I was never much of a wine drinker until my first year in professional basketball when I was living in Macedonia. The town I lived in was famous for grapes, and drinking wine was a regular part of life. After learning more about the health effects of drinking wine, I discovered that in moderation drinking red wine had particular health benefits.
However, there is still some debate about the health benefits of drinking wine before bed, or drinking alcohol at all.
Keep reading below to learn more!
Resveratrol – The Reason for the Health Benefits of Red Wine
Before I discuss more about drinking red win before bed, it is important that you understand resveratrol- the compound responsible for most of the benefits of wine.
Resveratrol is a naturally occurring polyphenolic compound, commonly found in high amounts in red wine.
Resveratrol most notably comes from grapes, and it is mainly concentrated in their “peel.” Due to this, the highest concentrations of resveratrol are found in red wines, because they red wines are produced from the fermentation of juice together with fruit skins.
Although drinking red wine has other health benefits outside of resveratrol, resveratrol is a very effective antioxidant and non-toxic fungicide (anti-fungal).
Aside from these two benefits, using resveratrol supplements has shown other unique health benefits.
For example, according to a study produced in Cell Metabolism,
“30 days of resveratrol supplementation induces metabolic changes in obese humans, mimicking the effects of calorie restriction.”
Furthermore, as stated by a study published in Nutrition Research,
“oral supplementation of resveratrol is thus found to be effective in improving glycemic control and may possibly provide a potential adjuvant for the treatment and management of diabetes.”
If you would like to obtain some of the impressive benefits of drinking red wine before bed without drinking red wine itself, supplementing with resveratrol is a great option.
Here is an example of a great resveratrol supplement:
Health Benefits of Drinking Red Wine
Check out these general health benefits of red wine and reasons you should consume red wine before you go to sleep!
Red Wine Improves Longevity
Besides heart health, there are other reasons to enjoy a glass of red wine nearly every day!
Research has shown that people who drink a glass of wine a day tend to live much longer and have healthier lives. According to a study produced by the American College of Cardiology,
“light and moderate alcohol intake might have a protective effect on all-cause and CVD-specific mortality in US adults.”
Furthermore, according to a study produced in the Journal of Hypertension,
“Antioxidant substances in red wine counteracted the smoking-induced increase in peripheral systolic blood pressure. Both alcohol and antioxidants in red wine decrease wave reflections in uncomplicated habitual smokers postprandially, indicating an additional favorable effect of red wine.”
If you are a smoker, wine also reduces the amount of damage done to your blood vessels.
Red Wine Can Lower Your Blood Pressure
While the verdict is still out regarding scientific conclusiveness, studies do show that red wine may reduce hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis.
Although too much alcohol can raise blood pressure, alcohol in moderation can be very effective in lowering blood pressure.
As stated by a study produced in Circulation Research,
“Dealcoholized red wine decreases systolic and diastolic BP. Our results point out through an NO-mediated mechanism. The daily consumption of dealcoholized red wine could be useful for the prevention of low to moderate hypertension. “
Red Wine is Good for Your Heart
According to the American Heart Association, studies have been conducted to show that red wine may reduce the risk of a second heart attack if you have already a heart attack. These studies also show that if you have never experienced a heart attack, a glass of red wine daily can reduce the risk of having one up to 50%!
One of the main reasons for this is because red wine promotes blood circulation and blood health, easing stress on the heart. Drinking a moderate amount of red wine each day can substantially increase your blood flow, and you will be able to see it in your skin!
Your skin will become brighter and healthier looking, and you will feel extra energy each day.
Red wine also has significant effects on cholesterol, another way in which red wine benefits the heart. These two factors indicate that red wine has positive effects on your heart!
According to the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology,
“wine was also found to increase lifespan by inducing longevity genes. It appears that resveratrol and proanthocyanidins, especially resveratrol, present in grapes and wines play a crucial role in cardioprotective abilities of grapes and wines.”
Furthermore, moderate drinking reduces blood pressure, clears fat from the arteries and reduces the tendency of blood to clot. These, in turn, reduce the chances of a heart attack or heart disease.
According to a study published by The British Medical Journal,
“Frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption are important in assessing the risk of a major coronary event. Risk is lowest among men who report one to four drinks daily on five or six days a week and among women who report one or two drinks daily on five or six days a week.”
Red Wine Can Help You Lose Weight
Several studies confirm that you can lose weight by drinking red wine before going to bed. Harvard University even conducted research for 13 years to confirm this. The research conducted on 20,000 women confirmed that women who drank up to two glasses of wine a day were less likely to be obese.
