Can alcohol affect sports performance?
What will you learn from this article?
- how alcohol negatively affects sports performance,
- what to remember when drinking alcohol
- what are the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption?
How many times have you heard, from your friend who goes to the gym from time to time, but being a connoisseur of the famous hop drink and spirits he sets them higher in the hierarchy of values, that alcohol does not affect sports performance? Thoughts are swirling in your head that just one drink won’t hurt... but is that true? And to what extent? Did you already thought about disagreeing and starting a discussion, but you didn't know how to support your stance with solid knowledge? Remove your doubts and face the truth about the effects of alcohol on your body!
Negative effects of alcohol consumption:
- reduction of coordination and reaction time,
- a drop in testosterone levels and instead of an increase in estrogen levels,
- increased muscle catabolism,
- reduction of brain efficiency - impact on areas responsible for motivation, setting goals or making decisions,
- decreased diversity of the intestinal microflora,
- increased strain on the liver, which prioritizes the metabolism of alcohol consumed,
- decrease in the ability to build muscle mass,
- reduction of neurotransmitter concentration,
- disruption of the deep sleep phase, which translates into poorer regeneration quality,
- diuretic properties of alcohol reduce cell hydration.
What do you have to remember if you still decide to drink alcohol?
1) Plan your occasional alcohol consumption, keeping in mind your training plan.
2) Hydrate yourself to compensate for fluid losses lost due to increased diuresis.
3) Supplement B vitamins and magnesium, which levels decrease due to increased liver function.
4) The consumption of alcohol in various forms entails the delivery of certain amounts of calories (1 g = 7 kcal) into the body, along with a large amount of sugar and other food substances contained in beer or other beverages.
5) Alcohol is metabolized first, so consuming it in the company of high-calorie meals will positively affect its storage in the form of fat tissue.
6) It is, however, worth eating something before and during drinking alcohol, because it affects the slowdown of its absorption.
7) Negative effects of alcohol consumption on training achievements can last up to 3 days!
Are there any advantages, though?
Considering the importance of alcohol as one of the elements of social life, it is worth considering whether it can have many positive aspects.
The answer is – of course! A moderate amount of the right type of alcohol can have a positive effect on your body. For example, biologically active substances contained in red wine, such as polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins, catechins or phenolic acids have antioxidant, neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects, which have a positive effect on the body and prevent ageing.