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How Alcohol Affects Athletes?

Athletes can be affected by alcohol in different ways, such as poor recovery time, lack of endurance, poor focus and dehydration. Dehydration is a substance that’s abused by many athletes. It may cause considerable effects on how athletes perform in training sessions and matches. Just like caffeine, alcohol is also a diuretic, which increases the…

Athletes can be affected by alcohol in different ways, such as poor recovery time, lack of endurance, poor focus and dehydration. Dehydration is a substance that’s abused by many athletes. It may cause considerable effects on how athletes perform in training sessions and matches. Just like caffeine, alcohol is also a diuretic, which increases the production of urine. So, drinking too much alcohol may cause dehydration. Water is so essential that losing only 2 percent of water in our body could cause us to lose performance. Because athletes often sweat profusely, dehydration is a real issue for them. Dehydration makes our blood slightly thicker and it will reduce blood flow. So, our body has reduced ability to circulate nutrients and oxygen into our muscles and other soft tissue.

Alcohol is just like a bully who seeks all the attention. When enough alcohol is ingested, our body will give it a priority, so alcohol can be metabolized or removed from our body. Our body works hard to break down alcohol and the release of glucose into our bloodstream will be reduced. Glucose is the fuel for our muscles and if our muscles can’t get enough of it, our physical activity will suffer. Not only lack of energy, we will also have reduced reaction time, dexterity, coordination and concentration. When our body absorbs alcohol, water balance will be disrupted. If water level in our cells is low, they can’t make enough ATP or adenosine triphosphate, which is burnt as fuel when our muscles are contracting.

Another important function in our body is the constant breakdown of lactic acid. When our muscles move quickly for a longer period of time, more lactic acid is produced. When lactic acid accumulates inside our body, we will lack enough power and strength. You will also become tired more easily. If you consume high quantity of alcohol continuously, you liver will work too hard to remove it. Athletes need to have more muscle mass, but alcohol may hamper this. Alcohol may also affect sleep patterns and you should know that only during deep sleep, HGH or human growth hormone is released. It has been shown that high consumption of alcohol could reduce HGH levels in your body by up to 70 percent.

High level of alcohol consumption may also reduce muscle recovery level and lean muscle mass, due to the lower level of testosterone. Both testosterone and HGH are essential to ensure muscle growth. Constant consumption of alcohol will affect your sleep pattern, but good sleep at night is essential for your muscles to grow. Binge drinking of alcoholic beverages will affect your muscle fibers. They won’t be able to respond to exercises. If you have sports injuries, higher presence of alcohol in your body will increase the down time needed for your body to fully heal. With the use of alcohol, the overall recovery time will be longer. Also alcohol also causes your blood vessels to open up, making swelling and bleeding more likely to happen after a sharp impact.

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