Q: My friends usually drink beer while we golf, but I prefer wine. Is there any health benefit (or risk?) to having a few glasses of wine while I'm out on the course? —Spaulding S., Boca Raton, Fla.
A: There are few finer simple pleasures in life than enjoying a glass of wine outside on a nice day, but there are some things you should keep in mind when you add exercise into the equation. First, the good news: A 2015 study from the College of Sports Science at the Harbin Normal University in China found a link between supplemental resveratrol (a polyphenol compound found in red wine) and a reduction in muscle damage caused by strenuous exercise, as observed in lab rats.
However, if you're going to participate in sports and want to perform at a high level, a study from the journal Sports Medicine showed that the number of injuries among athletes who drank was almost double that of those who didn't. And moderation is even more important when it comes to drinking before or during physical activity: Dr. Douglas McKeag, founder of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, suggests to limit wine consumption to 1 glass prior to exercising.
Perhaps the most important thing to consider is how hot it will be out on the golf course. Alcohol is a diuretic, so it boosts the rate at which your body expels water. In order to prevent dehydration, you'll also want to drink plenty of water. The warmer the weather and the more demanding the course, the more water you'll need to drink to stay hydrated. But as long as you take precautions, a glass of wine and a round of golf can make for a great Sunday pairing.