Alcohol as an Ergogenic Aid

1082 Words Apr 25th, 2011 5 Pages
Andrew Aluko
March 28, 2011
Sports and Nutrition
Professor Saullo

Alcohol and Athletics Alcohol, more specifically ethyl alcohol or ethanol, is a depressant that provides 7 kCal of energy per gram, and is the most abused drug for athletes and non-athletes in the United States. Prior to my research on alcohol, I assumed that alcohol abuse was not prevalent among college athletes, outside of the occasional partying that normal college students partake in as well. But according to Lifestyles and Health Risks of Collegiate Athletes, college athletes generally drink more heavily and are more likely to engage in binge drinking than non-athletes1, and contrary to my belief, in the psychologic realm, some have argued that alcohol before
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Alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, is a disease that includes strong cravings for alcohol and continuing to drink, despite repeated alcohol-related problems. Although alcoholism can be developed due to excessive consumption, a user is at higher risk when the disease runs in the family. The four main symptoms of alcoholism are craving, impaired control, tolerance, and physical dependence. 3,4 For most adults, moderate alcohol use is up to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women and older people. Obivously, the safest way to avoid alcoholism is to not drink at all. But if one must intake alcohol they should try to stay around the moderate alcohol intake.
Are there any benefits of alcohol intake? Prior to my research I would have answered no. But moderate daily alcohol intake actually does have some benefits. 2 oz or 30 mL of 90 proof alcohol, or slightly less than three 12 oz beers reduce a healthy person’s risk of heart attack and stroke, independent of physical activity level. 5,6,7 In fact, alcohol affects HDL levels just about as strongly as any other lifestyle factor, and may cause a rise in LDL levels thus stopping a critical step in plaque formation in the arteries. 8
Alcohol is the most abused drug in the United States by athletes and non-athletes. After my research I was shocked to learn the seriousness of its effects in the short and
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