Within each glass are memories shared, enjoyed, and savored. But how do you know if wine works with your fitness goals? With so much focus on calorie counting, it’s tempting to focus on how a glass of wine fits with your calorie deficit. We’ve prepared a Wine Calorie Chart for your easy reference, but keep reading to learn about the other benefits of wine.
Wine is a lower calorie drink compared to other alcoholic beverages like cocktails or beer, especially when you stick with lower alcohol, lower sugar options like Albariño, Champagne, or Muscadet Sèvre et Maine. However, you pack other benefits such as increased cognitive function, decreased immflamuation, and lowered risked of heart disease, red wine could be the right option for your overall health goals.
Here is a list of the common wine types and their calorie count per 5oz pours (150 ml):
With this chart, you can definitely enjoy a glass of fine wine while sticking with your healthy lifestyle goals. The American Heart Association (2019) explained that the health benefits of drinking wine can come from moderate consumption. If you stay true to the suggested intake of no more than 1 to 2 drinks per day for men and 1 for women per day, you can reap its health benefits.
Health Benefits of Drinking Wine
Drinking healthy wines is associated with lowered risks of heart diseases, stroke, cancer, and cognitive disorders. This is because wine is rich in resveratrol, anthocyanins, flavonols, and catechins which are forms of antioxidants that can protect your cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Wine lowers your bad cholesterol, keeps your heart healthy, regulates your blood sugar, and sharpens your memory.
Wine also plays a role in boosting longevity. In fact, in a study by Grønbaek, Becker, et al (2000), it was found that wine drinkers had a lower mortality rate from both coronary heart diseases and cancer than those who avoided wine. Heart attack risks can be reduced with red wine since it has tannins that feature procyanidins helpful in protecting against heart problems.
Which wines are healthiest?
Red wines from Sardinia and southwest France are found to have more procyanidins than others. Sardinians have Cannonau wine which has 2 to 3 times the level of artery-cleaning flavonoids. Minimal doses of this antioxidant-rich drink could explain the fewer heart attacks and lower stress levels of Sardinian nationals (Simonetti, Pietta, et al, 1997). They simply enjoy it by being surrounded with good friends and healthy food.
Wine & Cognitive Function
Many people enjoy their wines with a good book as it helps in their concentration and focus for as long as one glass does not turn into three or into one bottle. This is similar to hitting two birds with one stone since both reading and a little glass of wine can help slow down cognitive decline.
The resveratrol, the polyphenol found in grape skin, is known to combat risks of not only cancer and heart diseases but also dementia. Resveratrol helps to prevent formations of brain plaques in dementia patients.
Notably, moderate wine consumption was also found to have the strongest protective effect against developing eye cataracts that may require surgery. Chua, Luben, et al (2021) revealed that this might be due to the abundance of polyphenol antioxidants that red wines have.
Wine & Fitness
Resveratrol in red wine can also enhance exercise training, performance and might be equivalent to an hour at the gym. The University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry (2012) mentioned that resveratrol could mimic exercise for wine drinkers or improve the benefits of exercise that they can do. They found out that natural compound resveratrol improved physical performance, heart function, and muscle strength.
This, however, does not mean you can already abandon your neighborhood gym for the nearest wine bar since nothing can really replace the benefits of a good workout. But adding a glass of wine after an exercise routine can help with your digestion and soothe sore muscles making you less sensitive to pain. Wine can also provide for good bacteria, even for those who are gluten-sensitive. Wines are technically gluten-free, although some gluten contaminants may be introduced during fining or filtering (which happens in rare frequencies).
Social Benefits of Wine Drinking
There is indeed a long list of health benefits brought by wine and in this digital age where happy hours are done virtually, by video chats. It was also found that drinking wine with friends allows for more health benefits than drinking alone because it fosters communication and social interaction.
A study by Balsa, Homer, et al (2008) shed light to the fact that increased social activities produce positive health outcomes and these social events are usually assisted with moderate wine drinking. It is not a surprise since wines unite people and commemorate an experience. This makes the gift of wine even more powerful!
All in all, remember that wines should not be overindulged to grape-pick its many benefits. An occasional glass can promote longevity and spare you from diseases and harmful inflammation, but it’s all about the balance!
About the Author
Aussy Aportadera is pursuing the unhurried life in the beachside town of La Union, Philippines. After a career in communications and publishing for luxury lifestyle, food, and wine, she is now a yoga teacher and co-owner of a ceramics brand.