Thursday, September 8, 2011

Alcohol – Is it affecting your athletic performance?

73.2 % of college athletes who drink believe that their alcohol use has no effect on their athletic performance.  Well, I’m sorry to tell you that alcohol does have an effect on your performance both on the field and in life.
Effects of alcohol (A few examples)
·         Memory retention – large amount occurs during sleep.  Blackout after drinking, or drink before bed and you stand the chance of disrupting sleep cycle and not retaining all the information you learned.  (Ever wonder why you didn’t remember that cute girl or boy’s phone number?)
·         Hydration – drinking decrease the body’s state of hydration and this leads to that wonderful hangover you experience the next day.
·         Injury – dehydration, poor food choices, depletion of vital nutrients and poor sleep = Injuries or sickness for you and/or teammates.
We know that most college students drink 0-4 drinks when they party and 1 in 5 choose not to drink at all, but the athlete population is different.  The NCAA Substance Use Survey reported that within the last 12 months 83.1% of respondents in all divisions reported alcohol use.  College athletes are more likely to drink than non-athletic students and are also prone to binge drinking. 
Binge Drinking
*        5 or more drinks for men, and 4 or more for women in about 2 hours
*        More common among men
*        Highest percentage in the 18- to 20-year-old group (51%).
Alcohol consumption is the most abused drug in collegiate sports and in professional and Olympic sports.

There is so much more information to cover, but we cannot do it justice in this blog alone, but below you will find several resources to pass along to children, student-athletes, coaches, teachers, and more.

Tewksbury, R., Higgins, G. E., & Mustaine, E. E. (2008). Binge drinking among college athletes and non-athletes. Deviant Behavior, 29(4), 275-293.

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