Keyword Search

  • Gaa Facebook
  • Gaa Twitter
  • Gaa Youtube
  • Sat 23 Aug 2014
  • 2:00pmBord Gais Energy
    GAA Hurling All Ireland U21 B Championship 2014
    Kildare vs. Tyrone Inniskeen
  • 2:00pmBord Gais Energy
    GAA Hurling All Ireland U21 B Championship 2014
    Kerry vs. Roscommon Cusack Park, Ennis
  • 4:00pmBord Gais Energy
    GAA Hurling All Ireland U21 Championship 2014
    Clare vs. Antrim Semple Stadium, Thurles
  • 6:00pmBord Gais Energy
    GAA Hurling All Ireland U21 Championship 2014
    Galway vs. Wexford Semple Stadium, Thurles
  • Sun 24 Aug 2014
  • 3:30pmGAA Football All
    Ireland Senior Championship 2014
    Mayo vs. Kerry Páirc an Chrócaigh
View all Fixtures & Results >
GAA POLL

How will Sunday's GAA Football All-Ireland Championship Semi-Final finish?

Alcohol & Sports Performance


Alcohol and Sport

Effects of alcohol on your performance

  • Greater risk of muscle cramps: During exercise, your muscles burn sugar thereby producing lactic acid. Too much lactic acid leads to muscle fatigue and cramps. If you drink in the 24 hour period before a match the alcohol contributes to a bigger build-up of lactic acid and dramatically increases your risk of cramping.
  • Greater risk for injuries and complications: Alcohol increases the bleeding and swelling around soft tissue injuries (sprains, bruises, and cuts - the most common sports injuries) requiring a longer recovery period. Alcohol also masks pain, which may lead you to a delay in getting treatment — rapid treatment can make all the difference in a speedy recovery. If you’ve been injured, avoid alcohol, as it will complicate your recovery.
  • Greater body heat loss: Alcohol is a vasodilator (it causes the blood vessels near the surface of the skin to expand) and thereby promotes heat loss and a lowered body temperature.
  • Reduced endurance : The blood sugar your body needs for energy is produced by the liver when it releases glucose into the blood stream. Drinking alcohol in the 48 hour period before a match reduces your body’s ability to produce this sugar, so you have less energy and less endurance capacity.
  • Slower reactions: Alcohol is a sedative and it can affect your performance during a game for up to 72 hours after you have finished drinking. Some players think they have less tension and increased relaxation as a result of alcohol. The actual result, however, is poorer hand-eye coordination and slower responses.
  • Dehydration: Alcohol promotes water loss. It reduces the production of the anti-diuretic hormone, causing you to urinate more. This, in turn, leads to dehydration.
  • Vitamin and Mineral Depletion: Water loss caused by alcohol consumption involves the additional loss of important minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and zinc. These are vital to the maintenance of fluid balance and nerve and muscle action and coordination.
  • Reduced aerobic performance: Alcohol reduces the body’s ability to convert food to energy and also reduces carbohydrate/blood sugar levels. These effects, together with lactic acid build-up and dehydration, combine to reduce aerobic performance.
  • Muscle injury: The usual treatment for injury (rest, ice, compression, elevation) can be negated due to the painkilling effect of alcohol. If you can’t feel the pain of your injury you are less likely to take care of it and slow your recovery time or even cause further damage.

So, no matter how much training and conditioning you’ve put in, drinking up to 72 hours before a match will take the edge off your fitness. If you want to be the very best you can be at your sport, you’ll have more of a chance of achieving that by not drinking alcohol. However, if you do want to drink it’s best to drink a little and not too often.

For more information on alcohol and sports performance please go to the GAA's Alcohol & Substance Abuse Prevention Programme website.



Official Sponsors of the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship

  • eircom, SuperValu, Ulster Bank

Official Sponsors of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship

  • Etihad Airways, Centra, Libertyinsurance
Libertyinsurance

web design by digital agency ebow