Does Exercise Encourage People to Drink Beer? Or Vice Versa?
The question has long been in dispute: Does exercise encourage people to drink, or does drinking encourage people to exercise?
To address the matter, researchers at Pennsylvania State University, turned to a group of 150 adult men and women between the ages of 18 and 75.
Participants filled out extensive questionnaires about their lifestyles, and were provided with a simple smartphone app that could be used to record a day’s drinking and exercise activities. The app would automatically send each day’s report to the scientists.
Over the course of about a year, covering different seasons, each study participant completed three of these 21-day reports.
The results showed a clear correlation between exercising on any given day and subsequently drinking, especially if someone exercised more than usual. As the scientists write in their study, published recently in Health Psychology, “people drank more than usual on the same days that they engaged in more physical activity than usual.”
A second study reinforces the Penn State findings. Published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, the review found that in lab rodents, both exercise and alcohol have been shown to increase activity in parts of the brain related to reward processing. In short, the animals seem to get a thrill out of both exercise and drinking.
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