Boys night twice a week keeps guys healthy, study says

Men need a minimum of two guys' nights a week to maintain good health - and it's a scientific fact, at least according to new research from a U.K. psychologist. Robin Dunbar (infamous for the Dunbar Number - a theoretical limit on the amount of close social contacts a person can have - and his work on friendships), director of Oxford University's social and evolutionary neuroscience research group, is very specific with his prescription: Men must physically meet with four friends twice a week to reap the benefits of male friendship.

Those benefits, in addition to general health, include faster recovery times when faced with illnesses and higher levels of generosity.

Dunbar goes so far as to recommend guys "do stuff" while they socialize. In addition to drinking beer and laughing together, men should try to play a number of team sports.

"Bonds can be formed through a range of activities from team sports to male banter - or simply having a pint with your pals on a Friday night," he said in the report.

Too busy with their day-to-day lives, one in three men in the U.K. can't find the time to meet once a week, and 40 per cent of men are able to make a "guys' night" only a weekly affair.

Despite spending 20 per cent of their day interacting through other means (all of which can be done on a smartphone), men need to meet face to face to keep their broships strong, Dunbar suggests.

Led by the same researcher that suggested individuals max out at 150 real relationships (despite social media friend counts that often reach much higher than that), this study shows men to have an inner circle of only a handful of guys.

If the group gets too big, laughter is less likely, as are the endorphins released by happy interactions, which are said to be responsible for the health benefits of this male bonding time.

Guinness, the makers of the famous Irish stout and stewards of dozens of other worldwide beer brands, commissioned the research, which in turn (not surprisingly) recommends the benefits of drinking a pint or two with the lads.

"When guys get together physically and more frequently with their mates," Stephen O'Kelly, a spokesperson for Guinness told Daily Mail in the U.K., "their friendships become stronger, better, and a richer life results."

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