Alcohol use, particularly excessive alcohol consumption is one of the most serious health risks in the world. A relationship between sport, exercise and alcohol consumption is clear and long-standing. Alcohol continues to be the most frequently consumed drug among athletes and habitual exercisers and alcohol-related problems appear to be more common in these individuals.
Alcohol use is directly linked to the rate of injury sustained in sport events and appears to evoke detrimental effects on exercise performance capacity.
Studies suggest that alcohol consumption: –
- Decreases the use of glucose and amino acids by skeletal muscles, adversely affects energy supplies and impairs the metabolic process during exercise.
- Causes increased citrate synthase activity and decreased cross-sectional area of type I, IIa and IIb fibres. (Muscles are small and weaker)
- Decline in hepatic mitochondria and accelerates ethanol metabolism by the liver. (High liver activity and overuse)
- Exercise training seems to reduce the extent of the oxidative damage caused by ethanol.
- Moderate ingestion of alcohol may reduce the incidence of cardiovascular diseases.
- Raising levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol
- Impairs immune system
- Adverse effects on the body systems and organs including the brain, the cardiovascular system and the liver.
- Alcohol use following exercise is associated with unfavorable changes in the main determinants of blood viscosity