

Many doctors recognize the positive effects of red wine. However, on its own, it does not help maintain good health. So wine and sport? Yes, but especially sports!

White wines, rosé wines and Champagnes are much more caloric than red wines: FALSE

Red wine monopolizes the debates on health and sport but what aboutwhite winesandrosé winesandchampagnes? The studies on these products are much less controversial and in fact much less numerous. Simply because they do not contain the famous and beneficial molecules of red wine. Polyphenols, Resveratrol and antioxidants are present in very low doses in these wines.

However,there are no more calories in these wines than in red wines! On average, count between 80 and 90 calories for 100 mL of wine, whatever the color.

Our advice: Wine is above all a product of pleasure. Some compounds can be positive for the body. In moderate doses, it probably does not affect the physical capacities of athletes. But let's not pretend that it improves them! Drink moderately for pleasure, and if you want to consume the famous polyphenols, Resveratrol and antioxidants... eat grapes without moderation!

Manon (Les Grappes)

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