As stated in the study,
“Compared with nondrinkers, initially normal-weight women who consumed a light to moderate amount of alcohol gained less weight and had a lower risk of becoming overweight and/or obese during 12.9 years of follow-up.”
Diminishes Risk of Ischemic Stroke:
“Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with decreased risk of IS in a multiethnic population. This effect is independent of other risk factors and holds for nonatherosclerotic stroke subtypes.”
Health Risks of Drinking Wine
Although there are some legitimate health benefits of drinking red wine before bed, there are some risks as well. Here are a few of the most common risks of drinking red wine:
Increases Risk of Hemorrhagic Stroke:
In hemorrhagic stroke the blood seeps out of the blood vessel of the brain causing this stroke. Since alcohol acts as a blood thinner, it increases the chances of hemorrhagic stroke.
As stated by a study published by The American Journal of Medicine,
“The results suggest that low levels of alcohol consumption may have some protective effect upon the cerebral vasculature, whereas heavy consumption predisposes to both hemorrhagic and non-hemorrhagic stroke.”
Interferes with Medications:
Alcohol can dangerously interfere with medications. According to a study published in Diagnosis and Treatment,
“Alcohol interacts with a surprising number of commonly used drugs: antibiotics, anticoagulants, antihistamines, digitalis, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, nitroglycerine, diuretics, heavy metals, insulin, iron, puromycin C, and many others. It also interacts specifically with sedatives, opiates, phenothiazines, antidepressants, and other psychoactive drugs.”
Since, both alcohol and medicine compounds are processed by the liver, alcohol receives first preference. This slows down the efficient breaking down of medications.
If the drinking is stopped for some time, the liver, freed of processing alcohol, breaks down medications rather too quickly that can be risky, especially for those taking the medicine for seizure.
Drinking and Driving:
Since alcohol affects people differently, even if a moderately drunk person is within the legal limit of 0.08 percent (80mg/dL) while driving, he or she may get impaired due to alcohol and end up in a crash.
As stated by a study published in Drug and Alcohol Review,
“Statistically significant and meaningful decrements in driving‐related performance were identified at 0.05% BAC or below in many studies.”
Although driving under influence is a serious offence that can get one into serious trouble under the DWI laws, moderate drinkers also should not take a chance.
Alcohol and Weight Gain or Weight Loss
As many people already know, drinking too much alcohol can result in weight gain (especially in heavy drinkers). Along with that, drinking too much alcohol also increases the risk of ending up with life-threatening diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
Alcohol slows down your metabolism, and alters the breakdown of sugar in the body.
As stated by a study published in Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences,
“The experimental metabolic evidence suggests that the consumption of moderate amounts of alcohol has to be accounted for in the energy-balance equation and may represent a risk factor for the development of a positive energy balance and thus weight gain.”
Along with that, if you are drinking a lot of alcohol, then you are also likely to be consuming plenty of sugar and refined carbohydrates too.
This can affect your insulin resistance and will change how your body distributes fat.
One potential issue with a change in your insulin resistance is metabolic syndrome, which is a condition that reduces your body’s ability to consume and store energy effectively. Belly fat, or to give it its more scientific name of visceral fat is considered the most dangerous form of fat. It can increase your risk of developing heart disease as it has been shown to surround your internal organs.
If you are working on your body and improving your health, the best rule is only to drink alcohol in moderation or stop drinking completely.
Concluding Thoughts – Drinking Red Wine Before Bed
If you want to make the most out of your red wine consumption, I suggest that you complete your drinking of alcohol a minimum of 1 hour and 30 minutes before you actually to go to sleep.
Although red wine contains melatonin which certainly helps you fall asleep and remain asleep, alcohol itself can have a strange effect on how you fall asleep, even in low doses. By drinking your wine a little bit earlier in the night, you will avoid any negative impacts on your biorhythm and garner all of the benefits!
Be careful though, a nightcap can have detrimental effects to your body, especially if over-consumed.
Naturally, anyone that has any problem drinking alcohol should not drink red wine or other alcoholic beverage. However, if you do not have any significant problem, red wine can offer incredible benefits!
Furthermore, it pays off to keep an eye on the content because not all wines are created equal. Strive to stick to organic and natural wine. If you have never tried Macedonian red wine, try to find some and let me know what you think!
Another good “lesser-known” wine country is Georgia. Georgian red wine is also pretty incredible!
If you cannot drink alcohol or do not want to drink red wine itself, choosing resveratrol supplements is a fine option to get some of the benefits of drinking red wine before be.
For more health and fitness tips, check out Skinny2Fit, a website designed to provide you with easy access to good advice that is both simple and to the point.