With alcohol consumption reducing muscle recovery, sapping energy and causing dehydration amongst a host of other side effects, it’s no wonder coaches and captains alike will encourage their teams to avoid indulging in alcohol. We share the impact alcohol has on your rugby performance.
DON’T SABOTAGE YOUR POTENTAL
- Muscle recovery– alcohol inhibits hormones which are involved in muscle recovery, thus eliminating the effectiveness of your last workout. It also decreases the speed of recovery from injury.
- Metabolism– a few alcoholic drinks can reduce metabolism, slowing down the digestion and absorption of the energy and nutrients you consume. Alcohol also changes the way your body is able to use carbohydrates and fats, and decreases the production of glucose – meaning your blood-sugar level will drop and you won’t have the energy you need on the field for the next couple of days.
- Dehydration– as a diuretic, alcohol can quickly dehydrate you. Hydration is key to an athletes’ performance and recovery under normal circumstances; add alcohol in the mix and this becomes even more vital.
- Memory– alcohol consumption can impair the parts of the brain involved in memory, meaning that your ability to remember strategies or plays you have learned and practiced may not be on form the next day when training. It also negatively impacts on the quality of your sleep, which impacts on energy levels and the ability to focus and process information the next day.
YOU CAN’T RECOVER WASTED TIME
- Hangover symptoms are very demotivating for training sessions the next day and disable you from training at your normal intensity level.
- Even after hangover symptoms are gone, your body takes around three days to recover fully from a drinking binge.
- Alcohol cannot be digested and used as energy, so it is automatically stored as fat.
- Exercising after a night of drinking can further dehydrate you and potentially put you at higher risk for an injury.
- All in all, alcohol consumption is not encouraged for athletes or anybody focused on their health and well-being.