Researchers say an ingredient in red wine can mimic the effects of exercise.

Image: CBS.

‘Tis the season to be jolly — and for many of us, a cheeky glass of wine goes hand-in-hand with Christmas cheer.

Yes, it’s a treat, but don’t feel too guilty about the indulgence. Because thanks to science, there’s a rather compelling reason to enjoy your favourite red over the break.

According to research by the University of Alberta, a natural compound found in red wine has physical benefits similar to what you’d gain from “extensive” endurance training.

In their study published in the Journal of Physiology, the scientists found high doses of resveratol improved physical performance, heart function and muscle strength in mice. This compound is also found in some fruits and nuts, so there’s your excuse to have another slice of Christmas cake — just in case.

Watch: A ridiculously simple, no-bake Christmas cake recipe. You’re welcome. (Post continues after video.)

“We were excited when we saw that resveratrol showed results similar to what you would see from extensive endurance exercise training,” wrote principal investigator Jason Dyck.

“We immediately saw the potential for this and thought that we identified ‘improved exercise performance in a pill’.”


Basically, resveratol can mimic the effects of exercise to some degree. So interpret that as you will when you’re pouring out a glass of shiraz over Christmas lunch.

Merry Christmas, red wine lovers.


According to Science Daily, the team will continue their research to see whether the compound could be used to help people who want to exercise but aren't physically capable of doing so. Note we said "aren't physically capable", not "just can't be bothered", so don't get too excited there.

If you're the kind of gal who's choose a margarita over wine any day, we also have some information that'll please you.

Research by the American Chemical Society concluded that agavins, a kind of naturally-occuring sugar found in tequila, are non-digestible. This means they can't raise your blood sugar level — and there are some positive consequences for people who struggle to manage their weight or who live with type 2 diabetes. (Post continues after gallery.)

As Delish reports, the researchers also experimented with two groups of mice. The ones that ate a standard diet and then drank water with agavins added ate less and had lower blood sugar levels than the other group, which weren't given any agavins.

They also produced a hormone called GLP-1, which produces insulin and keeps the stomach feeling full for longer. That's not an excuse to do tequila shots around the Christmas tree, but you have to admit it's interesting.

What's your favourite drink to accompany Christmas lunch?