Wine and fitness

So, I spoke about this topic with @laura when joining the WS Forum…How do you guys manage wine drinking and appreciation and to what extent do you consider general health, it’s effect on any physical activity you do and if relevant, performance in any sport you do?

I’m no competitive sports person but have spent many years learning martial arts, and 5-6 days a week strength and conditioning in crossfit and following a programme set by my coach.

I also LOVE wine, so you see the dilemma. I’m also doubly cursed as once a bottle is open, particulalry if it is decanting it has a certain ‘window’ of drinking, which I’d never forgive myself on missing out on.

Whenever I have say between 0.5-1 bottle the next day I feel as flat as a pancake and don’t perform anywhere near as sharp and peppy as I would.

So my solutions to this are generally to drink less wine during the week and only really 1-2 nights per week, particularly if the following day is rest day and/or have a half bottle (of something outstanding ably assisted by the WS excellent half bottle range!)

I know there has been a huge push in the media and by the government to try and ‘nudge’ middle-aged, middle class wine drinkers to drink less as many underestimate their drinking quantity or what a unit of alcohol is etc. I tend to try and keep my drinking in single unit figures when it comes to drinking in general - Hence why I love tastings as you can get a small sample of exceptional wine and either spit or consume a very small quantity but never compromising on quality or variety.

Maybe inspiration should be found from the Grand Tour riders of the pre-war era who would take brandy before a sprint finish or Bill Werbernik of the snooker heyday! :slight_smile:


Wine does seem to have hidden calories as its usually just something you would have with food without a thought even though a glass is around 120 calories which does add up if you decide to have another glass - it is fruit juice after all!

For us we usually cut down or completely stop drinking wine during the week and only have a 1 bottle between us over the weekend - I use the vacuvin stoppers which does keep the wine fresh for slightly longer. This worked well when we were both looking to lose some weight before our wedding as we could still enjoy wine but in moderation.

I think if someone wanted to cut down I would perhaps suggest getting a slightly smaller glass, I do have rather large glasses but we worked out that when filled to the bowl they were around 175ml per glass, tempted to get a smaller (but correctly shaped) smaller glass though.

I found an article somewhere a while back that suggested to drink soft drinks or cordials out of a wine glass as (much like smoking) it can sometimes be the act of drinking itself that someone is craving rather than the actual wine.

I am looking to move more towards a slightly higher bottle price and drink less often then to open an ‘everyday drinking’ under £6 wine and drink during the week.

With regards to combining wine AND exercise - Marathon du Medoc might be the solution :smiley:


I went through a “I only drink Riesling” phase; I’d just moved to a warmer climate with much spicier food and found I wasn’t enjoying other grapes as much. But very quickly found myself putting on weight. I assumed it was partly down to the grape variety and so have become quite careful as well about what wines I drink in what quantities.

I struggle though to figure out how much sugar and/or calories is in any given bottle. Perhaps the sugar info is there and I’m not reading it properly but the calories?

On the subject of sugar - my wife stopped eating any kind of refined sugar and since then she’s avoided all wines pretty much so I’m keen to figure out the sugar content so I can find something acceptable to her on special occasions. Can anyone advise how to read this info on the label?

Basically wine during the week has to be limited if you want to go for a run in the morning which is my preference; it might be deliberate since I’m certain I’d be drinking post-gym if it were an evening appointment.

With regards to itemizing a glass in terms of nutritional content - It’s pretty much pure carbohydrate. A 175ml glass had about 5g carbs and 130 cals -/+ 10-20 depending on the type. I think @M1tch has it spot on with the habit of just wanting to drink something, I guess the same at work for people having tea and coffee.
I would be very interested to see what other members do in terms of drinking frequency. Maybe another poll!?

Haha I think A Medoc Marathon would see me with a DNF! Hic!

A post was split to a new topic: Poll: How often do you have a drink?

Cutting edge market research @M1tch…!

I think your point about less quantity, better quality and higher price tag will be the result!

6 posts were split to a new topic: Value of wine in your bottle

Getting back to the topic at hand, I have been following the 5:2 diet concept for the last few months (apart from summer holiday trip). It has been very effective for me, and given me a different perspective on ‘calories’. I always thought they were an irrelevance, but I see I can use the information better now.

