Technical ReportPDF Available

Alcohol and athletic performance

Street Address: 401 W. Michigan St. • Indianapolis, IN 46202-3233 USA
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1440 • Indianapolis, IN 46206-1440 USA
Telephone: (317) 637-9200 • FAX: (317) 634-7817
Current Comments are official statements by the American College of
Sports Medicine concerning topics of interest to the public at large.
APRIL 2000
Alcohol and Athletic Performance
from the
The effects of alcohol can depend on the amount consumed, the environ-
mental context, and on the individual. Daily consumption of up to four
drinks may have a protective effect on the cardiovascular system. None-
theless, people most commonly drink for alcohol’s anxiolytic (stress-
reducing) property. Conversely, alcohol has a wide spectrum of negative
effects, from societal to physiological, accounting for approximately
100,000 deaths yearly in the United States. From a physiological perspec-
tive, two situations draw special attention for the fitness-oriented indi-
vidual who consumes alcohol. Acutely, alcohol can cause negative effects
on motor skills and physical performance. Chronically, alcohol abuse may
eventually impede physical performance; individuals diagnosed with
alcohol dependence have displayed varying degrees of muscle damage
and weakness. Furthermore, alcohol abuse is at least as prevalent in the
athletic community as it is in the general population; the vast majority of
athletes have begun drinking by the end of high school.
Alcohol use by athletes often starts at the junior high school level and can
start even earlier. Among high school students, male athletes are more likely to not only use alcohol
regularly but also to abuse alcohol. This relationship does not seem to exist at the college level. None-
theless, alcohol consumption is high enough for alcohol to have been named the most abused drug in
collegiate sport by the NCAA and in professional and Olympic sports by the NFL, NBA, and USOC.
Each gram of alcohol (ethanol) provides seven kilocalories compared to nine for fat and four each for
carbohydrate and protein. Other nutrients may be present, depending on the type of beverage. Beer,
for example, has been seen as a good source of many nutrients and has sometimes been used in prepa-
ration for endurance events or to replenish nutrients following competition. Actually, orange juice
supplies four times the potassium plus almost three times the carbohydrates, and it would take 11
beers, for example, to obtain the B-vitamin recommended daily allowance (RDA).
Motor Performance - Low amounts of alcohol (0.02-0.05g/dL) can result in decreased hand tremors,
improved balance and throwing accuracy, and a clearer release in archery, but in slower reaction time
and decreased eye-hand coordination. A moderate (0.06-0.10 g/dL) amount of alcohol negatively
affects such skills.
Strength/Power and Short-term Performances - The effect of alcohol, in low to moderate doses, is
equivocal. It can have a deleterious effect on grip strength, jump height, 200- and 400-meter run
performance, and can result in faster fatigue during high-intensity exercise. Conversely, alcohol has
been shown to lack an effect on strength in various muscle groups, on muscular endurance, and on
100-meter run time.
ALCOHOL (cont.)
Page 2
Street Address: 401 W. Michigan St. • Indianapolis, IN 46202-3233 USA
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1440 • Indianapolis, IN 46206-1440 USA
Telephone: (317) 637-9200 • FAX: (317) 634-7817
Current Comments are official statements by the American College of
Sports Medicine concerning topics of interest to the public at large.
from the
Aerobic Performance - Low or moderate amounts of alcohol can impair 800- and 1500-meter run
times. Because of its diuretic property, it can also result in dehydration, being especially detrimental
in both performance and health during prolonged exercise in hot environments.
Any lingering effect of alcohol would especially hinder physical conditioning progress. According to
current research, the effect during a hangover seems to be undecided, with no effect on several
performance variables, but a decline in total work output during high-intensity cycling. Furthermore,
handgrip muscular endurance has been shown to suffer a delayed decline on the second morning
following intoxication.
Chronic alcohol abuse may be detrimental to athletic performance secondarily to many of the se-
quelae that can develop. Alcohol affects the body’s every system, linking it to several pathologies,
including liver cirrhosis, ulcers, heart disease, diabetes, myopathy, bone disorders, and mental disor-
ders. The following implications may especially interest the athletic individual. Alcohol can result in
nutritional deficiencies from alterations in nutrient intake, digestion, absorption, metabolism, physi-
ological effects, turnover, and excretion of nutrients. Myopathy (muscle damage, wasting, and weak-
ness) can occur in various muscles, including the heart, often compounded by alcohol-caused neuro-
pathies. Also, the hormonal environment can change, making it less conducive to increasing muscle
mass and strength.
There are various methods to screen for alcohol abuse. Standardized questionnaires are available, but
taking a more subtle approach by adding questions in medical history forms may be more effective. A
team physician may also look for certain signs in the athlete’s appearance, but this has limited useful-
ness; it is good only for extreme cases of alcoholism. Athletes should be informed of all of alcohol’s
detrimental aspects. Team rules and guidelines such as the following can be used:
* Pre-event: Avoid alcohol beyond low-amount social drinking for 48 hours.
* Post-exercise: Rehydrate first and consume food to retard any alcohol absorption.
To address any underlying causes of alcohol abuse, professional counseling should be available to
athletes either directly or by referring athletes to community resources.
Written for the American College of Sports Medicine
By L. Perry Koziris, Ph.D.
Full-text available
The main purpose of the study was to determine the Effect of Alcohol on Sports Performance in Athletes. In this study 15 male subjects of event 1500 mts were selected though Stratified Sampling Method, from Pune city. The age of the subjects were of 25 years and above. The athletes had to undergo pretest and posttest where the post test was conducted after making the athletes consume 60 ml of alcohol one night before the post test. The result was formulated by using Independent't' Test. The result reveals that statistically there was no significant difference (table 't' value>calculated 't' value). The statistical technique independent 't' test was used to analyze the data and the level of significance was fixed at 0.05.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.