Alcohol: The Influence

Alcohol: The Influence
Peter Mundy

There is no evidence that alcohol, the most commonly abused drug in the United States (Graves, 2000), results in enhanced athletic performance (Benardot, Ph.D., 1999). However, studies have proven alcohol can diminish physiological functions needed in exercise and sports (Berning, Ph.D., R.D. 1996)!

“The effects of alcohol on the heart include modification of the risk of coronary artery disease, the development of alcoholic cardiomyopathy, exacerbation of conduction disorders, atrial and ventricular dysrhythmias, and an increased risk of hypertension, hemorrhagic stroke, infectious endocarditis, and fetal heart abnormalities.”

The above statement is an extract from the study “Cardiovascular effects of alcohol,” Davidson DM, West J Med. 1989 Oct; 151(4):430-9.

Consuming a large amount of alcohol at one time can limit skills that require reaction time, balance, accuracy and hand-eye coordination. Alcohol also decreases strength, power, speed, muscular endurance, and cardiovascular endurance (Berning, Ph.D., R.D. 1996). The serious athlete should avoid alcoholic consumption particularly during competition and training periods (Benardot, 1999).

A variety of personal and social problems may result from alcohol use, such as accidents, impaired work and school performance, physical health problems, interpersonal conflicts and aggression (Jung, 2000)!