How Alcohol Use Harms Youth Physical Fitness and Sports Performance

Below are several articles describing associations between alcohol use and physical fitness and sports performance. 

An online article by Drinkaware titled “Can Alcohol Affect Sports Performance and Fitness Levels?” described the effects of alcohol on sports performance, exercising the day after drinking, alcohol use and weight gain, and cutting back on drinking (or not starting drinking at all-author’s note). 

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Another article titled “Alcohol and Fitness” by the Alcohol Rehab Guide outlines a strong relationship between alcohol use and fitness.  Specifically, that alcohol use decreases overall physical fitness, while increased physical fitness can significantly improve alcohol use disorders and their negative effects. 

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A third article titled “7 Ways Alcohol Could be Affecting Your Fitness Without You Realizing It” published online by detailed alcohol effects on everything from endurance and energy levels to motivation to exercise. 

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Each of these articles was written primarily with drinking adults in mind, but they have significant implications for youth and prevention as well. 

Teachers, coaches, parents, medical professionals and others can use the information in these articles to inform youth of the following: 

  1. Alcohol use can negatively impact physical fitness, the ability to engage in exercise, regular physical activity and sports performance in multiple important ways; each of which should be highlighted in prevention messages for youth.
  2. Physical activity and exercise may help prevent and reduce alcohol use and its negative effects and help in treating and recovery from alcohol use disorder.
  3. Avoiding alcohol use and engaging in regular physical activity and participating in sports are essential for youth to develop and maintain a healthy body and mind, perform at your best, and feel good about yourself. 

Learn more about programs to promote youth physical activity and prevent alcohol use:

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