Athletes And Alcohol
February 19, 2020 | View PDF
Youth who engage in sports and physical recreational activities enjoy many benefits from their involvement. Athletes who engage in a healthy lifestyle can see improved mental and physical health and have a positive self-image and self esteem. They achieve greater academic success and experience less anxiety and depression. Athletes who make healthy choices are less likely to use alcohol, tobacco or other substances.
As parents, caregivers, friends and family members know, athletes dedicate a large amount of time and both physical and mental effort when they are involved in sports. They want to be the best teammate and best version of themselves in order to win. Consuming alcohol, tobacco or other drugs contradicts each of those goals these athletes are trying so hard to accomplish.
Alcohol impairs motor skills and decreases strength, power and sprint performance. It slows reaction time and impairs precision, equilibrium, hand-eye coordination, accuracy, balance, judgment, information processing, focus, stamina, strength, power and speed for up to 72 hours (three days). Alcohol also slows recovery of your muscles.
The bottom line is that alcohol, tobacco and other drugs are detrimental to sports performance because of how they affect the body during exercise. Athletes who exercise too soon after drinking alcohol can make dehydration worse; as they sweat the body temperature rises. Combined, sweating and the diuretic effect of exercise make dehydration much more likely.
With many negative effects of alcohol and other drugs on an athlete’s body and brain, the Partnership for Promise Coalition is encouraging parents and caregivers to not only talk to them about these dangerous side effects, but how their student athlete can strive to be the best and healthiest version of themselves. For more information on how to talk to your student athlete about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, visit Parentingmontana.org. Visit the Richland County Partnership for Promise on Facebook to learn more about our mission to help our local youth.