Overconsumption of alcohol can lead to long term effects for athletes


Rob Le Cates

Kate Stevens is a senior sports media relations major. and can be reached at 217-581-2812.

Kate Stevens, Assistant Sports Editor

While alcohol is not a banned substance (for those over 21), under the NCAA and Eastern drug testing rules, student-athletes need to be careful in the ways they choose to consume it. 

Alcohol is a big part of the college scene as it is one of the biggest things that brings young people together.  

While it is fun in the moment and can lead to great times, people always need to be careful with how much and how often they consume. 

As I mentioned earlier, it’s not banned for student-athletes over 21, so having that freedom of drinking alcohol regularly can lead to long-term problems with performance in sport. 

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the over consumption of alcohol can lead to weight gain, heart problems, liver problems, a weakened immune system and disruptions to people’s moods and ability to think clearly.  

These things affect athletes because overtime can slow them down and make them unable to perform at their best.  

According to an article published by Luke D. Vella and David Cameron-Smith at Deakin University in Victoria, Australia, the specific effects that alcohol can have on athletes are problems with their muscles, dehydration, thermo-regulation, metabolism, neurological system. 

It also has effects on their aerobic and anaerobic performances. This can also lead to struggles in their exercise recovery.  

These are all tied together because being dehydrated and having weak muscles can most definitely make it more difficult for athletes to fully recover from games and exercises.  

Now of course this doesn’t just happen overnight, but those who continually over drink will see these effects over time and it can make their athletic career much more difficult. 

Being an athlete is all about taking care of your body and mind so that you can do your best to help yourself or your team win. 

This is just a reminder to make sure you are being smart and keeping your health in the best shape possible. 

There is absolutely no problem with going out on occasion, drinking as a cause of celebration, or having a drink with dinner and what not, but doing it in such a way to put your career and health in jeopardy is probably not the greatest idea.  

This is just a reminder to take care of yourself while having fun. 

Balance is the key to keeping yourself healthy and at the top of your game.

Kate Stevens can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]