Does Drinking Alcohol Affect Training Performances

drinking alcoholFor athletes who are preparing for a game, the line, "Drink Moderately" may not even be applicable. Alcohol can and will affect an athlete’s performance for up to 48 hours after drinking; with higher levels of intoxication lasting even longer.

What can drinking alcohol can do?

  1. It increases the risk of dehydration as it also increases excretion of urine.

  2. It gives complications with body heat regulation, a factor very essential for athletes who greatly depend on endurance

  3. It reduces blood sugar levels as well as energy levels.

  4. It impairs reaction times, balance and coordination

  5. It increases the risk of injury and negatively impact recovery time.

  6. It slows the respiratory system.

  7. It impedes the body’s ability to absorb necessary nutrients and deplete vitamins already stored.

Remember that the above risks will occur even when just small amounts of alcohol are drunk. Influence of alcohol will strongly reduce one’s performance in training. In addition, alcohol is very high in calories.

Despite the high calories, it is not considered a good source of energy for an athlete since the body can only metabolize alcohol at a fixed rate: 8 grams per hour. It means that when there is a sharp increase in energy demand which alcohol metabolism is unable to meet, it makes alcohol useless as an energy source to the athlete.

In addition, alcohol does not supply any vitamins or minerals. One would have to have quite a few drinks in order to match the nutrient content of food. However, a high alcohol intake can impair the body’s absorption of nutrients from food and bring about vitamin deficiencies – particularly the B group of vitamins.

So to ensure high performance for a game, avoid alcohol for at least 48 hours before strenuous exercise or training. When it comes to re-hydrating, always drink the non-alcoholic options.