Alcohol and Performance

Alcohol is a topic that always seems to be the one everybody wants to avoid.  However, when it comes to performance potential, alcohol must be addressed just like any other nutrition topic.  Let’s face it, what you put in your body matters, and alcohol is no exception.  Isn’t it hypocritical to worry so much about health, nutrition, and performance, but ignore the rules when it come to alcohol?

Many high school, college, and pro players see alcohol as a way to relax or have fun.  They think a drink at the end of the day or an all night party is no big deal because they work hard on the field and in the weight room.  But the effects of alcohol consumption can last longer than one night, and well past the next day hangover too.  A recent research study at Massey University in New Zealand reported that the effects of alcohol can have negative effects on athletic performance nearly 60 hours after consumption.  That’s 3 days later!  So, your party from Friday night is still wrecking havoc on your body during your Monday morning workout.  Obviously, this is not a good way to make effective and efficient progress at becoming a better ballplayer.

You have to remember, alcohol is a depressant.  It slows down reaction time, balance, hand-eye coordination, accuracy, and endurance.  If the effects of alcohol can stay with you for up to 60 hours, then you would be subject to these effects during your next game, practice, or weight room session.  Furthermore, alcohol can increase the production of cortisol in the body which raises blood pressure and can increase abdominal fat.  Recovery from injuries take longer to heal, and the potential for becoming sick rises as the body’s immune system becomes compromised.  All of these effects can hurt your potential as a baseball player.

As a competitive ballplayer you should seriously consider how alcohol will affect your development.  You are not here to be an average baseball player.  You visit this website because you want to be better than you were yesterday.  You want to be better than your competition.  You want to play at the next level.  Why then, would you sacrifice your chance at being great for a few drinks?  If you treat your nutrition game plan as seriously as you treat your training plan, then the role of alcohol needs to be considered in your nutrition plan.  Remember, your body is your ultimate tool in being an athlete.  Keep it sharp and well-maintained, and it will take you farther than you can imagine.

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About The Author

Phil Tognetti, CSCS

Phil Tognetti, CSCS, is the founder and editor of The Full Windup. He has written the eBook ARMing for Success which teaches players and coaches how to set up a proper throwing program. You can learn more about him here and connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.