Many college students enjoy having a couple of drinks here and there to relieve some stress. But for student-athletes, that drink or two might have an effect on athletic performance in an upcoming game or tournament.
For athletes, hydration is crucial to be able to perform at a peak level. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning drinking too much can lead to dehydration.
Exercising soon after drinking alcohol can make this dehydration worse because you sweat as your body temperature rises, which can lead to overheating.
Many colligate teams across the country have acknowledged the effects that alcohol can have on an athletes performance and have developed specific rules prohibiting alcohol all together or emphasizing moderation.
Some teams have even gone as far as having their athletes sign contracts saying they will not drink prior to a game or practice.
At Paci c University, many sports teams have rules for alcohol and drugs because of its effects on the student-athletes.
“We have team rules and they do address alcohol,” Eric Mild, head men’s soccer coach said. “The student-athletes are told at the beginning of each season the rules and there are significant consequences, [suspension, etc.] if there is inappropriate behavior or incidents that occur.”
Teams at Pacific that do not have rules that address alcohol specifically usually emphasize the effects alcohol can have and try to discourage their athletes from drinking before competition.
“We have no specific prohibitions,” Matt Lydum, head cross country and track and eld coach said. “We do specifically teach about taking care of your body and that getting intoxicated interferes with adaptation to training. “We also teach self-regulation. Track stars need to be intrinsically motivated to make good decisions about lifestyle.”
In addition to dehydration, alcohol also interferes with the way the human body makes energy. When a person is metabolizing, or breaking down alcohol, the liver cannot produce as much glucose, which means there is low levels of blood sugar.
Exercise requires high levels of sugar to give the body energy. If the liver is not producing enough glucose, your performance will be effected.