Effects of Alcohol on Athletes Performance
Reaching out for a freezing cold bottle of beer or a glass of wine after a game may come as naturally to quite a few of us. But, before reaching your hand out for it, think about the various effects the alcohol may have on your body. And the effects we are talking about are not those that make happy hour truly happy, but those that may take a toll on your physical health and potentially collapse athletic performance.
It is important to be well-versed with the association between alcohol and athletic performance so that you know when to stop. Consuming alcohol on a limited scale is an agreeable option, but just like everything else, an over dose has the dire potential of not fairing anyone well.
Here are some of the effects of alcohol on athletic performance and how it can hinder fitness and be an obstacle in the very aspect.
Reduced Testosterone Levels
Alcohol and an athlete’sperformancehave a direct link in one very visible aspect: testosterone levels. One of the more obvious effects of alcohol is how it tends to decrease testosterone levels. In athletes this can be a hurdle as testosterone spurs aggression and aggression fuels energy and competition. Furthermore, a decreased level of testosterone also translates an over the time decrease in lean muscle mass. Other effects of alcohol include the imposition of a shorter memory span and damage to the hippocampus which is the part of the brain where all the learning takes place. This particular effect linked to alcohol can make it difficult for the individual to learn new techniques, moves and concentrate on the sport. Furthermore, a pint of alcohol and athletes performance can be destroyed, as alcohol can intervene with hand to eye coordination as well.
In the very many effects of alcohol, sleep disruption happens to be a serious one. While it may be extremely easy to fall asleep while drinking or right after drinking, the natural progression in the sleeping cycle may not follow through as it would if it were a sound healthy sleep. Drinking frequently will impair your sleeping ability on a rather recurrent basis, bearing a detrimental impact on the body’s ability to produce the human growth hormone. The human growth hormone is linked to the building and maintenance of various bodily muscles which need to be strong in order to aid athletic performance. Another possible consequence of sleep insufficiency could be mental unbalances disrupting the learning process, hindering the ability to learn new moves and techniques related to the athletics.
Another possible effect of alcohol is weight gain. One gram of alcohol consists of about 7 calories. Drinking a large amount everyday can very well translate into weight gain even with daily exercise. Furthermore, these calories happen to be empty calories and hence do not aid in energy provision in any way whatsoever. It anything, they take from it, as alcohol intervenes with the way the body processes the mineral zinc. As zinc is important for building endurance, alcohol and athletic performance do not go well together.
Alcohol happens to be a diuretic, and the dehydration it leads to can take several days in recovery if a substantial amount is consumed. Dehydration can be a losing deal for an athlete and hence the effect of alcohol pronounced by dehydration can take a toll on athletic performance.