While a nice glass of red wine won’t build muscle or chip away at pre-existing fat stores, it may counteract the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle, and prevent fat storage!
In a 2011 study, scientists trying to find a way to counteract an astronaut’s lack of exercise, found that resveratrol, a polyphenol found in red wine, “prevents the wasting disorders of mechanical unloading by acting as a physical exercise mimetic in the rat.” The scientists simulated the sedentary effects of the space lifestyle (and this is terrible, prepare yourself!) by hanging rats by their hind legs. The control rats (the ones simply hanging) experienced loss of muscle and increased insulin resistance, but the rats fed resveratrol were just peachy! No negative effects from their lack of movement! (although who knows what the hanging upside down part did to them.) So wine may not make you in better shape, but it can at least keep you in the shape you’re in! Works for me!
Even cooler? A 2011 Purdue University study found that a compound in red wine called piceatannol (similar to the more recognized aforementioned Resveratrol) actually discourages the formation of new fat cells! Basically, piceatannol “blocks the pathways necessary for immature fat cells to mature and grow.” The study explains (in more eloquent language) that baby fat cells can take 10 days to mature, but this growth is stunted (and possibly stopped altogether) by piceatannol. This also supports red wine’s correlation to lower body fat levels.
Pour me another glass!