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Moderate drinking 'boosts athletic performance in women'

London, Tue, 20 Nov 2012 ANI

London, November 20 (ANI): Women can actually run further than men after a night of moderate drinking, researchers say.

An experiment carried out by magazine Runner's World tested runners' endurance the morning after a pub session and found that females, on an average, ran 22 percent longer the morning after drinking beer.

However, men did worse in the experiment and recorded a 21 percent slower time the day after drinking up to four pints.

"The women did better after beer, but men cancelled it out by doing worse," the Daily Mail quoted study leader Dr Gig Leadbetter from the Colorado Mesa University's Human Research Lab as saying.

Dr Leadbetter admitted that he would have to carry out more studies to understand the results, but added that women "use and metabolise fuel sources differently to men."

For the study, he tested five male and five female runners to work out the effects of moderate drinking on the next day's running performance.

The subjects, all aged between 29 and 43 and all of whom clocked up around 35 miles a week, were all deemed moderate drinkers, imbibing less than the official recommended weekly allowance.

The experiment was split into two parts, The Beer Run, and The Exhaustion Run.

First up was The Beer Run - the team was asked to go for a 45 minute evening run at a "reasonably high intensity". Immediately after, they were served a beer.

The experts then monitored the alcohol intake until each subject had reached 70mg/100ml blood/alcohol concentration, for some of those tested, this was around four pints.

The Exhaustion Run then followed the next day and the volunteers were asked to run at 80 per cent effort for as long as they can tolerate.

The groups were tested twice - once on a strong beer and once, unbeknown to them, on a placebo.

Astonishingly, all of the women registered "considerably better times" after a night on the beer, and had run on average 22 percent longer.

The men however lagged behind after drinking the ale, becoming 21 percent worse runners the morning after.

But before anyone training for a marathon hangs up their trainers and heads from the gym straight to the pub, Dr Leadbetter himself admits it would be a mistake to leap to conclusions based on such a small sample.

"If we find the same in later studies it would really be exciting," he added. (ANI)

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