If, like many athletes, you like to indulge (or over-indulge) on alcohol semi-regularly, there’s good news: your exercise may be reducing or even eliminating the increased risk of cancer and death that your boozing habits induce.

This, according to researchers at the University of Sydney, in an observational study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

It’s worth pointing out two things: One, the benefit only applies to those who are light and moderate drinkers, defined as one or fewer drinks per day for women, two or fewer for men. Heavy drinkers didn’t see the same reduction of risk from drinking, perhaps because being drunk while exercising leads one to run into things–but the research didn’t say anything about that.

Two: As this is an observational study, following 36,000 middle-aged men and women over 10 years, it’s possible there were other factors at work that researchers didn’t account for.

That said, this is great news for anyone (like yours truly) who tends to go straight from the finish line to the biergarten.

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