Why alcohol and drugs don’t mix with sports

By Janis Meredith | Posted 11/16/2016

Alcohol and drug use are ongoing problems among students in middle and high school, including athletes. Whether your child drinks at a party or in your home, the results are the same: athletes combined with alcohol/drugs do not make a winning combination.

If your kids are young, start talking to them now regarding alcohol’s negative effect on sports performance. These are the facts of how alcohol will affect your athlete’s sports performance, as spelled out by UC San Diego and Princeton University Athletics:

  • Alcohol causes dehydration and slows the body’s ability to heal.
  • Alcohol use prevents muscle recovery.
  • Alcohol impairs reaction time and mental sharpness for up to several days after consumption. It decreases hand-eye coordination and clouds judgment. Consuming five or more alcoholic beverages in one night can affect brain and body activities for up to three days. If consuming alcohol over the course of two consecutive nights, then the effect can last for up to five days.
  • Alcohol is stored much like fat in the body and therefore increases fat storage. Not good for an athlete.
  • Alcohol use constricts metabolism and endurance.
  • Alcohol inhibits absorption of nutrients. Not only is it void of proteins, minerals and vitamins, it actually stops the absorption of vital nutrients. Alcohol is to blame for numerous homicides, suicides, fatal auto accidents, fights and sexual crimes.
  • Alcohol consumed after a workout, practice or competition can cancel out any gains from that activity.

It’s pretty clear that alcohol prevents athletes from reaching their playing potential. This not only hurts your child, it can hurt the team. Athletes and alcohol = a losing combination.


Janis B. Meredith, sports mom and coach’s wife, writes a sports parenting blog called jbmthinks.com. Her new book 11 Habits for Happy and Positive Sports Parents is on Amazon.