Study: Hit the Gym Hard, Hit the Bottle Harder

Study shows that exercise correlates with drinking more alcohol

Flickr/Jason Scragz

Hitting the gym can take the energy out of you. And sometimes after an intensive workout, a nice cold boozy beverage can really hit the spot. But, what if your time in the gym is actually pushing you to drink alcohol.

A recent study at Northwestern Medicine has found that on the days when people exercise more, they drink more alcohol too. Typically, the days we exercise also correlate with the weekend (Thursday-Sunday) but, along with weekend activities does come increased physical activity.

Related: 10 Signs Your Workouts Are Ineffective

Participants ages 18-89 used smartphones to record their physical activity and alcohol use at the end of the day. They did this for 21 days straight at three different points in the year. In previous studies, the data is usually relied on 30-day self-reporting from participants. Those studies have concluded that physically active people tend to drink more alcohol, but this study went one step further to find that it actually correlates with the day you are physically active.

Lead author of the study, David D. Conroy, thinks we need to figure out how to use physical activity effectively without having these adverse effects. He plans to continue his study at the Center for Behavior and Health at Feinberg in hopes to discover what drives people to drink on the days of more exercise.

Is it because of a sense of reward? Is it the social situation? Whatever the answer may be, Conroy is determined on finding the connection, and promoting ways to curb alcohol use. 

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