• Exercise and alcohol don't mix
  • Alcohol affects your performance and increases the risk of injury

Playing sport and drinking alcohol don't go together

Athletes achieve optimal performance through hard practice, intense exercise and by being in peak condition, both mentally and physically. Drinking alcohol before or during vigorous sports or exercise not only increases the risk that you will perform badly but also that you will injure yourself - and other people. That's because alcohol affects your judgement, accuracy, coordination and reaction times. If you do get injured, any alcohol in your body can increase the severity of the injury and slow down your recovery.

When you're playing sport or taking vigorous exercise, you need to stay alert and in control. In sports such as water sports and cycling, one mistake can have tragic consequences.

So what happens if you combine alcohol with vigorous sports and exercise?

  • Loss of accuracy
  • Loss of body heat
  • Poor coordination
  • Dehydration/muscle cramping
  • Decreased endurance
  • Slower reaction times

If you're going to do sport or exercise, don't risk injuring yourself or others, or impair your performance, by drinking alcohol. The American College of Sports Medicine advises athletes to avoid alcohol, beyond low-amount social drinking, for 48 hours before an event and to rehydrate and eat something before having an alcohol drink afterwards.