Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

Under the Influence

Do you know how alcohol affects exercise?

If you enjoy a "tall cool one" after a workout, you're hardly alone. Drinking alcohol is not only an accepted part of the American lifestyle (about 70 percent of adults drink regularly averaging 2.7 gallons of alcoholic beverages a year), it's also closely tied to sports and outdoor physical activity.

Alcohol ads target viewers of football, basketball, and other sporting events. Dozens of former athletes endorse different brands of beer. Television advertisements are filled with images of young, healthy people playing sports and then downing a few.

Do you know how alcohol affects exercise? Is beer a good post-game replacement fluid? Does the occasional drink cause you any harm?

We may like the taste of Chablis or the way a few beers make us feel, but alcohol is detrimental to many aspects of physical activity. Initially it may make us feel less inhibited, more stimulated and "ready to party".

The good feeling, though, is fleeting - alcohol actually works as a depressant.

Furthermore, it has no significant beneficial effect on any organ of the body. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, alcohol will not improve muscular work capacity and may impede athletic performance.

How High?

The intoxicating ingredient is ethanol, a chemical compound that originates from the fermentation of grains. From the moment it enters the body ethanol receives special treatment. It rapidly diffuses from the walls of the stomach into the circulatory system and then to the liver or brain. Since the liver can handle only a small amount of alcohol at any one time, the rest goes directly to the brain.

The effects of alcohol on the brain are felt quite rapidly especially if the stomach is empty; food may lessen the pace of absorption. Alcohol first affects the brain's frontal lobes, the reasoning centers, sedating the inhibitory nerves. Higher levels of alcohol then affect the centers of speech, vision, motor control and eventually consciousness.

What other effects does alcohol have on the body?

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
Common Medical Problems
Dental Health
Infectious Disease
Sexual Health
Emotional Well-Being
Eating Disorders
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Environmental Health

The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

Copyright 2000 - Sports Doctor, Inc.