Athletic Performance and Alcohol Use

The over-advertisement of alcohol has made it one of the most popularly used drugs in the US. The substance is so available that teens and young adults can access it. Unfortunately, this translates to early addiction. Different people use alcohol for various reasons. Some of the common excuses for alcohol abuse include coping with mental issues and also dealing with chronic pain. Social cultures have also led to more consumption of alcohol among groups such as the college athlete fraternity. There are many reasons why athletes may turn to alcohol.

Athlete Reliance on Alcohol

More than 50 percent of student-athletes are known to have a reliance on alcohol. They are known to binge on alcohol more than non-athlete students. But why is this so? The habit of binging oin alcohol among student-athletes tends to lead to alcohol use disorder, which becomes a problem even in their adult life. Many do so for the following reasons:

  1. To calm their nerves: It is not always easy to compete in athletics competitions. The pressure can get on one’s nerves and even hinder progress. Most athletes who turn to alcohol do so to calm themselves. However, overconsumption of alcohol can lead to poor performance.
  2. To cope with stress: Besides the performance-related pressure, athletes struggle with other stressors. Life issues such as family, relationships, and finances top the list of stressors they face. The frustration of having to do it all can push some of the athletes to alcohol use
  3. Social impression: The need to show everyone else that things are okay can push many athletes to use alcohol as a mask. Such social pressures can take a toll on athletes and push them into practices that lead them to substance abuse
  4. To numb muscle pain and soreness: Alcohol can temporarily relieve muscle soreness and pain. Unfortunately, this is often short-lived because dehydration from alcohol worsens the pain and discomfort. The body will be unable to release the lactic acid, which builds up and is responsible for the pain.
  5. Celebrations of wins and success; The culture today seems to include alcohol in all celebrations. Athletes are no different, as many celebrate their success by drinking alcohol. The overuse of these drinks, even for celebrations, can easily lead to abuse.

Alcohol and its Effect on Athlete Performance

Not many athletes consider the overall effect alcohol has on their performance. Over time, alcohol will because a major hindrance that inhibits the athlete’s ability to perform. It increases the risk of injury and may cause harm in several other ways. This include:

Affecting Bones and Muscles

Alcohol impacts bone and muscle health negatively. This often works against the positive steps from all the disciplined training and dedication. In the end, the athlete’s prowess is curtailed due to poor muscle and bone health. Muscle cramping, pain, and overall weakness become commonplace when athletes misuse alcohol. It also affects their ability to heal quickly in case of injuries.


Alcohol leads to high cases of dehydration. Which explains the hangovers many alcohol users suffer from. Dehydration from alcohol is known to cause issues with the brain, muscles, kidneys, and liver. When these body parts don’t work optimally, the overall performance of athletes also reduces significantly.

Metbolism and Nutriritons

Athletes have a poorly acting metabolism system if they overconsume alcohol. Alcohol has lots of empty calories, which leads to weight gain. It could also impact how some useful minerals and nutrients are absorbed, causing further damage.

Besides that, alcohol also harms neurological processes because it affects the brain’s functioning. It hinders proper communication, which affects overall team performance.

To become a better athlete, it is essential to overcome your addiction. Start your recovery journey by acknowledging the challenge and talking to the best support system at Skyward Trtaemnt Center. Call us today for more inquiries.