The Effect of Alcohol on Athletic Performance

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Abstract

The use of alcohol is often intimately associated with sport. As well as providing a source of energy, alcohol (ethanol) has metabolic, cardiovascular, thermoregulatory, and neuromuscular actions that may affect exercise performance. Strength is minimally affected, and performance impairments depend on the dose of alcohol and subject habituation to alcohol intake, exercise duration, environmental conditions, and other factors. Central nervous system function is impaired at high doses, resulting in decrements in cognitive function and motor skill, as well as behavioral changes that may have adverse effects on performance. Effects may persist for hours after intoxication.

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