Exercise can offset some of alcohol's damage to the brain
Heavy drinking has been linked with brain damage, with the effects of alcohol most apparent in the brain's white matter, which allows different areas of the brain to communicate. However, according to a study at the University of Colorado at Boulder, regular exercise may be able to block some of the effects of alcohol on the brain. Among the participants in the research, those who did not exercise but drank heavily showed damage to white matter, while those who did exercise regularly did not exhibit a link between heavy drinking and white matter damage.
The study involved 60 people who underwent a brain scan, then answered questions about alcohol consumption and exercise habits. The results were charted and both alcohol consumption and exercise varied dramatically across the participants. Some drank no alcohol while others drank as many as 300 drinks in the past two months. Likewise, some participants had not exercised at all in the past three months, compared to others who logged as much as 420 minutes weekly.
Ultimately, the results indicated that while alcohol can damage the brain, exercise can help counteract some of that damage. The researchers warned, however, that this is not a license to drink as much as desired so long as you exercise. Heavy drinking still takes a toll on many different organs within the body, not just the brain, which was the sole focus on the study.