The main causes of alcohol consumption by professional athletes

As an athlete, I have never really been much of a drinker. I may have a mimosa at brunch and an occasional glass of wine, but between my physical activity, my job, and my family, I barely even have time to look at a bottle of liquor, let alone open one. Despite the negative effects of alcohol, it is still one of the most widely abused drugs, even amongst professional athletes.

The main causes of alcohol consumption by professional athletes

This is the sixth of an eight-part series of articles examining the effects of commonly abused substances on athletic performance and overall health. Gary Wadler, a New York University School of Medicine professor and lead author of the book "Drugs and the Athlete", has also won the International Olympic Committee President's Prize for his work in the area of performance-enhancing drugs in competitive sports.

He joined us to address the issue of alcohol use and sports performance.

The main causes of alcohol consumption by professional athletes

Alcohol, a very simple molecule is probably the most widely used drug in the world. It is distributed to all the organs and fluids of the body, but it is in the brain that alcohol exerts most of its effects. Like other general anesthetics, alcohol is a central nervous system depressant.

In general, its effects are proportional to its concentration in the blood. How does the body handle alcohol? Alcohol is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract into the bloodstream and from there it is distributed throughout the other bodily fluids and tissues.

Alcohol is principally metabolized by the liver into acetaldehyde, with the remainder being excreted in the urine. On average, it takes the liver about an hour to break down one unit of alcohol -- the amount typically found in 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine or one ounce of 50 proof hard liquor.

Effects of Alcohol on Performance

Additionally, blood levels are greatly, and inversely, influenced by body weight. The thinner you are, the greater the alcohol blood level for any given amount of alcohol consumed. The most widely abused drug in the world, alcohol remains the No. It has been conservatively estimated that the average American college student drinks more than 34 gallons of alcohol yearly, predominantly beer.

Alcohol is the most commonly used drug by college athletes, with about 80 percent having reported use in the past 12 months, down somewhat from 88 percent in previous years. In40 percent of the 5, traffic fatalities of people between 15 and 20 years of age were alcohol-related. What effect does alcohol have on performance?

Alcohol is generally not considered to be a performance-enhancing substance, and it has numerous deleterious effects associated with its use. According to Wadler, "Its effects depend upon a number of factors, including how much and how fast one drinks, the individual's size and how much food is in the stomach.

Additionally, an acute tolerance may develop whereby increasing amounts are necessary to produce the same effect.

Matthew P. Martens

The detrimental effects of alcohol on performance are extremely well documented and include impairment of the following: Balance and steadiness Fine and complex motor skills Information processing Boisterousness, unsteadiness, slurred speech Nausea, vomiting, marked unsteadiness, drowsiness "Additionally, alcohol may impair temperature regulation during prolonged exercise in the cold, and in the heat, its diuretic effect may lead to dehydration," says Wadler.

What are the long term adverse effects of alcohol? The chronic abuse of alcohol may cause numerous adverse health effects which include: Chronic alteration of brain and nerve function Weakening of heart muscle Testicular shrinkage and male breast enlargement Impotency Fat deposits in the liver Cirrhosis and liver failure.These issues include high-profile athletes experiencing public incidents as a direct or indirect result of alcohol and/or drug use, the role that performance-enhancing drugs play in impacting outcomes across a variety of professional and amateur contests, and the public-health effects alcohol abuse and drug use can have among athletes at all competitive levels.

15 Reasons Athletes Should Avoid Alcohol Consumption By Coach J. Hoy, MS, CSCS, PES, NASE Cert., USAW, Jump Stretch, Inc.

The Effects of Alcohol on Athletes and Sports Performance – karen sutton MD

Certified. Understanding and utilizing balanced, specific nutrition is one of the most important elements in athletic performance. Modern-day professional athletes are under immense amounts of pressure—and sometimes, a shot (or five) can help ease the mind.

we take a look at 10 athletes with the most insane, inspiring, and sometimes tragic drinking habits. J.R. Smith. Sport given that he had more alcohol than food stashed away in his motel room.

Bobby Layne. A. Alcohol has been proven to disrupt sleep and negatively affects recovery in athletes. How Alcohol Negatively Affects Recovery in Athletes. Here is what we know about alcohol consumption: Alcohol is a diuretic and causes vasodilation, which contributes . Top 20 Alcoholic Athletes. by Blake Hampton – on Nov 02, ; in Entertainment; Its any wonder the macho world of sports combined with alcohol to form a devastating cocktail of hangovers and despair.

Everyone loves a party, but no one loves an alcoholic. The following group of athletes all have one thing in common and it’s not going to. Alcohol is the most commonly used drug by college athletes, with about 80 percent having reported use in the past 12 months, down somewhat from 88 percent in previous years. - SPECIAL - Alcohol