Alcohol and sport – whether it is possible to combine

There are different opinions on whether sport and alcohol are compatible. It is not about large and constant doses of alcohol, as it is harmful in any case. And it is incompatible not only with sport, but also with a normal lifestyle of any person. But it is especially harmful in case of sportsmen as reduces the effectiveness of training.

The question is if sportsmen can sometimes drink alcohol beverages when there is an occasion to do it. Because taken even small amounts affects organism.

Alcohol in sport is unacceptable

The most popular answer is – “no”. Sportsmen who compete for great results or sport career should not drink alcohol at all. Alcohol along with other psychotropic substances has been and remains the main taboo for professional athletes.

alcohol and sport are unacceptable

The support of the perspective is obvious. Harm made by alcohol is enormous.

1.    Dehydration. Alcohol intake leads to dehydration and electrolyte disbalance. Kidneys start to work in full force and there is losing fluid with more sweat during sport activity. As there have already been written in previous articles, water importance in sport is great. And dehydration has a negatively effect on physical performance. Muscles become more rigid, convulsions may become more frequent and fatigue appears. Also, when the muscles do not have enough water, their growth stops, sometimes even their destruction begins.

2.    Recovery. Drinking alcohol also affects the recovery time and replenishment of energy. The liver will not be able to produce enough glucose being busy with alcohol. From this point alcohol after workout or fitness is a really bad idea.

3.    Sleep. We quickly fall asleep after a dose of alcohol. However, the quality of sleep is damaged. It becomes superficial and hectic. In addition, a body recovers mainly during the sleep. That is why good quality of sleep is important, but along with alcohol it is impossible.

4.   Alcohol is rather high-calorie beverages. It easily turns into fat in a body. What more people are not just drink. A glass of wine or beer go with snacks, which also have a lot of calories. This is a real calorie bomb. It does much harm to those, who’s aim in sport is losing weight as well.

5.    Reaction. It will be hard and dangerous to train or to do workout while being drunk. Alcohol affects our nervous system by dulling the body’s response to external stimuli. All these can have terrible consequences at the gym and while other trainings. As the construction of the gym equipment can be traumatic and requires to be careful.6.    Achievements. If a person does sport after drinking alcohol, the alcohol stimulant effect will immediately end. And the decay products of ethanol will enter the muscles and cause their weakness. Thus, alcohol intake hinders the progress. And achieving better results requires much more time comparing with the non-alcohol life. And from this point, going to the gym after or before alcohol intake is a bad idea in both cases. It is impossible to work with hangover, when there is a headache and thirst. The same thing about alcohol before workout, that will decrease its effectiveness.

hangover after alcohol in sport

Alcohol in sport is acceptable

On the other hand, there are some things that can convince to take a glass of beer after training.

Recovery after trainings with alcohol

For example, research at Kaohsiung Medical University has shown that drinking alcohol in small doses after exercise can reduce muscle spasms. Nevertheless, according 5 ml per body mass of alcoholic beverage – 4.5% – helps to overcome the painful sensations of the recovery period.

Relax after hard workout with alcohol

Theoretically, alcohol can be used as doping in extreme sports, where a sportsman is under severe stress. Alcohol makes a sedative effect and increases the pain threshold. That is, a drunk person experiences less pain than a sober one.

Besides, in a small amount it reduces the hands tremor and therefore is sometimes used to improve the accuracy of shooting.

However, it should be remembered that alcohol is a stimulant, it does not increase physical performances themselves.

football player drinks a huge glass of beer

What’s the conclusion?

So many men, so many opinions and there is no right answer. Whether alcohol is acceptable mainly depends on your goals in sport and what kind of it you do. As different sport activities require different abilities and skills which are affected by the alcohol in different way.Professional and serious attitude requires the absolute renouncement. Although alcohol intake has some positive effect, sane sportsmen doesn’t use it. It does not make sense as there are other, more effective dopes. For example, in modern medicine there are a lot of natural drugs, which are more effective and doesn’t have unpleasant consequences like alcohol intoxication. Alcohol in sports does more harm than good.But if you do sport as a hobby and likes to have a drink sometimes, that is not a big problem. There can be a compromise. The most important thing is to know the limits of the beverages amount. You need to find out and keep away the line after crossing which alcohol will do harm.

And it is better to avoid alcohol right before or after trainings.


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