The following is a summary of some of the facts that leaders in the field of sports nutrition have presented concerning the effects of alcohol on performance.
- Even moderate alcohol consumption can affect performance for up to 48 hours after drinking, and the effects will last longer with higher levels of intoxication.
- Alcohol is a diuretic and will increase your risk of dehydration.
- Alcohol will impair your body’s ability to regulate body heat.
- Alcohol will reduce endurance.
- Alcohol will reduce your blood sugar level which, in turn, will lower your energy level and limit prolonged activity.
- Alcohol will increase reaction time, impair coordination, reduce balance, impair judgement and have a negative effect on decision making.
- Alcohol will reduce your body’s ability to absorb necessary nutrients
- Alcohol will deplete vitamin storage.
- Alcohol will slow your respiratory system.
- Alcohol will interrupt sleep patterns and reduce sleep quality.
- Alcohol will limit recovery.
- Alcohol will suppress your body’s ability to burn fat.
- Alcohol will decrease your body’s ability to build new muscle
- Alcohol can increase the severity of an injury and slow the rate and recovery from an injury.
- How much and what type of alcohol you drink can make a significant difference. Avoid hard liquor in favor of light beer and red wine.
- Your liver can metabolize about one drink every 45 to 60 minutes, limit alcohol consumption to no more than 2 drinks per day.
- Vella, Luke D., and David Cameron-Smith. “Alcohol, Athletic Performance and Recovery.” NCBI. MDPI, Aug. 2010. Web. 01 July 2017. <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257708/>.
- Siekaniec , Claire. “The Effects of Alcohol on Athletic Performance.” NSCA. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 July 2017. <https://www.nsca.com/education/articles/nsca-coach/the-effects-of-alcohol-on-athletic-performance/>.
Gene Coleman, Ed. D., RSCC-E, FACSM, was the Head S&C Coach for the Houston Astros from 1978-2012 and is currently a strength and conditioning consultant for the Texas Rangers and Professor Emeritus in the Exercise and Health Sciences Program at the University of Houston