Alcohol and physical effort


Question:I would like an answer to the following question: what is the influence of alcohol regarding physical effort? What is the reason for its negative influence on exertion?

Answer: alcohol influences both the function of the brain and – consequently – the nervous system, and the complex metabolism of the digestive system. You have to remember that the negative effects are going to outweigh any positive effects as soon as you drink more than the recommended quantity of alcohol (three standard units per day for men, two for women).

Alcohol influences the brain in such a way as to calm the nerves; inhibitions melt away, feelings of pain and fear subside, the muscles shake less. That said, the precision of the reactions reduces together with the reaction time, your sight is blurred, ditto the processing of information and, finally, your physical strength is sapped – your capacity for brief exertion and the sustained effort of your muscles.

Alcohol creates the illusion of enhanced psychomotor abilities, although in fact the opposite is true. Pain is a signal of a wound. Dulled sensation of pain makes you less readily aware of a wound, effectively increasing the risk of serious bodily harm.

Alcohol also has a dehydrating effect by blocking the secretion of antidiuretic hormones, which means that the kidneys have to expel excessive amounts of bodily fluid in the form of urine.

Alcohol also embarrasses the absorption and the use of many vitamins and minerals, which may ultimately delay the processing of proteins and carbohydrates. Alcohol further influences the metabolism of proteins and fats in the liver and causes defective production of the pancreas enzymes needed for fat metabolism. Alcohol can also trigger a glycogen deficiency in the liver.

All in all, drinking more than the recommended amount of alcohol will reduce both your explosive energy and your long-term muscular endurance. You will also feel rather less inclined to engage in physical exertion, explosive or otherwise.



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