If you find yourself sweaty and exhausted from exercise and feel like a cold can of beer might hit the spot, there's new research indicating that's just fine. Some genius scientists have published a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine indicating a healthy amount of exercise may offset booze consumption.
Noting that people love drinking and it's pretty hard to get them to stop or moderate, Dr. Emmanuel Stamatakis of the University of Sydney (AUS) and several colleagues took a look at more than 35,000 40-somethings who took health surveys across the United Kingdom. They divided participants into three groups: couch potatoes, moderate exercisers, and cardio-addicted gym rats.
Once Stamatakis and his crew crunched the numbers of deaths reported over the course of a decade by follow-ups with those studied, they discovered something interesting. Based on just their alcohol consumption, both moderate and serious boozehounds were more likely than teetotalers to succumb to major illnesses like cancer.
Then the researchers factored exercise into the mix and found something surprising, as CNN reports:
Exercising the recommended amount "appeared to wipe off completely" the inflated risk of cancer death resulting from alcohol, said Stamatakis. Similar physical activity also offset the increased risk of all-cause mortality linked to drinking. Exercising more provided slightly better results.
That recommended amount, at least by one standard, is about 2.5 hours of medium-intensity cardio in addition to a couple of strength-focused workouts each week.
Not every liquor enthusiast got pass. According to Stamatakis's study, women who tippled a "harmful" 20 drinks weekly and men who threw back 28 had the same risk of death whether they hit the gym or not.
These study results weren't 100 percent conclusive as to exercise's ability to neutralize that bathtub's worth of gin & tonics you threw back Friday night—more research needs to be done. But Stamatakis did conclude it certainly revealed yet another great reason to encourage people to get off the couch and put on the running shoes on a regular basis.
So stock that home bar with all the goodies you can afford and have at it—but make sure you renew that gym membership, too.