The impact of alcohol on athletes

The impact of alcohol on athletes post thumbnail image

Alcohol, one of the socially accepted beverages, negatively affects our organism: influences recovery after workouts and gain of muscle mass. Despite this, it is very common for people, whether in celebrations,
special occasions or even in your day to day include different types of drinks.

What is alcohol?

Alcohol, or as it is chemically called, ethanol, as well as all the drinks that are obtained from it, either by fermentation or distillation are not considered as a food.

In one of drinks with greater social acceptance, it is increasingly consumed and is one of the
the leading causes of death in the world.

Calories that alcohol contributes are empty calories. Empty calories are those that, do not provide any nutrients: that is, protein, fat or carbohydrate, as well as vitamins and minerals, when they are ingested.

Each gram of alcohol provides 7 calories for each gram.

How is it metabolized and digested in the organism?

Alcohol it is one of the substances that are absorbed more quickly once it has entered
in the body. It is not digested.

The speed in which it is absorbed will depend on various factors, such as the  amount  and type of food that a person has previously eaten.

When ingested, is absorbed by the mucous membranes in which it comes into contact, by For example, first those in the mouth, then in the esophagus. The largest amount usually be in the small intestine.

It is digested by an enzyme called dehydrogenase. This enzyme is found in a higher proportion
in men than in women. Despite this, there are several factors that will also influence the impact that alcohol will have on the body, such as sex, age, height of the person, amount of muscle mass or fat tissue etc.

Between 80% and 90% of alcohol is metabolized in the liver. Unlike nutrients, no part of the ingested quantity is metabolized in the tissues or remaining muscles.

The remaining amount is expelled through respiration.

What impact does it have on sport?

Alcohol, in athletes, has a negative impact on a large number of areas and body processes.

Alcohol dehydrates

Alcohol acts as a diuretic. It causes a great state of dehydration. As a consequence of this loss of fluids, there is also a loss of essential vitamins and minerals for the proper functioning of the body.

If, during sports, with sweat, we lose a large amount of fluids and electrolytes , alcohol will further enhance these losses.

2-1 El impacto del alcohol en deportistas

Increase of levels of

Cortisol is the hormone that is generated in large amounts when stress or anxiety increases. This hormone is catabolic. High levels of cortisol can have a negative impact on muscle mass gain. This will slow down our progress and will be a barrier to get the most out of each workout.


Alcohol has a negative impact on protein metabolism. Proteins are the macronutrient in charge of maintaining and repairing damaged tissues during workouts, as well as building muscle mass.

This occurs because it increases its degradation, which has a negative effect on muscle mass. .

Decrease in performance

Alcohol has a direct influence on the nervous system. Impact
in coordination, in strength levels and in performance in general terms.

It reduces the reflexes of the person who consumes it and, by influencing a worse recovery, it will be reflected in energy levels and dexterity.

1-1 El impacto del alcohol en deportistas

Fat gain can increase

Alcohol has a significant impact on the metabolization of carbohydrates and fats because this will be
used as an energy source displacing macronutrients.

It also makes it difficult to replace glycogen stores, which tend to be depleted after training. It is necessary to replace them correctly to reduce the feeling of fatigue and promote recovery. ( Decreases the amount of glycogen and glucose uptake.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Post