Alcohol and Athletes

Traditionally many athletes consume alcohol after games or competitions to relax and celebrate. What they may not know is that alcohol can negatively affect physical and mental performance.Alcohol affects all major body systems.

Here’s how alcohol can negatively affect your body, and your ability to perform at your personal best.

Get the Facts !
Alcohol can impair athletic performance*

  • Reduces performance potential by up to 11% in elite athletes and perhaps by as much as 15-30% in high school athletes.
  • Impairs the athlete’s reaction time for up to 12 hours after consumption.
  • Delays exercise recovery. Alcohol impairs blood glucose for up to 36 hours, affecting energy production and optimum physical/mental performance.
  • Decreases protein synthesis for repair of muscle tissue during post-exercise/recovery.
  • Reduces HGH release up to 70% during the sleeping hours when (normal) release is at peak levels – negating the ability to efficiently build/maintain muscle mass.
  • Greatly increases the release of the stress hormone cortisol – negating the training effect.
  • Depresses the immune system. Statistics show athletes who “drink” get sick more often.
  • “Drinkers” are twice as likely to become injured as non-drinkers.
  • Heavy episodic drinking (i.e. binge drinking) results in projected losses of up to 14 days of training effect.


Read more: Alcohol and Athletes

Here are additional resources from Coaching Association of Canada;