Like most people (I believe), going on a ‘diet’ or making me count calories / glasses etc just makes me think & worry about it more, and therefore has the opposite effect. By going ‘cold-turkey’ on calories for a short time and being able to exclude them virtually ALL for a day is much easier. There are no compromises to make, just don’t eat!

It makes not drinking wine on those days much easier too, since eating a normal meal would just make me expect to have a glass of wine on hand.

In terms of fitness, I don’t do enough, but am combining losing the additional weight with an increased focus on my Pilates, but I only do that once a week and have yet to develop the ‘train at home’ habit

Has anyone else tried the 5:2 approach?

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Great topic. My wife and I are both keen runners, and abstinence makes the heart pound stronger. But having said that, there have been times when we have had a lot to drink and then run brilliantly the next day. The quality of the wine is important: a shared bottle of excellent Burgundy = little or no hangover = still got a spring in the step.

We actually notice the impact of drinking more on our generally sharpness around work and childcare. We’ve learnt that when life is busy, and therefore stressful, it makes us want to drink more - but it is crucial to resist the urge. If we do have a glass during the week, make it a Beaujolais, a Mosel or a craft light ale - low alcohol and high quality is key.

And never, ever drink the cheap Chilean Merlot on offer at corporate drinks events. But that’s not difficult since tap water tastes nicer.


We stick pretty strictly to a complete no alcohol rule on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and some Thursdays. It means better sleep, lots of energy during the week, sharp minds at work and more patience at kids’ bedtimes. It goes sort of downhill after that. I don’t like to mix tiredness with alcohol so I often skip Fridays too (or drink Thursday knowing I won’t be drinking Friday). Saturday the best wines come out.

I try to run 10K a week (one run), and never drink the night before - in fact it’s always after 3-4 days’ abstinence - more energy, more power. Though several friends and colleagues have told me that running is the best way to get rid of a hangover! I wouldn’t dare try such a thing.


I think the key rule then for wine and fitness is consume for 1 or maximum of 2 nights, buy less but trade up!

how does the marathon du medoc fot in with this?

would like to attempt one day

“Lost in action” :joy::wine_glass::wine_glass:

As a girl on a diet, I strictly monitor what I drink to help keep track of calories, and obviously this has a knock-on effect in terms of how many units I drink too, which is great! Also keeps me fresh during the week so we can get up early and take the dogs out for a walk before work, which is a wonderful way to start the day. :slight_smile:

One tip I love: My husband and I do try to keep our wine drinking to the weekend (ish!) but if we do fancy a glass with dinner during the week, we always bring a big jug filled with water, ice and slices of lemon/lime/orange to the table too. One glass of wine, then the rest of the evening we top our wine glasses up with lovely citrussy water, which still has that nice fresh zingy wine-y quality to it that makes it pleasant to drink but unlike wine it does us the world of good!

I might follow @Nowt_in_my_glass’s route and buy some half-bottles too - better than forgetting leftover wine in the fridge.


@laura yes half bottles do make you feel better - It would be nice to see the range expand a little…e.g. German rieslings, big south american reds, south african spicy pinotages - A lot of it seems to be French (which is lovely) or quite expensive sherries or dessert wines, though I do take into account the availability.

It’d be nice to see all Society and Exhibition wines available in full and half formats.


I fully second this! I would buy much more half-bottles if there was a greater range, (I’d love some Aussie halves!) and I think the demand for them is higher now precisely because of the very reason you started this thread - I think today’s wine drinkers like to balance wine enjoyment with good health. :slight_smile:

On the subject of wine and health (rather than fitness), it seems that this campaign is looking for spokespeople :wink:

I second that + it means i can try twice the number of wines! :slight_smile: (well, kind of)

I drink every day, a reasonable amount, and I’m also a runner. Did a couple of Medoc marathons. Never cut back on my drinking. Of course, it depends on the individual, but half a bottle of wine a day is perfectly compatible with a fit, healthy lifestyle, I reckon


wow, I mean, wow

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