I have recently read Tim Ferriss’s best seller book The 4-Hour Body and he writes about drinking a glass of dry red wine before going to bed. Supposedly it’s good for you and I remember every once in a while hearing anecdotes about the oldest man or woman saying their secret to a long healthy life is moderate drinking of red wine.
John Meets Alcohol
I’m not a drinker other than an occasional glass of beer when I see old friends. That wasn’t always like that. I had my parties during high school and college and after a rough night that I could hardly remember I decided that alcohol is not for me. I actually avoided it for a years, not even a sip. It’s not good for your social life, I tell you that. That’s why I drink beer now when I’m with friends who drink.
A Glass of Red Wine before Bed
Now many years later I read Tim’s book and decided I’ll give wine a try. I went to the supermarket and bought two bottles: a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Merlot. There are about $5 each. I don’t want to be fancy about it. I probably couldn’t tell the difference between a cheap and an expensive one yet. A $5 bottle is just fine for my purposes, to test the effects of it.
The first evening I drank half a glass I had a hard time falling asleep and was feeling very tired the next day. Dry wines have more alcohol and a stronger taste, and they are not sweet at all. Sweet wines are sugary, you don’t want to drink them if you are after the health benefits. So the next evening I drank only a quarter of a glass and I actually fall asleep much quicker than I usually do and had a good night’s sleep.
The Health Benefits of Red Wine
Again, it’s important that you don’t drink too much. Otherwise you are just kidding yourself and get wasted. If you have any medical issues you should always consult your doctor first. So, here are the health benefits:
- It helps to get to sleep. Red wine contains melatonin that helps you fall asleep. If you have a normal sleep cycle it shouldn’t be a problem to fall asleep but some people have trouble there. Hectic lifestyles, too much stress, they can all cause sleeping problems.
- Prevent colds. A research shows that people how regularly drink moderate amounts of red wine have a 40% lower chance of going down with a cold. Now that’s something!
- It may help prevent cancer. It has numerous antioxidants like quercetin and resveratrol. The latter is the most out there. Some studied suggest that resveratrol causes cancer cells to starve and dye. It’s not clear if drinking a couple sips of red wine would provide enough resveratrol to do the job.
- It’s good for the heart. Resveratrol can reduce saturated fat accumulated in the arteries. Red wine also contains flavonoids and saponins, both powerful antioxidants that have shown to be beneficial for the heart.
- It may promote skin health. I have already highlighted that red wines are rich in antioxidants that fight all kinds of free radicals.
- It’s good for your teeth and gums. It strengthens the enamel of your teeth and reduces the number of bacteria.
- It lowers cholesterol. Phenolics help prevent the formation of bad cholesterol.
- It may help to prevent diabetes. Resveratrol may have an insulin regulating effect.
- It may reduce the risks of Alzheimer’s disease. Resveratrol has been shown to inhibit the formation of beta-amyloid protein, the plaque that forms as a result of Alzheimer’s disease.
- It may help prevent obesity. Our body can convert resveratrol to piceatannol, a compound that’s been shown to prevent the growth of fat cells by binding to their insulin receptors.
- It may help you enjoy a longer and happier life. You have probably heard about anecdotal stories that old people often say their secret to long life is a glass of wine a day. Resveratrol was thought to have the most benefits but it turns out wine doesn’t contain that much resveratrol. It has also been shown that in comparison, grape juice doesn’t have all the health benefits of red wine, so we may miss the key to its greatness. None the less, use it to your advantage!
If you drink more than a glass daily you shouldn’t kid yourself with the health benefits. Virtually all the studies and researchers say that if you drink more it has the opposite effects in all aspects. It’s bad for your heart, blood sugar, cholesterol, weight and so on. Drink it in moderation like I do, cheers!
I actually stopped the experiment as I found it had a bad effect on my sleep. That doesn’t mean it will have the same effect on you. Some people like myself are just overly sensitive to some of it’s ingredients.