Exercise may help you overcome alcohol cravings

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

In a new study from Loughborough University, researchers found exercise can strongly reduce alcohol cravings.

They examined 60 male and female participants in universities, aged 18 to 25 years old.

The group took part in a short discussion where members were asked to think about and describe their favorite drinks and drinking habits. They were also shown a video about cocktail making.

They were then split into three groups: The active intervention condition included participation in a five-minute exercise routine consisting of squats, mountain climbers, push-ups, jumping jacks, heel kicks, and sit-ups.

Each exercise was performed for 45 seconds in a typical continuous circuit formation.

The distraction (active control) condition involved sitting and coloring in a picture book for five minutes.

The passive control condition involved sitting silently doing nothing in the laboratory for five minutes, with only the research assistant present.

Following the groups, all the students completed a series of questionnaires about drinking, cravings and their mood.

The analysis showed that those in the exercise group had significantly reduced alcohol cravings when compared with those in the control group.

Researchers also found that positive mood increased, and anxiety and negative mood decreased for the exercisers.

The coloring group did not significantly reduce craving. However, they did report increased mood and reduced anxiety.

Alcohol abuse is associated with chronic disabling diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, dementia and diabetes, and has high human and economic costs.

It often starts in young adults, especially students. One of the vital contributors to the onset and maintenance of alcohol abuse is craving.

The current study found that a short exercise circuit helps reduce alcohol craving and improves mood in students.

The findings will aid in the ability to potentially utilize exercise as a therapeutic tool to assist the reduction of alcohol craving.

If you care about alcohol, please read studies about people over 40 need to prevent dangerous alcohol/drug interactions and findings of how to prevent alcohol poisoning.

For more information about alcohol and your health, please see recent studies about moderate alcohol drinking linked to high blood pressure and results showing that type 2 diabetes: Small reduction in alcohol, big reduction in heart disease risk.

The study is published in the journal Addictive Behaviors. One author of the study is Aleksandra Gawor.

Copyright © 2021 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.