Antioxidant Found in Red Wine May Counter the Negative Effects of Inactivity
If you're unable to exercise for a short time due to injury or some other reason, a glass of red wine might be good for you, a new study suggests. Resveratrol, an antioxidant found in most red wine, has been associated with less muscle and strength loss during inactivity.
Before you go open that bottle of cabernet and settle down on the couch, a few caveats: the study describes experiments done on rats, which may not translate exactly to humans; there's no substitute for exercise; and we still don't know the safe and effective daily doses of resveratrol.
That said, the study did find resveratrol that counteracted detrimental effects of inactivity on the body. The study compared two groups of rats in a simulated weightless environment, akin to spaceflight for astronauts. The suspended control group suffered reduced muscle mass, strength and bone density and also didn't develop insulin resistance while the group fed resveratrol daily were protected from those ill effects.
Some see the study results as a possible reason for NASA to reconsider its "no alcohol in space" policy, while others suggest drinking red wine may be good for people with sedentary lifestyles (" exercise in a bottle?"). That's probably taking it too far, but if for some reason there are barriers to physical activity for you, a glass of red wine (or, probably more effectively, resveratrol supplements) may help.