Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Why Alcohol and Athleticism Don't Mix

Why Alcohol and Athleticism Don’t Mix

When you’re a professional sports person, your entire life is devoted to playing the sport to the best of your ability. A string of bad games and questionable judgment calls can ruin your career and your earning potential. And with sports being a really expensive paying field, you can imagine why most sportspersons are careful with factors that tend to affect their performance. They’re very cautious about their diets and their fitness routines and they practice their skills diligently to keep them in great shape for the games that have to be played.

But there’s one area of nutrition that they don’t bother about, and that’s the truth of what alcohol can do to ruin their bodies and their game. We all know and have heard of players and athletes living it up, partying the night away and painting the town red after a major win (or trying to drown their sorrows in drink after a great loss). While an occasional binge is ok, the problems start when alcohol becomes a regular aspect of a player’s life. It affects their overall performance because:

·        The effects of alcohol remain in your body long after your hangover has gone. It serves to slow down your central nervous system and affect your concentration and coordination, two areas that are extremely important when you’re a professional sportsperson. Your reaction time is slowed, your balance is affected, and your strength, power and speed are diminished.

·        Alcohol is loaded with empty calories that don’t provide you with any nutrition and that tend to make you store fat. So when you drink regularly over a period of time, you tend to gain weight in your abdomen and around your waist, something that a sportsperson definitely does not want.

·        It decreases the level of testosterone in male players and makes them less aggressive and diminishes athletic ability.

·        It increases the production of lactic acid and this slows down the muscle recovery process, contributing to increased soreness after a workout or a game.

·        It affects your ability to sleep well and prevents your body from getting enough rest and being fit and able for the games that you need to play.

·        It is a diuretic and can cause dehydration, something that an athlete or player cannot let happen. It’s important that your body is hydrated well so that your energy reserves are conserved to help you perform better.

·        You tend to lose muscle mass when you indulge in too much alcohol, and when this happens, you lose your strength and your performance goes down.

Besides these sports-related reasons to cut down on your alcohol intake, there are health factors such as liver disease, gout, impotency, elevated triglycerides, fatty liver, and many other diseases that could prove fatal if you don’t control your drinking before it’s too late.


This article is written by Kat Sanders, who regularly blogs on the topic of online physical therapy assistant schools at her blog Physical Therapy Blog. She welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: katsanders25@gmail.com.


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