THE DAMAGE ALCOHOL INFLICTS ON ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
- December 2, 2018
When you consider the difficulties of a marathon or a gymnastics event, you may understand that athletes (to some degree) are nerve-wracked about the possibility of performing in such a rigorous manner. While some people might resort to a good night’s sleep or a cup of tea, however, some may consider the glass of red wine as a “comfort blanket” of sorts. However, the reality is far from comforting, simply put. Alcohol abuse (and to this extent, alcoholism) are problematic elements of our society which require strict intervention, but doctors argue that the impact of this addictive substance on athletic performance can be extremely bad. In fact, the effects can be downright dangerous. Let’s take a closer look at these negative impacts now.
Complete Hormonal Imbalance
According to Professor David Cameron-Smith (University of Auckland), many people are not aware of how great a negative an impact alcohol can make on an athlete’s body, particularly if they have consumed a drink on the night before an event. Overall, these beverages make the body more susceptible to injury, due largely in part to the intense chemical and physical changes that take place as a person sleeps. When people enter this state, their bodies temporarily lose the ability to store glycogen (an energy source that is 100% required to enhance endurance) and levels of the stress hormone cortisol skyrocket during this time.
As athletes perform, they are putting their bodies under a great deal of stress. Thus, their bodies require an extra boost of nourishment provided by the human growth hormone, a special chemical that is specifically designed to build and repair tissue in the muscle. However, when the stress hormone cortisol is released in the bloodstream (in this case, due to the presence of alcohol in the bloodstream), levels of HGH can drop by an estimated 70%. (Similarly, alcohol will also trigger the release of a liver toxin that completely destroys testosterone, another component for muscle growth.)
Losing Lots of Fluid
Likewise, doctors classify alcohol as a powerful diuretic, a chemical that stimulates urine production. Once consumed, the alcohol can instigate severe bouts of dehydration that (in the worst case scenario) can last for one week. While suffering from dehydration, athletes can suffer from severe injuries (due to a lack of water) including strains, tears, and pulls.
Furthermore, research has illustrated how alcohol can completely put a damper on muscle protein synthesis, a critical component of physical adaptation, healing, and resilience.
Always remember that alcohol does not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance use disorder or a severe form of addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.
The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your alcohol abuse or addiction troubles today.